Thursday, July 30, 2009

And when does the revolution start???

Sometimes I would rather remain ignorant...and yet the truth is not considerate of m
y inclinations.../sigh...[inputing fix for link, thanks for the catch Ael!] Read it and weep...
Update: Apparently the link isn't working, but just so you get an's from the Bloomberg site, Karen Freifeld's update #4, "Banks Paid $32.6 Billion in Bonuses Amid U.S. Bailout" with the key graph...

"The top 200 bonus recipients at JPMorgan Chase & Co. received $1.12 billion last year, while the top 200 at Goldman received $995 million. At Merrill the top 149 received $858 million and at Morgan Stanley, the top 101 received $577 million. Those 650 people received a combined $3.55 billion, or an average of $5.46 million."

That would be your tax dollars...hard at work...making the "rich richer, and the everyday Joe and Jane that much poorer."


  1. Link isn't working because there are two http's (ie.

  2. "Those 650 people received a combined #3.55 billion, or an average of $5.46 million."

    And these are the same class of folk belly aching about a small rise in the marginal income tax rate to help pay for the medical care of MILLIONS of their fellow citizens!

    And their lapdogs in government and fellow travellers in the celebrity MSM cheer them on! All the while shoveling more of the citizens' taxes into their maw and blocking sensible reform and revenue generation policies in a time of economic crisis!

    And before someone wants to ask why ONLY rich people should pay taxes, please explain this to me.

    Oh yeah. These people are REAL Americans.


  3. OK, in the spirit of "Can You Top This", read about AIG's shell game with insurance regulators:



  4. *&^% me.
    You win Al.
    I don't even know what to say.

  5. I've got two things to say:
    1. Hopefully AIG's shell game will succeed and we won't have a major insurance meltdown.

    2. We're heading for another, somewhat larger financial meltdown in 2-4 years unless something dramatic changes. The government spent $2 trillion treating the symptoms but couldn't seem to get around to treating the disease.

  6. Pluto-

    How can a shell game succeed? If AIG has to cover any significant losses, all the shells in the world won't make up for the fact that the money isn't, and never was there.

    More frightening is that this is akin to what ENRON was doing. It seems to be acceptable to corporations to try to lie their way through the conduct of business, even though it rarely can succeed in the long run.

    The disease is simply that our culture is dysfunctional.


  7. The shell game succeeds if AIG isn't called upon to cover any significant losses before the next wave does such serious damage to the economy that they'll be small potatoes.

    Your diagnosis of the disease, Dr. Al, is correct but a day of reckoning (of some sort) is coming very quickly. I'm not sure what will happen but I can guarantee you it won't be pretty.

    The government has temporarily stabilized things by creating another bubble. I'm sure that they figured they didn't need much time to fix things but they underestimated the rapaciousness and power of the corporate so-called leaders who figure that they've got a license to print money now that Uncle Sam is willing to back up any bet they make with taxpayer money.

    The next wave is going to hit the government like Katrina hitting New Orleans. Will the levees hold? Maybe they can stave off disaster in 2011-2013 but there's going to be another, even larger wave hitting in 2016-2017 when Medicare finishes running out of money and Social Security starts running out of money.

    What will happen then? Dunno, but I'm sure that future historians will review the surviving records of our time and wonder what the hell we thought we were doing.

  8. "The love of money is the root of all evil."

  9. Meanwhile, back in reality...

    The Santa Rosa Press Democrat had an amusing (in the context of recent discussion here) headline today:


    Which brings to mind another Bible quote:

    "Seek and ye shall find."

  10. Do we start calling you Reverend Gittings now?


    I think I've found something to top Al.

    {START QUOTE}Capco was in much the same business as AIG Financial Products: selling insurance against the end of the world. Such businesses tend to be extremely profitable most of the time, and then blow up spectacularly. The question is who on earth would ever buy such insurance, given that the chances of ever getting paid out are slim indeed. The answer? The same people who own the insurer!

    Capco was created in 2003 by Lehman and 13 other banks and brokerage companies as a kind of marketing tool. The pitch was that while Capco would not insure customers against investment losses, it would compensate them if the firms failed. Capco promises to provide virtually unlimited coverage above the $500,000 offered by the Securities Investors Protection Corporation and its equivalent in Britain…

    Capco, which is private, is something of a financial mystery. Its members include Wall Street giants like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, smaller brokerage firms like Robert W. Baird & Company and Edward Jones, and Fidelity, the mutual fund giant. Capco was initially registered in New York but later moved to Vermont, where state law enables it to operate without disclosing much about its finances…

    It’s unclear who actually serves as the current president of Capco, and the company’s main phone number connects to a recording that tells callers they’ve reached a “nonworking number at Morgan Stanley.”

    It seems that these banks’ clients essentially got their Capco insurance for free, which is lucky, because it wasn’t worth anything. But that doesn’t mean they won’t go after Capco’s owners if the insurer fails to pay them what they’re owed. One thing’s for sure: a lot of lawyers are going to get a lot of work out of this fiasco.{END QUOTE}

    Another thing's for sure as well. Like Slim Pickens in Strangelove, we're in for the ride of our lives, though I doubt I'd be yelling "YAHOOOO!".

    ISTM that the proper thing to do after these folk are convicted of fraud, is to never let them be anywhere near signifcantly large sums of money again.