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Eat the meat you are Fed: It's good, we guarantee it!

The last mystery of the financial crisis. It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.
posted by lalochezia on Jun 19, 2013 - 34 comments

 

Haircut in Cyprus

On Saturday the EU mandated that all bank deposits in Cyprus pay a 6.75% "stability levy" on the first €100,000 and 9.9% on the excess to help pay for €6 billion of the €10 billion bank bailout. This is despite opposition from the Cyprus finance minister, who stated earlier this month that "there really couldn't be a more stupid idea" and more recently that "I wish I was not the minister to do this". The scale of the bailout is nearly 50% of Cyprus' entire GPD, and many officials are concerned that the money will go to Russian gangsters and oligarchs. The Saturday announcement lead to a run on the ATMs, which caused banks to restrict electronic transfers and set a €400 withdrawal limit. Most ATMs were out of money by the end of the day and a frustrated man threatened one bank with a bulldozer. The plan was scheduled to be voted on by parliament on Sunday, but it has been delayed to Monday and might not be passed by politicians who have heard complaints from their Cypriot constituents all weekend. The Cyprus President warned of total financial collapse and euro exit if it is not approved.
posted by autopilot on Mar 17, 2013 - 107 comments

Secret and Lies of the Bailout

Secret and Lies of the Bailout. "The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 7, 2013 - 77 comments

TARP's former Inspector General is mad as hell

The American people “should be enraged by the broken promises to Main Street and the unending protection of Wall Street” writes Neil Barofsky, former Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in his new book, Bailout, about his time in that office. His trenchant criticisms of Washington egos, moneyed interests, and political games has some calling him an "idealistic alien" and others vehemently defending him. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner comes off particularly poorly in Bailout, unsurprising in light of his well-known feud with Barofsky over the efficacy of the bailouts. (previously)
posted by shivohum on Sep 11, 2012 - 39 comments

Christine Lagarde "I think of little kids in Niger"

"So when she studies the Greek balance sheet and demands measures she knows may mean women won't have access to a midwife when they give birth, and patients won't get life-saving drugs, and the elderly will die alone for lack of care – does she block all of that out and just look at the sums?" [more inside]
posted by marienbad on May 27, 2012 - 85 comments

Buy more oregano

The Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi uses a paper bag to illustrate exactly how the sub-prime mortgage scam worked, and how we're still on the hook for the next catastrophe. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 3, 2012 - 56 comments

We appreciate your candor

BBC News asks independent trader Alessio Rastani "what would keep investors happy, make them feel more confident?" and gets a surprisingly honest answer: "Personally, it doesn't matter. See, I'm a trader. I don't really care about that kind of stuff. If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. So, for most traders, we don't really care that much about how they're going to fix the economy, about how they're going to fix the whole situation; our job is to make money from it. And, personally, I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession which is I go to bed every night and dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this." [SLYT]
posted by finite on Sep 26, 2011 - 235 comments

Science & technology might be exempt from E.U. austerity measures

There is an European Commission budgetary proposal to boost E.U. funding for science and technology by 45% from €55B to €80B by trimming some fat form the controversial Common Agricultural Policy. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 7, 2011 - 6 comments

Germans should remember...

Albrecht Ritschl (web site / papers) of the London School of Economics says Germans should remember their status as postwar debtors when offering advice to Greece.
posted by - on Jun 25, 2011 - 20 comments

Greek Leader Proposes to Step Down, Reports Say

As nationwide strikes sweeps across Greece, unconfirmed reports are swirling that Prime Minister George Papandreou is preparing to step down.
posted by phaedon on Jun 15, 2011 - 134 comments

To The Finland Station

Portugal, in the throes of an IMF / EU bailout that Finland could block, sends a video letter to convince Finland to support the rescue effort. Finland responds. Bonus: crisis the focus of Portugal's Eurovision entry this year.
posted by chavenet on May 10, 2011 - 59 comments

Debt is Dumb, Cash is King

Dave Ramsey - a syndicated radio host, author and revival-style seminar leader leads a Christian-themed, tough love crusade to convince Americans to cut up their credit cards and renounce debt forever. His detractors say our impulses, not our debt, are the problem.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Mar 15, 2011 - 84 comments

Ireland Bailout

The Republic of Ireland is in preliminary talks with EU officials for financial support, the BBC has learned. Q&A: Irish bond crisis.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Nov 13, 2010 - 58 comments

Wells Fargo, You Never Know What Hit You.

Wajahat Ali, a solo practitioner from California, takes on Wells Fargo in an attempt to get his clients' home loan modified. Lots of ball dropping and passing of the buck ensues. He describes the Kafka-esque nature of the experience.
posted by reenum on Jun 20, 2010 - 41 comments

Fix the hole in the Wall Street!

Six Simple Ways to Fix Wall Street. "Elements of our Six Simple Steps are in the pending legislation. If they're part of what's adopted, we may get true and lasting reform. If they're not, it won't be long before Wall Street is back to business -- and bailouts -- as usual."
posted by storybored on May 14, 2010 - 43 comments

Hello, Dr. Evil here...

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. In a few hours, I will destroy the Greek economy. Unless, that is, you give me the sum of...one trillion dollars! (SLNYT, but with this much money I can afford to look frumpy)
posted by anigbrowl on May 10, 2010 - 61 comments

I'm Ed Whitacre from General Motors. We want to make this a company all Americans can be proud of again.

Remember the General Motors bailout? You may have seen the commercial GM has been airing where GM CEO Ed Whitacre brags about paying back this loan "in full with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule". Ever wonder how that was possible? Reason.tv explains. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on May 1, 2010 - 53 comments

Guy Fawkes, meet Robin Hood

Debt collectors call him a credit terrorist. “Cunningham beats the debt collectors at their own game. He turns their money-making practice into a financial liability. He is a regular guy who has become a radical enemy of the banking system.” [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jan 26, 2010 - 113 comments

Who's angry about finance?

NYTimes Editorial about the need for financial regulation, and the current lack of productive outrage at Wall Street. Huffington Post attempts to create a "social media" movement to move money out of the big banks.
posted by ®@ on Jan 10, 2010 - 34 comments

Guided By Your Counsel

Jan 7: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.
posted by moorooka on Jan 9, 2010 - 34 comments

Confused about the current financial mess?

Don't listen to 'economists', its all about the Cave of Wealth and Death, the Godess of Inflation and Derivatives Beast. In an astonishing 3 parts (so far).
posted by Damienmce on Mar 30, 2009 - 8 comments

Full Commanding Denial

There have been a lot of descriptions of our new president, but being in "full commanding denial" is a new and, sadly, insightful one. Clusterf*ck Nation's Jim Kunstler observes that the bailout "is predicated on the idea that the mechanisms of wealth production -- even of illusory wealth, such as the fortunes created by trading securitized unpayable debt -- can keep chugging along, spinning off limitless additional suburban villas, chain stores, car trips, and deep-fried snacks." For a different view, the folks over at the excellent Baseline Scenario have been doing some interesting thinking about The Cultural Costs of Bailout Nation. For an even bigger big picture view, Dmitry Orlov's original analysis of the USSR vs. USA collapse in Superpower Collapse Best Practices seems to be even more resonant in his recent appearances. Maybe it's time to give Full Commanding Denial another chance ....
posted by Adamchik on Mar 25, 2009 - 80 comments

What the FEC couldn't figure out

Matt Taibbifilter: Among other things, the GAO report noted that the entire OTS had only one insurance specialist on staff — and this despite the fact that it was the primary regulator for the world's largest insurer! This week's MeFi stories have generally failed to explain the reasoning that caused the recession, even though Jon Stewart was basically on the mark. Now, Rolling Stone's only reporter lays it all out The Big Takeover, a typical combination of zealous snark and the overlooked, damning facts needed to clear up a ridiculously complicated story.
posted by shii on Mar 20, 2009 - 111 comments

A New Way Forward

Nationalize. Reorganize. Decentralize. anewwayforward.org wants you to organize a protest on April 11th to express your frustration and disapproval with how our elected officials have handled the economic crisis.
posted by geos on Mar 17, 2009 - 62 comments

Pitchforks to the right, torches to the left

Washington Post reports that the American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year. The payments to A.I.G.’s financial products unit are in addition to $121 million in previously scheduled bonuses.
posted by dejah420 on Mar 14, 2009 - 93 comments

Treasury paid $100 for every $66 in assets in top-ten TARP deals

The Congressional Oversight Panel, headed by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, notes in its third monthly report that for every $100 Treasury spent on its ten largest TARP deals, it received back only $66 worth of assets -- significantly less than for roughly comparable private parties.
posted by shivohum on Feb 19, 2009 - 23 comments

Prescient Economist: Housing Crash Result of Government Incentives

Peter Wallison, an economist who arguably predicted the housing crash and bailout in 1999 explains his current views on the crash: "Other players...played a part" but "...government policy over many years--particularly the use of the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to distort the housing credit system-- underlies the current crisis."
posted by shivohum on Feb 11, 2009 - 98 comments

"And maybe they’re hoping we’ll buy their bezzle."

The savings and loan’s decision not to settle the lawsuit made no economic sense for a solvent institution, but it made perfect sense if their principle objective was to maintain the false appearance of solvency for as long as possible. The savings and loan was undoubtedly inflating all of their assets, including my homely little lawsuit, to postpone the inevitable.
What reminded me of that incident from my late, unlamented law practice was the persistent failure of financial institutions to modify mortgages voluntarily. It makes perfect economic sense for a safe and sound institution to avoid the ruinous costs of foreclosure by agreeing to reduce the principal and monthly payment for homeowners who can pay a mortgage, but not the one they’ve got. But according to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, fewer than ten percent of mortgage modifications in November reduced the principal. About half added late payments and penalties to the principal, and either increased monthly payments or added payments at the back end of the mortgage. If a borrower was in default already, what’s the chance the borrower can make a higher monthly payment?
Brad Miller, US Congressman for the Thirteenth District of North Carolina advances a possible motivation for the apparently illogical behavior of US banks.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 5, 2009 - 75 comments

The Follies of TARP

We may never know whether the bailout worked [more inside]
posted by ornate insect on Jan 30, 2009 - 50 comments

“They didn’t tell me I had to do anything particular with it”

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

Personal stories from the front lines of the American bailout.
posted by plexi on Jan 18, 2009 - 63 comments

The Bailout Game

The Bailout game! (Flash)
posted by Class Goat on Jan 13, 2009 - 16 comments

ARR! "dramatic action" ahoy :P

President Obama's plan for American Recovery and Reinvestment [pdf] might be thought of as TARP round two [1,2] -- instead of hiding the bodies, this one's preparing the ground for a big tent or the economic equivalent of war. There are critics and detractors (cramdown nation ;) left and right, natch, but also conservative supporters and progressive defenders to save or create three four million jobs; hooray! [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2009 - 51 comments

Larry Flynt needs financial aid

Congress must back sex! According to Larry, "Americans can do without cars and such", but it can't do without sex...and for an extra $5 billion US, he will help Americans do who ever, I mean what ever it takes to get people using porn. However, maybe, just maybe that the decline in sales is due to the free porn access on the net. Another article about it here
posted by Prunedish on Jan 8, 2009 - 46 comments

The Linguistic Banhammer Falls Again

How am I gonna introduce my annual post about the annual LSSU Banished Words List when "It's that time of year again" has itself just been banished? Maybe with an assortment of links not-very-related to the words on This Year's List... [more inside]
posted by wendell on Dec 31, 2008 - 48 comments

Another one bites the dust...

No Bailout for the Arts? Many organizations could use the help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 30, 2008 - 21 comments

CEO 1$ value menu?

Ford's new Business Plan proposal has been released. Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he'll work for $1 per year if the company has to take any government loan money. [more inside]
posted by Mastercheddaar on Dec 2, 2008 - 90 comments

Will they steal the WH china, too?

Remember the Eliot Spitzer take-down thread here on the blue?It turns out that Spitzer's character assassination may have been more Bush Administration sock puppetry -- back on Valentine's Day, Spitzer wrote an editorial in the WaPo demonizing the lack of consumer protections and was about to file a lawsuit against several Wall Street firms for predatory lending, but the Justice Department caught him with his fly undone and the papers didn't get filed. [more inside]
posted by vhsiv on Dec 1, 2008 - 22 comments

Special Bail Out Offer, No Payments Until January 20th

Have we jumped over all the hurdles in our ongoing economic fiasco? Probably not, the next hurdle is Credit Cards. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Nov 25, 2008 - 99 comments

AAA?

Anatomy of a Meltdown - Ben Bernanke and the financial crisis (in one page)
posted by Gyan on Nov 24, 2008 - 61 comments

Bridge Loaner? But I hardly know her...

Andrew Ross Sorkin takes apart GM piece by piece. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Nov 18, 2008 - 134 comments

Can I pay my taxes with a student loan?

After an historic near-collapse (p), a federal bailout to the tune of $85,000,000,000, a second federal bailout to the tune of $37,800,000,000 and one hell of a party (p), the news on A.I.G. just keeps getting better. Now: Fed arbitrage! Paying down a 9% taxpayer loan with a 2% taxpayer loan? Genius!
posted by jckll on Oct 31, 2008 - 7 comments

олигáрх

Moscow is home to the largest number of billionaires and in Russia, there are nearly 100 billionaires. Due to recent economic developments and the drop in oil prices, the oligarchs, who rose to prominence under Gorbachev, have lost a combined total of $200 billion. Help is here.
posted by gman on Oct 30, 2008 - 21 comments

Canary in the coal mine...

Iceland's last non state-owned bank is nationalised, with subsidiaries shut down in Finland, refusing to pay depositors in the UK and in adminstration in Luxemberg. Iceland has had to shut down trading on the stock market to stop panic dumping, and has become one of the most state run economies in the world. For everyone who wondered what true worst case is, this might be it (saving the Weimar scenario, but the US is too sane for that).
posted by jaduncan on Oct 9, 2008 - 74 comments

Well there goes Reykjavik

More subprime collateral damage. Iceland's now getting a $5B bailout from Russia. What does Russia want in return? Access to shipping lanes? The old US base? via
posted by blahblah on Oct 7, 2008 - 48 comments

Screw Disneyland. We're Going to the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach!

Last month (Sept. 16, 2008) the American taxpayers bailed out insurance giant American International Group (AIG) to the tune of $85 billion dollars. So, asked "what ya' goin' do now after the bailout?" top executives said "party it up at the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach (Dana Point, CA) for a week (September 22 - 30, 2008). Total costs? Invoice: $443,343.71. "$200,000 dollars for hotel rooms. Almost $150,000 for catered banquets. AIG spent $23,000 at the hotel spa and another $1,400 at the salon." Said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): "They were getting manicures, facials, pedicures and massages while American people were footing the bill. And they spent another $10,000 dollars for I don’t know what this is, leisure dining. Bars?"
posted by ericb on Oct 7, 2008 - 147 comments

"There will be enormous, enormous losses..."

This American Life gives you Another Frightening Show About the Economy.. The guys who brought us The Giant Pool of Money (previously) explain the credit crunch and why it's so scary. And not in the Halloween fun-to-be-scared sense.
posted by justkevin on Oct 5, 2008 - 169 comments

What is a trash-out?

What is a "trash-out?" When you see this, you feel like this. And some music to go along. After Monday, bunker or hunker ?
posted by wallstreet1929 on Oct 5, 2008 - 37 comments

"Putting your money where our mouth is."

Strategery is a unique hedge fund.
posted by infini on Oct 3, 2008 - 25 comments

Trickle Up Bailout?

Jonathan Koppell and William Goetzmann on why Congress should let Wall Street hang for a bit and use the $700 billion to directly refinance homowners' bad mortgages. Fire away, mefites! [more inside]
posted by puckish on Oct 1, 2008 - 84 comments

US Bailout bill, TARP, and economists' and journalists' reactions

Following the recent preciptious downturn in the US banking sector, a compromise draft bill is going to a vote in Congress today. The text of the bill [110-page pdf]; The Wall Street Journal's summary of the bill; an open-for-comments public analysis of the bill at publicmarkup.org. Some questions answered and unhappy acceptance from economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman; a strenuous rejection from Nouriel Roubini; via same, an IMF study of 42 banking crises from 1970 through 2007; further criticism from Nomi Prins for Mother Jones.
posted by cortex on Sep 29, 2008 - 654 comments

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