Friday, April 30, 2010

The Misunderstood Dynamic Of Wall Street - Psychopath Central

Most people think of psychopaths as serial killers or other very violent personality types. Not necessarily so. As a friend and I were discussing yesterday, there is a spectrum of psychopathic tendencies. It is not typical that someone can check a box to determine a personality disorder. There may be psychopaths who are one step away from being a serial killer and there may be people whose tendencies are manifested in less violent but equally deviant behavior. I would argue the latter is an even greater threat to society as we will discuss below.

We have talked on here before that it is pretty well understood that people with psychopathic tendencies or psychopaths themselves make the best traders. Obviously when trading millions to billions of dollars of oil or stocks or bonds, emotions are very counterproductive. Yet, we as humans are hard wired with a fear response when presented with certain situations. Losing money is one of them, which is why trading firms often have psychiatrists or psychologists on staff.

Psychopaths are driven by what society would classify as deviant behavior. I would argue that drive is part of an unconscious desire to seek an altered state of consciousness through externalities. As the author notes, that includes money, sex and status. Is it really any surprise that we see all of these things as primary drivers of behavior on Wall Street. And the behavior has reached such a level of excess that it often seems as though it is at a level of addiction or outright fraud? Yet we see our economic model determined by these personality types. ie, The hyper-competitive 'at-any-cost' race to the bottom of the barrel which glorifies excessive and often destructive behavior and social dynamics. Where did this dynamic develop? Wall Street owns the microphone to society. Wall Street has influenced our economic model more than any other source. That includes even our educational system. Even our value system. The great Buddha would find no audience seeking enlightenment on Wall Street. And neither would most Americans find much of anything in common with these personality types.

Have you ever wondered why the Wall Street CEOs and executives who blew up the world seemingly have no remorse? Will take no responsibility? Continue to pay themselves billions using taxpayer money? See absolutely nothing wrong with their behavior or the behavior they encourage? Have you ever wondered why many business CEOs have no problem paying themselves hundreds of millions in retirement packages while looting the employee pension plans or firing tens of thousands of employees to meet personal bonus objectives? Or of cutting health care benefits systematically over the last generation? Or health insurance executives willing to pay themselves tens of millions of dollars for cancelling insurance policies of terminally-ill policyholders via some loophole? Are these people psychopaths? Do they have well-developed psychopathic tendencies?

These people represent the very worst of the human condition. Many of these executives show no outward signs of empathy, compassion or concern for society or our planet. Instead they are very me-centric confirming extremely out of control egos or manufactured self-image. Seeking success is healthy and natural. But what do we define as healthy and natural? Previous studies have shown many high achievers in business are indeed psychopaths. Remember as we have written ad nauseam, the personality profile of those seeking power and control should never be trusted. There really is no such thing as the benevolent dictator. Or, if there is, it is a one in a million type of dynamic driven by enlightened leaders seeking truth over personal gain.

So, where might we seek to spot psychopaths given their profile? Politicians? Lobbyists? Wall Street? CEOs? Obviously I am not stating that everyone who seeks success is a psychopath. That would be an absurd interpretation of my remarks but I can assure you this dynamic is much more common than is recognized by society.

This is why We the People shouldn't be turning our fate over to a handful of power-seeking personalities. Or let politicians make our economic and political decisions without the involvement of society. aka No transparency and seamy back room deals with lobbyists. Government should educate and encourage its citizens to actively participate in the role of self-governance.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:09 AM links to this post

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is The Massive Gulf Oil Spill A Result Of Captured Regulators?

It sure appears to be possible.

So, we all see that our federal government has been captured by Wall Street but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We see repeated deaths in coal mines with substantial unresolved safety issues (including another this week) that involves some level of captured regulators, we have this massive energy spill, we have a food and drug administration working under the same dynamic, we have a government that has done nothing to protect American workers from tens of millions of undocumented workers thus collapsing wages and benefits, we have a government that does nothing to protect intellectual property rights with our trading partners, we have a government that does nothing to protect Americans from predatory health insurance companies and on and on and on. There is no end to the profligacy of the whores in Washington.

If anyone believes this is a financial crisis, they need to wake up. This is a crisis created by a captured federal government across just about every one of our liberties and economic disciplines.

Gulf oil spill leak link
posted by TimingLogic at 7:33 PM links to this post

Goldman Apparently Wants To Keep Its Secretive And Unsavory Shenanigans Out Of The Public Eye And Settle With The SEC

I have no doubt from what we witnessed earlier this week that a trial, even a civil trial, could decimate Goldman Sachs in the court of public opinion. There have already been calls for its CEO to resign after a terrible showing in front of Congress this week. What better way for Goldman to ameliorate the problem than to pay some relatively trivial fine? They are minting money via extremely dubious activities and any settlement would quickly be forgotten in terms of lost money. Money to pay the fine, by the way, would be provided courtesy of taxpayers given Goldman Sachs is now a Federal Reserve-backed bank and with it comes the perks of free money and below market costs on capital.

If the SEC settles, there is likely to be an enormous backlash against the SEC by the vast majority of Americans. I don't know if the SEC can politically afford to settle. That would be very, very bad news for Goldman Sachs.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 11:21 AM links to this post

Miracles Do Happen. The DOJ Dusts Off The Rule Of Law For ONE Of Countless Predatory Monopolies(Oligopolies) In Every Industry

posted by TimingLogic at 9:57 AM links to this post

The Global Economic Miracle Continues - Spain's Unemployment Rate Now Above 20%. Spanish Youth Unemployment Rate Plows Through 40%.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:19 AM links to this post

Republicans Cozy Up To Wall Street Bribery Machine And Oppose Substantial Reform Of $600 Trillion Derivatives Gambling Casino

posted by TimingLogic at 8:10 AM links to this post

China, The Land Of No Rule Of Law, Tries To Extort Intellectual Property From Western Firms Seeking To Bid On Government Contracts

The Chinese communists have never had any regard for intellectual property rights or for that matter international law, being the major source for anything and everything counterfeit. This dynamic is perpetuated by a systemic culture of criminal fraud within the highest levels of the state. And now we have this. Simply amazing. We can thank Bill Clinton, possibly our worst President, and an equally terrible Republican Congress for a criminal and secretive trade agreement with a criminal communist state that shares no moral connection with a self-determined democratic society.

The Clinton White House has a long and morally-suspect connection to China across a wide array of dubious topics including the possible transfer of sensitive U.S. military technology. An incredibly horrible President who still somehow manages to bamboozle society while George Bush is demonized for the outcomes of many of Clinton's absolutely horrendous policies. All because Bill Clinton is a smooth-talking manipulator with a line of bullshit a mile long while George Bush has the public speaking skills of a rock. But hey, on a positive note Clinton made over $120 million since leaving office by taking advantage of the political connections made while supposedly leading our country.

All is fare in the free market, eh?
posted by TimingLogic at 7:41 AM links to this post

The Most Prized Jobs In The Most Prized Company In The Most Prized Industry Are Based On Mental Masturbation According To Goldman Sachs Employee

If ever there was a universal truth uttered by anyone this cycle, it was uttered by the Goldman Sachs employee who should be learning the ins and outs of wearing soap on a rope instead of making millions of dollars by bilking society courtesy of a captured federal government and taxpayer bailouts.

Continuing to talk about himself in the third person, he wrote, “Standing in the middle of all these complex, highly levered, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all the implications of those monstruosities!!! Anyway, not feeling too guilty about this. ...”

In an e-mail to his girlfriend, he called his “Frankenstein” creation “a product of pure intellectual masturbation, the type of thing which you invent telling yourself: ‘Well, what if we created a “thing,” which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price?’ ”

In another e-mail to her, he blithely joked that he was selling toxic bonds “to widows and orphans that I ran into at the airport.” At least the Fabulous Fab had the good manners to cloak his feelings of fabulousness in front of the committee and put on an earnest mask. Luckily for Goldman, greed may trump ethics. The firm’s stock closed higher Tuesday. Wholesale olive oil closed higher as well.


This is why we as a society have had to backstop tens of trillions of dollars. This is why we seek to give more power to the completely incompetent Federal Reserve. This is what our government leadership told us was necessary to save so that we could have a vibrant economy and recovery. This is what the Goldman Sachs CEO and our former Treasury Secretary created. These are the jobs of the future our brilliant Wall Street leaders and Washington politicians have chosen for our society while giving away the greatest industrial powerhouse the world has ever seen.

The market punishes stupidity mercilessly. Or put another way, there is a reason a flightless bird with the brain the size of a pea, the Dodo bird, went extinct once predators were introduced to its ecosystem. That the Dodo birds in the United States government and 0n Wall Street believe they need to save this system and continue to lobby against reform while politicians squabble about how much to reform this stupidity, is stupidity in itself. Effectively a form of double stupidity. Stupidity squared. Is there such a thing as double jeopardy stupidity? As we have said repeatedly, bring back Glass Steagall. Ban the merger of banks and investment banks. Ban all co-mingling of financial services. Ban any kind of bank trading in any market be that the bank holding company or the actual bank. We don't need to give our banks the ability to even trade as a hedge. There is no hedge against stupidity. An economy based on sound fundamentals of a self-determined people is the best hedge for a sound banking system.

A long time ago we wrote on here that whenever a society held banking up as the most prized jobs, that was a sign of a completely brainwashed belief system. Banking is a bureaucratic function. A possibly noble job but still a bureaucratic job. Nature soon finds a way to rid itself of stupidity. ie, Natural selection, survival of the fittest, evolution or whatnot. It would be nice to see our government attempt to proactively transform out economy in order to mitigate the next crisis and create economic opportunity but it really doesn't matter what our lobbyist-bribed government does or doesn't do. Just like the Dodo bird, nature will take care of similar Dodos running our economy, our political apparatus and Wall Street.
posted by TimingLogic at 5:28 AM links to this post

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ECB's Trichet Uses Bernanke's Central Bankster Fear Tactics On EU Citizens - Bail Out Greece Right Now Or Else

So much for those who were squabbling that the dollar was going to zero and the euro was a stable currency. Remember those days? Not too long ago that was what every blabbering idiot who could grab a microphone was so proud to share with us. Once again, they were all wrong.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 12:05 PM links to this post

S&P Cuts Spain's Credit Rating To AA

posted by TimingLogic at 12:00 PM links to this post

Quick Remarks About Goldman Sachs' Testimony

Most investors make the assumption that people selling them securities want those securities to succeed. That's how our markets ought to work, but they don't always. The Senators who in the 1930s investigated the causes of the Great Depression stated the principle clearly:

Investors must believe that their investment banker would not offer them the bonds unless the banker believed them to be safe. This throws a heavy responsibility upon the banker. He may and does make mistakes. There is no way that he can avoid making mistakes because he is human and because in this world, things are only relatively secure. There is no such thing as absolute security. But while the banker may make mistakes, he must never make the mistake of offering investments to his clients which he does not believe to be good.

Goldman documents make clear that in 2007 it was betting heavily against the housing market while it was selling investments in that market to its clients. It sold those clients high-risk mortgage-backed securities and CDOs that it wanted to get off its books in transactions that created a conflict of interest between Goldman's bottom line and its clients' interests.

--Senator Carl Levin's remarks in yesterday's Subcommittee on Investigations testimony

Just a few remarks since the Goldman testimony has wrapped up. I took most of the day off and watched the testimony. I'm not sure anything criminally-damning was discussed but this is far and away the most damning information that the public has seen about the conflicts of interest, if not outright fraud, on Wall Street. In other words, the court of public opinion is going to be able to rule with even more moral clarity given this damning testimony. And I was right about my remarks some days ago re Blankfein not understanding markets, economics or business. His testimony was very perplexing on many topics - risk management, the role of banking in society, the role of Goldman's client in the success of its business, why we create markets, what role speculation plays in a business market, etc. Seemingly this CEO has a very limited grasp of reality or his special purpose granted to Goldman Sachs by a democratic society. In fact, after this testimony, I think it's high odds Blankfein will be given an opportunity by the board to leave Goldman Sachs.

Wall Street has so consumed itself with a business model that is so completely irrelevant to the economy that I don't think he or anyone else on Wall Street really understands they are completely irrelevant. In fact, a Goldman executive remarked today that were certain regulations enacted that American financial firms would be less competitive in those markets and we would most certainly lose business to overseas financial markets. That remark was specifically about derivatives but it could be expanded to a multitude of topics covering the vast majority of Wall Street's business model. My response to that loss of business is that we could only be so lucky to lose these businesses to any foreign financial market that would be so incompetent to embrace incredibly risky gambling schemes which add no economic value and, in fact, destroy society's wealth. Wall Street truly is in a bubble. And with it goes a completely deluded incompetence.

This testimony will be dissected countless ways by a somewhat rejuvenated "independent" press (what little of it remains independent) that has an axe to grind with Wall Street after being decimated by this crisis. This was far and away the most damning exposure yet. There is no way Wall Street will ever be able to return to the schemes of the past. Of course, we have been stating that since this crisis started. The status quo has lost even though they were temporarily bailed out and are still sucking society dry with their schemes and scams. The only question I have is given the advancement of electronic markets, why do we need Wall Street at all? Will Wall Street as we know it even survive the next ten years? It would surely be better were it to disappear and be replaced by a distributed electronic market for almost all of the services it provides.
posted by TimingLogic at 7:14 AM links to this post

Senator Dodd - Best Friend Of The Bankster Carves Out Special Favors For His Cronies

As Grand Poobah of the bankster committee in Congress, our proud Senator from the state of Connecticut is doing anything and everything he can to protect the status quo. That includes personally impeding an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Financial reform today is nothing more than lip service with an attempt to perpetuate the fraudulent behavior of Wall Street.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 5:58 AM links to this post

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

S&P Cuts Greece's Credit Rating To Junk

posted by TimingLogic at 12:06 PM links to this post

Goldman Executive Calls One Of The Products It Sold To Clients As "One Shitty Deal"

Well, he was right. It lost 80% of its value in a handful of months. It's good to be a client of Goldman Sachs. Who doesn't enjoy losing 80% of their investment in a few months? I know I do. That might make me feel good enough to take a dive off of the Sears Tower. What would be more fun than that?

Just a quick remark about the Goldman testimony today. I don't know where this will go but Senator Levin's opening remark of about thirty minutes was the most damning remarks of the financial community by a public official that I have ever personally witnessed. We'll see what becomes of it but none of the Senators seemed to be in a particularly good mood and unlike prior testimonies to the banking committees, there was no collegial tone of thanking the banksters for taking time out from their schedule to grace our well-lobbied government officials.

Not all in Congress are behind this massive fraud on Wall Street. Levin, Kaufman and McCain from this panel seem intent on truly reforming Wall Street. In fact, McCain is attempting to bring back Glass Steagall. Something I completely support without exception.

The testimony is live on C-SPAN but it will be available in its entirety tomorrow.
posted by TimingLogic at 10:57 AM links to this post

Legitimacy Driven By Moral Clarity Encourages Dissent - China's Communists Seek To Tighten Grip On Dissent

Years ago we wrote that coming volatility and possibly even revolution in China would lead to a crackdown on freedoms. Both revolution and a rise in state control at that time were generally considered to be completely ridiculous notions. Especially by other members of the illegitimate status quo on Wall Street, in the economics community and the big business community. Not any more. Rest assured, the communists know the risks for civil unrest within a political structure with no moral clarity. This trend most certainly will continue.

Legitimacy welcomes and encourages dissent. It has nothing to hide and everything to gain. It exists through policies determined by moral clarity. It is noble and virtuous. It hones the blade of its moral superiority and betters itself through reasoned dissent and new ideas. Illegitimacy fears dissent for it knows it maintains itself only through control and power. How many illegitimate bureaucracies can you name in the world today? Not just governments either.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:16 AM links to this post

New Poll: President Obama and Ron Paul In Dead Heat For 2012 Presidential Election

Interesting poll. It clearly shows a disconnect from the political class with 95% of political elites preferring Obama while 58% of main street supporting Paul. Our President won this election based on a populist message. ie Main street. He has turned out to simply be another politician elite and that is the crux of this poll. We can hope the President will embrace his populist message before 2012 but that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee. He has turned out to be another corporatist and a supporter of the political status quo. He is not a reformer. He is not a leader.

I probably disagree with about half of Ron Paul's positions on a variety of topics and given my political views are generally mainstream that's a problem for him ever getting over 50% of the vote. That said, were an election held today, I would clearly vote for Ron Paul simply because Washington is so corrupt that I can put those differences aside. As it pertains to Washington, Paul speaks a great deal of truth and, more importantly, he has shown he will not compromise on issues of virtue, integrity and what he believes to be right and wrong in the role of government driven by his interpretation of the Constitution. There is no appeasement on issues he strongly believes are moral issues. Our current President seems to lead from a position of appeasement.

There are two keys to driving a movement against incumbents. One is to be anti-establishment given the way Washington is dominated by special interests and seamy deals. The second is to be a populist. ie, To restore restore trust and transparency to our government but to also restore constitutional government by We the People.

The political elites cannot marginalize dissent this cycle as they have so many other cycles. They are trying as best they can. But unlike relatively normal times, this dissent is a populist dissent. I could care less if a candidate is a conservative or a progressive on political issues. I just care that they restore virtue and return our country to its rightful owners both economically and politically. That would be We the People. This poll clearly shows dissent is not abating but actually increasing. That's a very good thing for the future of our country.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:00 AM links to this post

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Goldman Sachs (Wall Street) Ponzi Profit Engine Continues And Other Timely Remarks About Wall Street's Endless Fraud Courtesy Of The State

Let's throw up a weekend post that is light-hearted. Not really light-hearted per se. More like laughable.

A friend sent me this old Courier & Ives print shown below. It's from the Library of Congress and is approximately 135 years old. It pretty much sums up countless posts on here remarking of Washington and Wall Street's endless stupidity. And I truly do mean stupidity.

How often have we written on here that humanity and specifically Wall Street learns nothing? That we as human beings are no more intelligent than people who lived thousands of years ago? The only dynamic that separates us from civilizations living ages ago is our accumulated knowledge. Or, in the case of Wall Street, our accumulated ignorance. Hand in hand with any knowledge goes an accumulated belief system that is completely erroneous and without any merit. That is extremely true as it pertains to the marvelous bubble in brainwashed belief systems held within finance, economics, big business and our current political structure. In other words, Wall Street and politicians have unlearned countless truths of the past and are, therefore, substantially more ignorant in many regards than civilizations who lived before us. They are definitely more ignorant that American society was just sixty years ago. Or 135 years ago in the case of this Courier & Ives print.

Goldman Sachs released record earnings this week. Amazing huh? Not really. Not when you create the rules to the game. Rules that involve dismantling society's rule of law or circumvents competition by having privileged or asymmetric access to information. This most definitely is the case for Wall Street's biggest profit engine, trading. We wrote leading up to this crisis that perceived brilliance associated with Goldman Sachs has been a harbinger of economic doom throughout its history. Goldman Sachs' business model defines pretty much 'The Way to Grow Poor' in the Courier & Ives print below. Something that apparently only about five people in today's society seem to understand. Or should I say five people with the microphone. Millions of Americans surely understand 'The Way to Grow Rich' because they live in the real world and have to put food on their table by doing something other than pushing around paper or gambling, mostly with other people's money, which is synonymous with the Goldman Sachs way.

It's no coincidence we have been the only voice on the planet earth who has said Goldman Sachs could actually fail if they don't change their business model. Alternatively, you have truly ignorant carnival barkers like Jim Cramer who have the microphone of society and are in love with the Goldman Sachs franchise of foolishness. It seems quite apparent to me that neither former Goldman CEO and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson nor current CEO Lloyd Blankfein know anything about capital markets, finance, business or economics. They surely know a lot about current belief systems, dismantling the rule of law, rigging the system and cronyism. It's not too much of a stretch to believe these two leaders of Goldman have unwittingly set the company up for ultimate failure based entirely on a faulty belief system they themselves are substantially deluded by. Brainwashed by. And that is exactly what we have been writing of on here.

I remain very dubious about the lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. As I wrote after its announcement, the SEC is notorious for filing civil cases against Wall Street and then settling, often out of court. Unless we see a serious effort at investigating criminal fraud at other firms on Wall Street or expanding this case to the corner offices of Goldman Sachs due to growing public pressure, this could very well be a politically-motivated attempt to reassure main street. This case could end with a whimper. That will be hard to navigate publicly now that the lid is off the can of worms. But, as it pertains to Goldman Sach's business model, there is nothing that can be politically-rigged or whitewashed. Goldman is in very serious trouble because of market forces that will weigh heavily on the firm. So regardless of what happens as it pertains to litigation, karma for Goldman Sachs will indeed be a bitch. Of course, the same could be said of other firms on Wall Street. In other words, the financial bubble is going to implode regardless of anything the Federal Reserve or politicians try to do to stop it.

We have a bunch of learned idiots running our financial system and our country. They are trying to save a system that should be dismantled expeditiously. There is no value in keeping jobs that destroy capital. When I hear Congresspeople like Mitch McConnell telling us that we need jobs and re-regulating and even prohibiting dubious activity on Wall Street will cost jobs, it sounds more like a mafia boss telling us why we should continue allowing prostitution, gambling and the distribution of heroin in the name of creating jobs. Many Wall Street jobs involve extremely seamy practices or worse, they are destructive to the economy and fraudulent. Oh wait. Isn't the mafia dynamic the basis for government now wanting to legalize marijuana or to build more casinos to raise government revenues? I support legalized marijuana because the government shouldn't be in the business of making criminals rich via prohibition of a substance no more dangerous than cigarettes, alcohol, genetically-modified foods or fast food. And I believe anyone should be able to offer legalized gambling in their establishment in lieu of the government-business corporatist casino monopolies used as taxing vehicles, making a few privileged people rich by defeating competition while supporting more and more incompetence in government.

The Parliament of Whores has destroyed our economy and our regulations for donations and personal power. They have and continue to write countless millions of lines of law that have no relevance to anything other than creating loopholes for personal gain of special interests at the expense of our society and the expense of greater competition and economic vibrancy. Each new piece of fraudulent legislation adds another nail in our economic coffin rather than reviving it through virtuous regulation and market-based competition. And so, rather than transform our society in this time of crisis, politicians seek to keep an illegitimate system going. One that is killing the American economy and American citizen's livelihood. All for personal power and greed. For the benefit of party ideology over virtue and integrity. This is why rules and laws of economic engagement should be written once and never modified unless absolutely necessary as defined by some rigorous litmus test. A perfect example is the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act for personal gain and ideology. And any change in the rule of law deemed necessary should be made because it is in the best interests of the people of this country with complete transparency not under the influence of special interests in back room deals. Because most politicians would sell their mother to a pimp for a dollar. And that is exactly why we are in this mess. The leaderless society continues its descent.

Tell me again, how does Wall Street benefit society? Since Lloyd Blankfein is so busy doing God's work, maybe he could take a moment, you know, like in between conversations with God, and outline how Goldman's business model creates long term capital and wealth for American citizens. Maybe he could use examples of wealth creation in, say Compton, California or East Chicago, Indiana or Detroit, Michigan. I'm not talking about how it generates profits by wealth transfer and market-rigging but the actual net-new creation of wealth for society. First of all, I honestly don't believe Lloyd would even understand what I am talking about. On the remote chance he did, it would be a very, very, very brief outline. All part of change you can believe in. It's good to be the king. Not much longer though.

Click on the graphic for a larger readable view. Click once to expand the picture in its own window. Then click again for an even larger original size.

posted by TimingLogic at 5:59 AM links to this post

Saturday, April 24, 2010

D-Day Is Tuesday: Goldman Sachs' Absolutely Sickening Email Exchanges

This is the same kind of sickening, reprehensible exchanges that happened at Enron when its executives laughed at the misery they were causing poor people unable to pay their energy bills by manipulating California's energy markets. As we highlighted before, people died during heat waves due to those manipulations. By the way, that energy manipulation still exists but rather than Enron, it is happening on Wall Street.

Tuesday's testimony in front of Senator Levin and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations could be a defining moment in the history of this country. I hate to overdramatize it but Levin has a history of disdain for Wall Street shenanigans and is a crafty old bird. And, in fact his efforts produced a report some years ago showing Wall Street was manipulating energy markets. Something we have hammered on for years. An issue that has not been addressed one iota.

If Levin and others in Congress can raise public awareness and shift public opinion on Tuesday, it could start an avalanche that Wall Street is unable to control regardless of how much money they spend lobbying Congress. The court of public opinion is much more important than anything the SEC is currently doing. The court of public opinion could drive future activity at the SEC, the FBI, the FDIC, Congress, the White House, etc. Don't be too surprised if Senator Levin isn't quite well aware of this fact and, in fact, has called this session for that every reason. We'll just have to watch and see how serious this is.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:22 PM links to this post

New Emails Refute Goldman Sachs' Claims And Show It Helped Create Housing Bubble Then Profited From Its Collapse

Is this what type of activity we as a society desire from our banks? A free-for-all where banks use their privilege granted by society to destroy the lives of innocent Americans while paying themselves untold riches of our money by doing so?
posted by TimingLogic at 12:14 PM links to this post

Bill Moyers And William K. Black Video Interview: Our Political Culture Is Deeply Criminogenic And Many Of Our Current CEOs Are Sociopaths

A very damning interview of criminal corruption in Washington and Wall Street.

William Black is such a good interview because he is an insider and an attorney who is the world's most renowned expert on white collar financial fraud.

Black remarks of the latest current events and hammers all of the lies perpetrated by Wall Street and Washington including criminal negligence perpetuated by the SEC and the Federal Reserve. Black doesn't believe the SEC is fully engaged (This is obvious to anyone who is intellectually engaged.) because there are no criminal charges against Wall Street CEOs or senior executives including at Goldman Sachs. He states there never could have been fraud at Goldman Sachs without senior executive involvement given the size of these deals. He outright states that if the SEC were really engaged, the CEO and senior executives at Goldman Sachs would be charged with criminal fraud. He states that there have been investigations into six firms and strong evidence of fraud was found in all six firms yet no criminal charges have been made.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:26 AM links to this post

Bill Moyers And FCC Chair Michael J. Copps: Keeping The Internet Democratic And Ensuring Our Democratic Future Through A Strong News Media

The world is going to dearly miss Bill Moyers when he retires next week. A journalist, a critical thinker and a person with great empathy for the causes of all people. He is a person of great virtue.

This is one of the best discussions I have seen on the role of the news media in a free society and the constructive role government must play in a democracy. That includes the tour of town hall meetings the FCC held across the United States to solicit feedback on the destruction of our media by corporatist interests. The American people were clearly very engaged and very well-informed of the threats a deregulated media are to democracy. (Thanks to Bill Clinton. Once again Bill Clinton was more than likely the worst President in our history from a policy standpoint. As we have noted before, George Bush was a very poor President but Bill Clinton left him with an economy and policy in shambles.)

If our society is going to return to prosperity, government needs to work on behalf of the people aka we must have the return of a rule of law. We must overturn the fraudulent deregulation and destruction of our society by the corporatist state.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:20 AM links to this post

Friday, April 23, 2010

While The SEC Investigated Goldman Sachs, Its CEO Visited The White House At Least Four Times

posted by TimingLogic at 10:33 PM links to this post

Neville Chamberlain Obama's Speech Of Regulatory Appeasement To Wall Street

Early in 2009 I remarked at how history treats naiveté and appeasement. Especially when dealing with power-seekers and evil-doers. Many of whom are just aching to hold hands and profess their undying love for all of humanity and confess of their shortcomings. That's a joke for those who are half asleep while reading this.

Appeasement seems to be a relatively common theme in this current Presidency, both at home and abroad. Being cordial, gracious and virtuous is one thing. Appeasement is quite another. Appeasement sends a signal of weakness to people who are often sociopathic predators who sense such weakness. If nothing else, most power-seekers have sociopathic tendencies and can easily sense weakness. It's no coincidence President Roosevelt labeled the American war engine the Arsenal of Democracy and that religion often portrays God as a god of wrath. We know by human behavior throughout history that the fight against evil cannot be won through naiveté and appeasement. And make no mistake, we are indeed witnessing evil, often sociopathic, today in the fraud and corruption that consumes Wall Street.

President Obama's plea to Wall Street to join him in financial reform is a disgrace in my opinion. We cannot and will not ever get true financial reform now that we see the methods used against a cabal that understands one thing. Power. And I respect President Obama immensely as a person so I get no satisfaction watching this charade. One of the problems with this Presidency is that it seems to have a problem of being able to stand up straight on issues of virtue, leadership and re-establishing the rule of law aka confidence in our government. That's usually caused by some type of spinal disorder. Neville Chamberlain also had the same condition. We saw what happened with Neville - his enemies, both domestic and abroad, consumed him with the ease of an after dinner mint.

It's time for our President to wake up. One can be cordial, stately and even gregarious while being an asshole. And sometimes you just have to be asshole when dealing with assholes, something both Presidents Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt knew quite well. It's time for Lady Columbia to smite the evil-doers.

Video link of the President's speech here.
posted by TimingLogic at 4:40 PM links to this post

Joke Of The Week: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Says SEC Case Against Goldman Sachs Hurts America. BAAAAAAHAAAAAA!!!

posted by TimingLogic at 3:52 PM links to this post

Euro Is Headed Towards A New Weekly Closing Low Against The Dollar

Our buddies over at Government Sachs have been bullish on the euro and bearish on the dollar. Apparently, they were unable to manipulate policy decisions governing the movement of both since they have been exactly wrong. Goldman Sachs is going to be on the wrong side of many trades in the future. We are in a period driven by fundamentals where they cannot manipulate policy and be assured of outcomes. The biggest trade they are on the wrong side of is We the People. More about that on Sunday's post.

I pulled this graphic yesterday but the euro/dollar trade is about making a new weekly closing low. The Eurozone continues to unravel. The only question is whether we will witness a classic Kabuki theater presentation or a very dramatic improvisational street drama.

I'm voting we'll eventually see the dramatic improvisational street drama. ie, In my opinion, we ain't seen nothin yet and it could get very ugly. National sovereignty is back in vogue. It has taken longer than I expected courtesy of the profligacy of bureaucrats who love spending other people's money but once the party gets cranked up, it's going to be deafening. The German people are not going to be bailing out half of Europe. Nor is the other half of Europe in need of a bailout going to continue to pad the balance sheets of France and Germany. Spain and Greece's economy, like that of the U.S., would roar with the right economic policies. While bonds of may European countries are cratering comparative to Germany today, only a fool would be buying German bonds here. Big trouble for Germany is dead ahead regardless of how Eurozone dynamics play out.

Bureaucrats seeking to usurp national sovereignty are in serious, serious, serious trouble. Well, if we must be blunt, their gig is up. It's just a matter of letting fundamentals run their course. We all may be part of the human family but our unalienable rights are protected by sovereign rule of law. Not by bureaucratic idiots espousing a borderless view of the world where the rule of law is always the lowest common denominator. ie, Our oft-remarked race to the bottom of the barrel that involves massive fraud, corruption and no effective rule of law.

Booyah! Buy! Buy! Buy!


posted by TimingLogic at 5:28 AM links to this post

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Report Just Released By The Department Of Health And Human Services: Private For-Profit Health Insurance Mandate Will Raise Nations Costs

So much for the blathering by the President talking about how all of the "experts" said ....... The reality is no experts really said anything because we didn't have any honest debate about this bill. I guess the President's own economic staff at the Department of Health and Human Services didn't get the memo. The memo telling them to eat the dog food.

If this plan doesn't lower costs, then why exactly did we pass it? Oh that's right. Because it was a political necessity for the Democrats to show they could get something done. That they could lead. Even if that something was incompetence, which we always knew it was. This somehow doesn't jive with the information the Secretary of Health and Human Services told us before passage of this bill. Maybe she should resign for misrepresenting the biggest statist bill on planet earth since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Can we get a new vote on the bill now that we have some new facts?

posted by TimingLogic at 9:42 PM links to this post

Ron Paul : End The Unconstitutional Corporatist (Fascist) For-Profit Private Health Insurance Mandate

Every day that goes by we see more and more attempts by private insurance companies to game Americans on the verge of serious illness or death. And now we are legally-mandated to buy this fraud and corruption? This is not health care reform. It's the state mandating policies for the supposed greater good. Some bureaucrat with their "best idea" about reform. There is no greater good than all people being free of economically-crippling mandates. There are countless ways to reform our health care system. This isn't one of them. Congressman Paul has introduced a bill doing away with the mandate portion of the recently passed health insurance bill.

Frankly, instead of a 2,400 page bill, we could have accomplished a greater good by offering any American the ability to buy into Medicare at cost. Those unable to pay the premiums for this service would be offered some type of assistance. Preferably a tax on the top one percent of Americans. Since the bottom 20% of Americans don't have access to stable or affordable health insurance because of the influence-peddling of the top one percent of Americans, they can easily bear the burden for their lobbying efforts circumventing the democratic workings of our government. That bill could have been written in less than 15 pages. Literally.

I still plan to put my ideas for reform up sometime in 2010. Reforms that would have created countless millions of new jobs.

posted by TimingLogic at 4:40 PM links to this post

Private For-Profit Health Insurer Routinely Targets Breast Cancer Patients For Policy Recision

Is there any virtue left in the corporatocracy? Anything that is not predatory? Bust up the health insurance monopolies.
posted by TimingLogic at 2:03 PM links to this post

The Cycle Of Volatility - North Korea At Night

Let's look at one of our themes, volatility. As we have written ad nauseam, The last time we witnessed anything similar was the time frame around the Great Depression.

The world is substantially underestimating volatility in coming years. Very, very substantially. Volatility is building in a wide array of dynamics including remarks we have made re potential famine, conflict, economic collapse, revolution and other outcomes.

North Korea is a country in permanent crisis. The proud owner of the bomb. The proud owner of a pathological leader. T proud owner of a brainwashed, closed society. Might you imagine any outcomes which could push a Korean crisis over the edge? In a cycle of volatility I could imagine countless risks associated with North Korea. A primary risk is a collapse in China. China is North Korea's primary trading partner and financial backer. A collapse in China could result in a North Korea unable to feed itself.

Below is a satellite photo of North Korea at night. I believe this is about ten years old. The white dots are exactly what you would expect. They are lights. See anything disconcerting with this picture? Duh. The black hole of North Korea. This is an extreme example of what is possible with a system of economic feudalism, serfdom and cronyism. Where self-determination is interrupted by a handful of bureaucrats. On some substantially lesser level, this type of economic stagnation is what we see in the United States as a result of monopolies and government's endless encroachment on our economic freedoms both directly and as a result of neoliberal economic policies.



posted by TimingLogic at 10:09 AM links to this post

Volatility Update : Did North Korea Torpedo South Korea's Navy Ship?

posted by TimingLogic at 9:49 AM links to this post

An Update On GM's Transformation And A Look At Its New CEO

Yesterday GM paid the government back its loans. Today let's look at a profile of GM's new CEO. Finally, after decades of mismanagement by financial executives both GM and Ford are being run by people who know how to solve problems and making things. That is, engineers.

I worked for GM when I was in college. One day the CEO came to our facility. We knew in advance and days were spent preparing the facility for the arrival of the king. When he showed up there was literally an entourage of fifty sycophantic minions from corporate following him around. They would invariably nod up and down when he said something profound, like, "get me a coffee". (At that time, this was about as profound as a GM CEO would ever get.)

When I first started in business, there used to be a very profound management style that was pervasive in the United States. This was before the rise of MBA programs focusing on Powerpoint presentations, analysis paralysis of reams of data and general theories of profundity. It was called Management by Walking Around.

It seems GM's new CEO, an old-timer, still values a proven leadership skill. In a corporation where ideas are the life-blood of success, it's amazing what you might learn by walking in unannounced and asking someone what they are working on or how their day is going. This is not a favored management style by our current crop of kings. It's also not a favorite leadership style of our politicians in their ivory towers who would rather use divining rods and Ouija boards to glean what is in the best interest of We the People........Our leaderless society......

As we wrote in many of our posts, including our bullish post on Ford when it looked like the company was in a state of permanent misery, if not eventual collapse, the primary goal of a CEO should be to unlock the intellectual capital contained within the organization. To be a facilitator and coach. How better to do that than by actually understanding what's on the mind of associates? What ideas they may have for making the company more successful. This very fact is the basis for lean manufacturing and for the Toyota Way. A form of somewhat democratic corporation........ I wonder how leaderless Washington politics might change were this to be a regular requirement of of being a public servant? I don't think they like coming out of their castles after the ramrodding the American people gave them over how they handled the health care bill.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 8:32 AM links to this post

Andrew Cockburn On The Sham Of Financial Re-regulation, More Mandated Taxpayer Bailouts Planned And More Stoogery By Banker Buddy Geithner

These conversations between banker stooge Geithner and Blanche Lincoln sound eerily similar to the that of Geithner's cronies in the Clinton administration and Brooksley Born. Blanche Lincoln's derivatives reform, discussed by Andrew at the link, was passed yesterday out of committee. If her legislation makes it into a passed bill, I'll believe Washington has seriously taken a stab at cleaning up Wall Street. It won't be enough but I'll give some credit to the Congress. I give the odds of that to be very, very, very, very low.
posted by TimingLogic at 8:12 AM links to this post

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Once Again Paddy Hirsch - This Time He Explains The Lawsuit Against Goldman Sachs

posted by TimingLogic at 10:39 AM links to this post

Unintended Consequence Of Mandated For-Profit Private Health Insurance Bil - California Alone Stands To Lose Half A Billion Dollars Over Ten Years

posted by TimingLogic at 6:09 AM links to this post

Brazilian Bovespa Weakness

It's not a coincidence that we have become very bearish on stocks over the last few months. And it's no coincidence we have remarked that recent strength in US stocks is likely due to repatriation of hot money while within weeks of the statement, China's market has a single day mini-collapse. It's also no coincidence the Brazilian Bovespa, a favorite of Wall Street, is showing similar weakness over the past week. The Bovespa is looking very toppy over the last five or six months and has made no progress in the last six months.

The market correction back in January and February was a very different type of correction than any other correction we have had since the rally started in 2009. And, in fact, American equities have outperformed since that correction. Many markets have recovered from that correction but for how long is the question? Global equities are still in a massive bubble. The biggest bubble in history. They will deflate again as economic doom hits the global economy. It's not a matter of if but when.

posted by TimingLogic at 5:35 AM links to this post

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is Goldman Sachs Now Liable To Shareholder Lawsuits For Nondisclosure Of SEC Investigation?

posted by TimingLogic at 4:50 PM links to this post

The Rise Of Major Corporate Power And The Risk Of Fascism In The United States

There are two articles which I am going to tie together. They are both from the same source - The Progressive. The first is a new article on the fraud of Corporate Personhood and the Supreme Court's complicity. Then as a follow on to the dynamic of corporate personhood and the "economic capture" of our government that results from it, is the potential for Fascism to come to America.

Because these two articles are at The Progressive, I want to make a few quick remarks. It seems many ideologically-driven conservative liars label progressivism as a precursor to anything that isn't democracy. That includes socialism, communism and fascism. That is absurdly inaccurate and driven by a rewriting of history. It seems like we are getting a lot of rewritten history lately including some pretty kooky remarks about the main issue behind the Civil War. That these remarks about the Civil War are tied to the equally kooky Virginia governor pronouncement of confederate month is no coincidence. Some are now saying the Civil War was about free trade. This is eerily reminiscent of the crazies who want to rewrite Hitler's atrocities in World War II. There are always revisionists with an agenda. The search to uncover truth is one thing. Lies are another. That there were secondary issues between industrial and agrarian states is surely true. To say that slavery was not the primary issue in the Civil War is preposterous. I guess the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment were just issued for the hell of it.

I have noted countless times that Thomas Jefferson was a progressive. In fact, Thomas Jefferson's disdain for corporate power is quoted in the first article above. Socialism and communism are far left political notions of fairness. Some deluded ideological state of nirvana. They are foolish notions because they do not take into account the human condition. In other words, they make an assumption that most or all people are good and of the same mind. That is a completely invalid assumption with absolutely no basis in reality. People are not good. Nor are they bad. People are people. They all suffer from the human condition which is a very, very complex state of consciousness. The fact that people are not good is the very reason why government, Wall Street, the Catholic Church or no other major bureaucracy should ever be trusted without complete transparency.

Fascism is a far right political manifestation driven substantially of being pro-business. Obviously these are very simplistic remarks because I am not going to write a book. But as we wrote some time ago, it was a pro-business putsch by right-leaning American business leaders that sought to overthrow the United States government under Franklin Roosevelt. Because they thought the United States needed a strong pro-business leader like Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler loved American businesses just like China does today. How much of that story is true is up for debate but there seems to be some evidence as outlined in the BBC documentary. These general themes of pro-business are what has become the ideology of the modern Republican party at the national level. Which is why, if you consider yourself a conservative, you likely support little that is going on with Washington Republican elites. It is also why only 12% of Americans have constructive opinions about the national Republican party. It's also why the Republican party is deluded if they they think they are going to take back Washington. The revolt against Washington is against incumbents, not a particular party.

Regardless, both far left and far right ideologies seeking to circumvent democracy are neoliberal ideologies. In other words, a chosen few believe they have the right to rule as our kings and queens. Neoliberalism is much deeper than this as we have remarked before but again I don't feel like writing a book. Needless to say, neoliberalism is running rampant in Washington regardless of political party.

The greatest threat to the United States today is not socialism. It's fascism. A far right big-business corporatocracy involving our federal government. It's also why every American should support State's Rights instead of labeling people who support this dynamic as kooks. Was Thomas Jefferson a kook? He is a father of State's Rights. We see seeds of fascism already in existence with the economic capture of our federal government by big business. If you want one reason to enforce anti-trust regulation across all industries, this is it. Maybe Paul Krugman should learn a little about reality before he writes senseless op-eds that he sees no reason to break up big banks. A clown indeed.

It is a push from the right driven by the corporatist environment that has consumed our federal government with fraud and corruption. And now it has captured both parties and all of Washington. I don't believe fascism subverting our Constitution permanently is remotely possible but who knows. They have subverted it temporarily. This is an issue worth raising so people will get on board with a rejection of Corporate Personhood as the biggest issue facing our country, our economy, our jobs and our future.

We didn't have anti-trust regulations over one hundred years old just for the hell of it.

We have repeatedly remarked that we are not pro-business. That government being pro-business is the foundation of what has gotten the United States into this economic mess. And that we need a return to policy that is pro-markets. Pro-market is not pro-business at all. They couldn't be more different. Pro-markets is based in democracy and opportunity. Of self-determination and free will. Pro-markets would mean an end to all of these trade agreements influenced by a big-business captured federal government. Pro-markets would drive a return to entrepreneurialism and economic opportunity. Pro-markets would be driven by public banking. We don't need Wall Street. Let's take this opportunity to permanently ditch that den of vipers as well.
posted by TimingLogic at 11:59 AM links to this post

Republicans At SEC Voted Against Charging Goldman Sachs With Fraud

Anyone who is a political conservative and somehow believes Washington Republicans represent their values needs a wakeup call. Washington Republicans are the original founders of neoliberalism. There is no doubt in my mind this partisan vote is tied to the recent attempts of Washington Republican leadership to get Wall Street lobbyist to line their pockets in lieu of the equally corrupt Democratic party. Neither party represents the people of this country at the national level. There may be a handful of good, hard working Congresspersons but they are limited in their ability to do good by the national party leadership. First and foremost comes loyalty to the party. Dissent is not tolerated. Sound familiar? I think a few other parties throughout history sought loyalty at all cost. They weren't in the United States. And they weren't democracies.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:59 AM links to this post

Amazing Pictures From Iceland's Volcanic Eruptions

posted by TimingLogic at 8:33 AM links to this post

Confidence In Government Has Collapsed 75% In The Last Forty Years While The Status Quo Remains In Their Deluded Bubble For Now.

But we know all good things come to an end. So too shall the stupidity in Washington.

We can see on this graphic that there were a few blips upward but the overall trend has been down for decades. The mainstream media and many leftist political ideologues wants us to believe it is only fringe kooks who don't trust the government. Preposterous. This is not an issue that can be defined by extremists or political ideology. This transcends issues of morality for the majority of the people in the United States. We the People are now too informed to be duped by the mainstream media or politicians.

The American economy peaked somewhere between 1980 and 1990 so these polls track quite closely with fundamentals. We see a blip in the late 1990s due to President Clinton's policy decisions which stoked the illusion of wealth which led to the criminally-induced Wall Street technology bubble. (Where was the prosecution for that massive theft?) The technology bubble was a massive lie that had almost nothing to do with underlying economic fundamentals or real innovation. Wall Street truly did bamboozle Americans in that scam. Then a short bout of nationalism following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 where we saw confidence roar to an astounding 40%. Other than that, Americans of all walks of life haven't trusted our government for a long, long time. And that is as it should be. When the government works as public servants on behalf of the American people, we can trust our government.

All of these Washington proclamations of health care reform, financial reform, ending wars, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, fixing the economy and on and on and on are simply more lies galvanizing the American people's views. It's doublespeak meant to convince Americans that the Washington political boobs are on the job while they simply give us more of the same con jobs.

The American people are substantially smarter than our political idiots or mainstream media give us credit for. And that will ultimately be the demise of this massive corruption bubble in Washington.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 5:22 AM links to this post

Monday, April 19, 2010

China Update - Shanghai Index Drops A Murderous 5% On Monday

We'll have more disturbing remarks about financial markets by the end of the week. But the Shanghai Index took a very, very hard hit on Monday. The index has been in a downtrend since November of last year.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:52 PM links to this post

On The Surface It Appears The SEC May Have To Charge All Of Wall Street With Fraud For Goldman Case To Stick

posted by TimingLogic at 6:30 PM links to this post

Is Senator Levin Readying A Goldman Sachs Trial By Public Opinion Needed To Overcome Washington's Money-Driven Resistance To True Financial Reform?

posted by TimingLogic at 4:21 PM links to this post

Top Goldman Leaders - Including CEO Doing God's Work - Said To Have Had Role In Mortgage Unit Charged With Fraud

posted by TimingLogic at 11:19 AM links to this post

The Documentary Movie "Food, Inc." To Be Shown On PBS This Week - PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND WATCH IT!

We have highlighted the movie Food, Inc. a few times on here and encouraged people to see it. For anyone who believes our government has been hijacked by Wall Street, you'll appreciate this movie for the sameness of the dynamic in our food industry. The reality is Washington has been hijacked by anyone with enough money to buy favor. That most assuredly is the case within the purview of the Food and Drug Administration. An organization that has been decimated by this neoliberal economic ideology over the last thirty years.

Alan Greenspan has now famously remarked that his libertarian leanings led him to incorrectly believe that markets worked best when they were self-regulated. Greenspan has proven himself to be an ideological boob who should go down in history books as an asshat. How about using market-based gaming theory and mathematics to determine economic policy rather than political leanings? You don't run monetary policy or the economy based on political leanings. This free market stupidity shows a fundamental lack of understanding of markets and mathematics. Libertarianism is a political ideology not a branch of mathematics. A view that the economy should be run on libertarian ideals is like saying we should eat our automobiles when we are done with them. both statements are completely without reason.

If you watch Food, Inc., you will see this same neoliberal ideology we have come to love in financial markets. Food, Inc. discusses:

-Food regulations that have been gutted.
-Special favors within the food business are granted to those who wish to pay Washington
-Self-regulation of food businesses advocated by Greenspan at work in the food industry and the total number of inspections has been completely decimated.
-A once vibrant and competitive industry driven substantially by small business has now been completely gutted of competition and decent jobs because government has shown no regard to enforce anti-trust laws.
-Corporate-created industrialized food dominates American grocery shelves
-Industrialized food is produced in gargantuan quantities because it of massive tax subsidies provided to these producing corporations by American citizens courtesy of Washington payoffs to special interests
-Unregulated corporations destroying family farmers and small business entrepreneurs by depressing income and overproduction
-And because government incents these mega food corporations to overproduce all of this toxic industrial food, they need to find an outlet to get rid of all of it. So, not only do they shovel this shit onto our grocery shelves at below production cost, making it attractive to the economically underprivileged, but they also shovel this shit down our kid's throats in our public school food programs creating a health epidemic amongst Americans.

That's just a little of the pleasure you will witness. It's really a heart-warming movie. It's a movie every single American should see.

If our government or the mainstream media were seeking to education the sovereign people of this country, as they are constitutionally-mandated to do, so that our public servant could make decisions that are in the best interest of our nation, we wouldn't have this crisis. But, in fact, Washington is a den of thieves who generally cares not about anything other than their own drunken power and money-grabbing schemes. So, as I saw the other day on television on a Jamie Oliver special, we feed our kids breakfast pizza and pink milk with high fructose corn syrup laden cereal.

Link to the PBS Food, Inc. web site and show listing times here.
posted by TimingLogic at 10:31 AM links to this post

Goldman Sachs Responds To SEC Fraud Charges

The charges are completely unfounded in law and fact. And who should know the laws better than Goldman Sachs? They wrote them.
posted by TimingLogic at 10:11 AM links to this post

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goldman Sachs May Face Investigations In Europe

posted by TimingLogic at 7:20 PM links to this post

Supreme Court Justice Breyer Expects Substantial Litigation Against Mandated For-Profit Private Health Insurance Bill

It's really a shame that reasoned dissent to how this health insurance bill was passed is met with ridiculous political psychobabble by the media and political class. Back room dealings and spending of other people's money in slimey deals with corporations is something I don't think any level-headed American wants to see from its public servants.

So many in the political-media class, who really provide little critical thought other than how a subject impacts politics, want to make the health insurance reform bill a political Democrat-Republican. No, it's a right and wrong issue. Ultimately, were this a reasoned debate, we could have a discussion of whether health care is a human right and what we want health care in this country to look like. But we can't seem to get past the political babble. I had one rabid ideologue label me a Republican because I oppose this crooked bill. Ahem. No, thank you. Not that there is anything wrong with having a particular ideology but I am not a label. I prefer thought and reason to make my decisions rather than attempts at marginalizing dissent because some political idiot tells me that is how I should think.

And that is why Justice Breyer is intimating the Supreme Court is going to be busy over coming years with the content of this massive mandated insurance bill. The Supreme Court generally doesn't hear cases that have are without validity. Generally.

The first hurdle appears to be passed anecdotally with regards to the Supreme Court hearing the constitutionality of this particular bill. That is, a justice is all but stating they are going to here the case filed by the states.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:51 AM links to this post

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's CEO, Told Us He Was Doing God's Work. Dylan Ratigan Explains Why Goldman Sachs May Instead Be The Great Satan

This is an excellent segment for those seeking a simple explanation of one of Wall Street's scams. This is a small piece of the fraud that is Wall Street. Albeit, it is terribly sickening.

We should all congratulate ourselves on these SEC charges. The status quo did everything and anything to sweep all of this under the rug. Even our President remarked time and again that we needed to move forward, implying this crisis and its causes were something to be forgotten. Very few politicians in Washington wanted any of this to come to light. Or any of the other frauds. The stench and rot in Washington is beyond words and the Connecticut attorney general discusses how Washington has kept the states from defending its citizens - Washington rules meant to enable Wall Street's fraud.

It is only because we demanded accountability. Every single person in this country who voiced their dissent or refused to support the system on some level has played a role in this SEC case. Whether that is Dylan Ratigan or you. As Margaret Mead has so famously said,

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.".

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

posted by TimingLogic at 5:07 PM links to this post

A Follow Up To ProPublica's Magentar Story: Other Wall Street Firms Did Similar Deals To Goldman Sachs' Alleged Fraud

posted by TimingLogic at 1:58 PM links to this post

Connecticut Considering Investigation Into Goldman Sachs Fraud

Connecticut's attorney general has seemingly been hot on Wall Street's tail for a few years now as have a few states. I'm not sure how the legalities across state lines would work but is there some potential that attorney generals across the U.S. could start a wave of investigations and suits against Wall Street given their deep involvement in shoveling many of their Ponzi schemes across state lines? The attorney general does not give details of what Connecticut laws may have been violated but I would assume the same could be made across many states. And I don't know what the litmus test for violation of a particular state's laws would be but I would assume if any particular product had a component originated in a particular state, that might be grounds for that state's involvement. In other words as an example, if a bundled set of mortgages came from 33 states, would all states have legitimate legal grounds were there to be wrongdoing found involving that tranche or bundle of mortgages?

This case is really somewhat disappointing in its scope but we'll see where this leads. In other words, we have been writing since starting this blog that Wall Street has been trading against its clients. And that they were often de-emphasizing their retail business and moving to a model of proprietary trading. So, regardless of this specific claim made by the SEC, the reality is Wall Street's entire proprietary trading model is now predicated on trading without concern and often outright against their clients. And as we have remarked incessantly, they are using society's money to do it. Additionally, the SEC has developed a pattern over the past few decades of charging Wall Street in civil actions without pursuing criminal penalty. Corporations are run by people. Corporations do not commit fraud. People do. Fraud is a criminal matter not a civil matter. I would imagine this could possibly pick up pressure within the courts to involve criminal charges given the populist backlash against Wall Street crooks. That would surely be against the will of the political idiots in Washington who would like a few slaps on Wall Street's wrists then go back to the status quo, but the courts aren't run by political idiots.

A perfect example of the pervasive betting against clients is when we highlighted Goldman was recommending their clients bet against California in the bond market given the state's economic and fiscal trouble. This is outright example of trading against their client because the state of California is in fact a client of Goldman Sachs. Not only that, but it is treasonous for a taxpayer-backed financial institution to be betting against the United States on any matter. That is really using public money to bet against the United States of America. If that is not treason, then what the hell is? Of course as we have highlighted, Wall Street has been betting against the United States for decades.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:31 AM links to this post

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yale Economists Recommend Young Americans Use Leverage In Their Investments

You know, we all have our calling in life. Some people are janitors. Some people are carpenters. Some people are school teachers. Some people are doctors. Some people are idiots.
posted by TimingLogic at 5:41 PM links to this post

Goldman Sachs Charged With Fraud

posted by TimingLogic at 12:21 PM links to this post

State Of Oregon Paid $335 Million In Investment Fees Last Year While Public Officials Seemingly Benefited Personally

That is an incredible and amazing number to me. I don't care about the context or how much money Oregon has invested. That is simply a ridiculous number. It is a massive tax on the people of Oregon.

Wall Street's endless scams for fees on everything they can find a way to economically insert their way into is coming to an end. We as a society simply cannot afford to pay for what is almost always incompetence or fraud. As it pertains to fees on investments such as this, there are absolutely no data points which show any investments firms can beat their market benchmark over a ten or twenty year period less fees and expenses. Firms would possibly try to refute my remarks but there has been substantial academic work in this arena and most of the "literature" investment firms produce is less than factual.

At some point in time I'm going to put up a post where I repudiate this entire Wall Street fee structure which we have railed on since starting this blog. It is a massive tax on society and has no substantial impact on investment returns. I think it will open quite a few eyes and show just how deluded society has become.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 10:05 AM links to this post

George Soros: We Are Facing A Larger Bubble

Throughout this rally we have held our downside target for the stock market and said we are going to have a back end second wave to this crisis that will dwarf the first wave.

"Policy does not allow a choice between depression and no depression, but between depression now and a worse depression later: inflation pushed far enough would undoubtedly turn depression into the sham prosperity so familiar from European postwar experience, and would, in the end, lead to a collapse worse than the one it was called in to remedy." -- Joseph Schumpeter, one of the few great economists

The quote above has graced this blog a few times. As we have remarked before, Schumpeter also said the the first order of business in getting through a crisis is to rid society of the leadership positions held by the dead wood who caused the crisis in the first place. That would be Washington and Wall Street. Large failing banks should have been nationalized and broken up when they failed. They were instead stuffed with trillions of taxpayer money so they could continue their fraud and massive theft of society's wealth. The Supreme Court's fraudulent decision from the late 1800's giving corporations personhood, which then gives them a legal right to bribe our government, should be constitutionally banned. A result of all of this would be that lobbying on behalf of corporations, private groups, nonprofits, etc is banned. And, finally, these endless wars which have propped up corrupt regimes, just like our endless bailouts have propped up a corrupt financial system, should be ended. And transparency and accountability should be returned to our federal government.

posted by TimingLogic at 8:53 AM links to this post

Volatility Update: Europe's Largest Undersea Volcano Threatens Italy

I had no intent of posting this but since someone remarked of the Icelandic volcano, I thought I put this up.

Also, most people probably know Baja has been the center of some large quakes over the last few weeks. Here is a visual representation by magnitude. Substantial activity of magnitude 4 and higher.
posted by TimingLogic at 8:28 AM links to this post

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Massive Fireball Seen Across Many States

posted by TimingLogic at 1:33 PM links to this post

Jobless Claims Again Near 500,000. Without War Spending And Government Backstop Of Wall Street, Our Economy And Wall Street Would Collapse

posted by TimingLogic at 10:28 AM links to this post

Fear And Lie-Based Republican Strategist Spin Document Used By Washington Leaders To Thwart Financial Reform Is Uncovered

posted by TimingLogic at 8:13 AM links to this post

Ben Bernanke Wants To Kick Your Grandmother To The Curb And Cut Social Security While Giving Trillions Of Your Money To Criminal Bankers

The calls for cuts in Social Security are based on the premise we cannot afford it. Really? But we can afford to give criminal bankers trillions of dollars for being more incompetent than anyone in American history? We can afford to fight endless wars costing trillions of dollars? Either of which would have been sufficient to fix Social Security for our life times. Then we have all of the interest on the public debt, which would be zero with a public banking system.

It's time to fix Washington. It's time to end the criminally corrupt concept of corporate personhood which destroys democracy. It's time to end private banking. It's time to end corporate socialism where wars are influenced by personal profit over human lives. It's time for the American people to kick all of the Washington bastards out of office at the next election. All of them. Let history sort out who was virtuous. We don't have time to decide.

posted by TimingLogic at 7:23 AM links to this post

A Virtuous Circle - Incompetent Wall Street Receives Bailout From Taxpayers Then Proceeds To File Record Foreclosures Against Taxpayers

Doing God's work is a never-ending task. Obviously all of this is done with the blessing of our President and our Congress since they constitutionally-control our banking system.

I am so excited about all of this change we can believe in.
posted by TimingLogic at 7:16 AM links to this post

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Did The United States Government Knowingly Imprison Innocent People For The Purpose Of Waging War?

posted by TimingLogic at 6:31 PM links to this post

Frontline's Documentary On The Dirty Dealmaking And Legalized Bribery That Became Our National Health Care Bill

There are so many people out there who have no idea what they are talking about chattering about the benefits of the tyrannical health care bill that was passed. A few days ago I was watching an interview with one of my favorite comedians. He was extolling the virtues of this health care bill. He said that companies could now hire more people because they didn't have to pay for health care. Huh? This health care bill MANDATES companies buy insurance for employees or pay fines.

Dreams of political wins aside and the issue of whether national health care is morally virtuous or not, this bill will either be repealed or changed drastically. It is a corporatist anti-democratic mandate for a private for-profit corporate tax that will inflict heavy economic damage on our country. This bill is really no different than demanding every single citizen buy a car from General Motors. Forget the issue of health care. It is a government-enforced mandate to purchase a private product. It is a massive tax benefiting special interests before the safety and health of American people.

Link here.
posted by TimingLogic at 2:55 PM links to this post

The Only Problem With The American Economy Is Washington. Fix Washington And Fix The Economy.

It's good to see one of my favorite political stooges on this list. Dickhead Army. I wonder how many people who voted for Dickhead when he was in Congress knew he secretly wanted to dismantle Social Security? Of course, all in the name of "liberty". You know, kicking grandma out on her ass at the age of 80 because she didn't make enough money during her life time to pay for artificially high prices. Prices created with Dickhead's help in the largest financial bubble in history. Of course, unlike grandma, Dickhead made plenty of money. He sold himself to the banks on behalf of the American people he represented. One of Dickhead's favorite pastimes these days is spreading hate all in the name of liberty. Of course, and so that he can help his neoliberal buddies. I wonder why his mom named him Dickhead?

Now Dickhead, this is all in fun. It's just a joke. I'm only kidding. We love all of the work you are doing on behalf of the American people. And for grandma.
posted by TimingLogic at 11:30 AM links to this post

The Myth Of JP Morgan's Profits - Humpty Dumpty Lives

I just want to make a few comments here before heading off to lunch. I just spent a few minutes perusing JP Morgan's filing with the SEC. JP Morgan just announced great earnings this morning. Or so we are told.

JP Morgan's core banking business continues to deteriorate while almost all profit was made in investment banking and trading. For anyone who understands these two businesses, they are almost exclusively capital-consuming entities. In other words, they drain money out of the economy by transference of wealth. They are effectively a tax. They contribute absolutely nothing to an economic recovery. N-o-t-h-i-n-g!

If I scroll down their 8K filing to look at some of the real data behind the hype, in other words, the core banking business, the reality is much different. Remember, you and I pay the FDIC and the Federal Reserve to regulate and administer JP Morgan as a deposit institution to protect our savings. In other words, what we should care about as a society is their banking business. JP Morgan the bank is marginally profitable. They are only profitable at all because the American taxpayers are holding the bag for their asinine mistakes. The core banking business is actually seeing a continued increase on nonperforming loans. In other words, the economy is still deteriorating. Additionally, I personally don't believe JP Morgan has allocated enough money to future loss reserve requirements, thus artificially inflating the health of that business and its earnigns. In other words, the economy is more sick than it has ever been according to JP Morgan's own data.

If the government would institute real financial reform to Wall Street, these firms would fall like humpty dumpty. Instead, they continue to allow these gambling casinos to suck capital out of the American economy at an alarming rate. Enjoy the stellar earnings results from this fine Las Vegas institution!
posted by TimingLogic at 11:03 AM links to this post

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Geithner, Wall Street's Primary Regulator During Its Collapse, The Biggest Collapse In History, Shares His Wisdom On How To Prevent A Future Crisis

Link to the story by clicking on the deer in the headlights. That would be Geithner.

posted by TimingLogic at 12:13 PM links to this post

Are The West Virginia Coal Mining Disasters Tied To Political Corruption?

posted by TimingLogic at 11:49 AM links to this post

China Announces First Trade Deficit In Years - We Now Enter The Beginning Of The End Phase

Well.... It's not the end of the world but the juggernaut that is perceived to be China has its first crack. Not surprisingly companies like Goldman Sachs are downplaying this event. Goldman is more than likely to be on the wrong side of most issues that they weren't able to affect with lobbyist money. China will be a prime example.

Yes, there might be extenuating circumstances in this event. We shall see. But exports to the U.S. are not moving in the right direction for China. They are at the lowest level in over a years. Really, none of this point in time data has any relevance. China's fate was sealed long ago. But, let's take a look at some of our prior remarks using some of the current point in time data.

For years we have written that China will eventually quit buying U.S. Treasuries. But unlike the prevailing wisdom held by bears, our remarks were not because of the preposterous notion that they are going to dump treasuries because the U.S. government is profligate. A line of bulloney that has been perpetuated for years. One we have consistently railed against. But instead because they won't have the cashola to do so. I'm sure most everyone thought that was preposterous when we first wrote it. Just like a China trade deficit was preposterous at the time. If one understands how capital flows through the economy, this is the start of the end for China. How long this stage will last, I don't really know. But I would guesstimate we will see a full crisis starting to bloom in China yet this year or in 2011 using history as a precedence.

If China is forced to sell its Treasuries, something we wrote will eventually more than likely come to pass in a need to raise capital, many may wonder what will happen to the Treasury market. Well, absolutely nothing. As we wrote years ago on this topic, distress is never beneficial to any seller. Worst case scenario is that the Federal Reserve purchases some or all of the supply if the private market is not able to step forward. No one can really predict how this will unfold to a very deep level of granularity.

We have stated for years the yuan is overvalued and it would simply be a matter of time until this dynamic revealed itself. This is a position that absolutely no one else on earth has taken. And I do mean no one except us. Well, a few days ago Jim Chanos joined our lonely position of an overvalued yuan has remarked that he believes the yuan may drop in value. Welcome to the neighborhood Jim. (Btw, the Chanos interview was on Charlie Rose last night. It will be available on his web site, Hulu and Youtube in a day or so.)

This whole competitive devaluation, aka race to the bottom of the barrel, we have written about extensively is complete and utter nonsense somehow construed as successful economic policy by the current crop of stooges calling the shots around the globe. That includes the majority of Austrian economists who are right about the debt but really have no appealing answers of how to deal with this crisis other than let the shit hit the fan and pick up the pieces. A preposterous and ridiculous notion. The United States economy would start humming tomorrow with economic policies that are reasoned and rational. Just because economists don't know what those policies are doesn't mean they don't exist. As I have remarked before, the Austrians understand money and debt. They don't really seem to understand economics.

So, with everyone clamoring for the yuan to rise, with China's balance of trade shifting, even temporarily, why under any circumstances would they allow the yuan to rise in value? And, I can assure you, it will not help this crisis. We discussed that in detail the first year writing this blog.

What happens when the yuan is devalued either by policy or by uncontrollable fundamentals? Something wrote would happen when it was considered preposterous. Strap on your helmet. The United States does not need to rely on these absolutely ridiculous policies to re-ignite its economy.

The race to the bottom of the barrel continues. And with it goes the global economy.
posted by TimingLogic at 10:32 AM links to this post

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random Remarks About Confederate History Month And Humanity's Endless Struggle For Dignity Against The Status Quo

This post may appear irrelevant to the topics covered on this blog, but they are clearly connected both in terms of economics and democracy. Plus this is an important topic. Maybe the most important topic of our time.

We've probably all compromised our principles at some time or another. It's part of the human condition. With media invading everyone's lives, we clearly see no one is perfect. Such is life. But this recent pronouncement of confederate history month by the governor of Virginia is deeply disturbing to me. It's not so much a compromise of principles but lack of principles.

I believe we should have an intent to learn and share our diversity in a free society. Education, sharing and communication helps us realize as human beings that our differences are generally small while our bonds and desires are most often the same. People around the world seek fulfillment of the same basic needs. To belong, to love and be loved, to achieve, to feel safe, to exercise their self-determination. To achieve some level of basic human dignity. Throughout history, the status quo has often preyed on humanity by perpetuating fears through created and artificial differences. These fears still manifest themselves today as stereotypes and through lies perpetuated to keep people divided rather than united by our shared desires, compassion and connection as spiritual beings.

Divisiveness based on fear and lies allows the status quo to perpetuate their fraud and tyranny over humanity. There are countless examples throughout world history where artificial differences and outright lies were used as a wedge to dominate and control people. I could name many today including ones many aren't even conscious of. That includes blaming "lazy" government workers and the pay and benefits they receive. This disparity is a symptom of the sickness of our economy and the delta must be adjusted, but rather than blaming people for desiring jobs that pay a living wage which allows some semblance of dignity, wouldn't it be more productive for society to focus on everyone receiving a living wage and achieving some level of dignity? To use our energies on behalf of bettering society instead of jealous and often hateful vitriol directed at our fellow citizens? People should be careful what they wish for. Draining more money out of the economy will only perpetuate an environment of worsening fundamentals. This type of divisiveness of attacking others, specifically peer-class members, actually is very common. So much so that psychologists and sociologists have a name for this behavior. Additionally, schadenfreude also plays some role. Another current divisive issue achieved through fear and control is the regular occurrence of coal mining deaths in West Virginia. Given the dubious safety record of many companies, this seems apparent to be putting personal profit over the safety of society. This is symptomatic of a greater divisive dynamic portraying "free markets" (rigged markets) as for the betterment of humanity and fundamental to democracy.

Fears and divisiveness also manifest themselves in every single violent conflict throughout history. Sometimes societies are on the right side of that issue. Sometimes not. Conflict in the last one hundred years alone has killed over one hundred millions people. How much have we lost as human beings because of these atrocities? All perpetuated because of divisiveness, fear mongering and ultimate control by the status quo rather than reasoned and legitimate exchange of differences or grievances. It seems to me that war and tyranny has so desensitized many that hearing that tens, hundreds or thousands of innocent people may die in a day some place in the world, or that tens of millions of people may suffer near starvation, has no meaning. It is simply accepted as part of life or, sadly, even necessary.

As I have written on here before, one of the greatest joys for me being an American is that I have this incredible opportunity to experience the diversity of this country. I'm not proud of the way some of this diversity came to be, but I am proud of where it is going. What other nation can claim to embrace the culture, tradition and people from every country on earth? And that many of these cultures and traditions are often embraced and assimilated into all of society. For everyone to enjoy and lead better lives because of it. The melting pot is a wonderful thing. To accept all people effectively raises our level of consciousness as human beings. The cumulative consciousness of our country continues to develop regardless of what many hate and fear mongers would have us believe. In fact, this development of society's awareness and heightened state of consciousness is a source of great concern for the status quo and they know it. Which is the very reason why we see hate and fear mongering on the rise - often fueled by special interests attempting to interject divisiveness to maintain control.

I simply do not understand this perspective of glorifying the confederacy. Whether that is raising the confederate flag over a state house or naming this confederate history month as the new governor of Virginia recently did. Especially when it is such a sensitive subject for so many Americans of every culture, race and creed. I appreciate history and there are surely positive aspects of southern culture we all celebrate. Learning about and perpetuating southern tradition is one thing. That is a multicultural statement that most people are surely proud of. But confederacy? This brings up images of human beings treated worse than cattle. Human beings who were owned and sold as property. A time when people were raped, beaten and murdered as owners saw fit without any retribution or rule of law. Can you literally imagine being chained and beaten just for breathing? Of having your spirit beaten down so low that it literally has all but vanquished? Can you really imagine? How does anyone glorify confederate history representing the most heinous crimes against humanity imaginable? Are these deeds any less heinous than those of Adolph Hitler? Or Joseph Stalin? Or Pol Pot? They are indistinguishable.

In fact, American and European capitalism is strewn with labor as slavery. This is part of humanity's endless struggle against the status quo. Almost all of it perpetuated by fear and divisiveness with an intent to control. Whether it was European indentured servants, slaves from Africa or China, child labor before labor regulations were introduced, company towns forcing workers to spend their wages and live under tyranny, corporations hiding toxicity to environment and community, today where we effectively see predominantly Mexican slavery through unlivable wages paid to undocumented workers, the impact this dynamic has on underprivileged Americans, the slave factories predominantly of South Asia and then we have the tens of millions of working poor in the United States. Ranks that are growing extremely rapidly. How does any of this rationalize with democracy? With freedom? Of We the People? With a rule of law of a nation built on laws which are meant to grant opportunity to everyone democratically? How does it square with our conscience as a society? How does is square with your conscience? Is your awareness changing?

Life isn't always about the self. If we are to continue to progress as a species and as a society, looking within and asking the difficult questions and asking to make difficult decisions of ourselves is absolutely necessary. Do we embrace hate, fear and divisiveness as an attempt to control? Do we allow a handful of people, often goons, to dictate the status quo? Or, as people do we rise above and become a people who will not tolerate such despicable behavior? To require reason, logic and an intent to learn as a basis for society, for our laws and for our progress?
posted by TimingLogic at 12:09 PM links to this post