Goldman Sachs fraud case stunning in its indictment of Wall Street culture

I’m hardly an expert in securities law, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to prove in a court of law the facts that it laid out in its stunning civil suit filed Friday against Goldman Sachs.

But if the facts prove out as the SEC alleged, the whole culture of Wall Street is even more corrupt and cynical than we have been led to believe.

Which is really saying something.

Let me try to make this as simple as possible. The SEC alleges that in 2005-6 or so, hedge fund manager John Paulson could foresee problems coming with the billions of dollars in securitized mortgages, or collateralized debt obligations, being sold as Triple-A rated. In fact, Paulson was so sure that many of those CDOs would default that he wanted to short them, or bet against them paying off.

So far, so good. That’s what hedge fund managers do — they look for inefficiencies in the market and exploit them. They are also compensated quite handsomely. According to the New York Times, Paulson himself made $3.7 billion in 2007 from his hedge fund, and another $2 billion in 2008. (Thanks to a quirk in tax law, he also probably paid just 15 percent of that in income tax, roughly half the rate he would otherwise pay. So far, congressional Democrats haven’t summoned the courage to try to close that grotesque loophole.)

But according to the SEC, Paulson wasn’t just a passive investor.

As the narrative reads, Paulson goes to Goldman Sachs and asks the investment bank to create mortgage-backed bonds that he could short. Goldman Sachs agrees, taking a $15 million payment from Paulson for doing so. But Goldman goes a step farther by allowing Paulson to pick the mortgages that would be bundled into bonds — the mortgages that Paulson thought would be most likely to fail. Goldman then sold those tainted, Triple A-rated bonds to unwitting Goldman clients, collecting another hefty fee in the process. Like Paulson, it too placed secret bets that the bonds it had sold to trusting clients would fail.

In effect, Paulson and Goldman had inside information that the CDOs they were creating would more than likely fail, because they had designed those instruments to do exactly that (within a year of their creation, 99 percent of bonds in question had indeed been downgraded). But Goldman’s clients that bought those CDOs were not privy to that knowledge.

“Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party,” according to Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s enforcement division. (Paulson has not been charged because, Khuzami told the WSJ, he made no false representations to investors about the riskiness of the bonds. Goldman allegedly did.)

Described another way, Paulson handpicked sick, diseased pigs to be made into sausage, then bet millions that the resulting sausage would make people sick. Goldman, for its part, made the poisoned sausage (and got paid), sold that sausage to its own unwitting customers (and got paid again), and. like Paulson, bet millions that those customers would get sick (and got paid yet again).

And unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident. ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative reporting outfit, has thoroughly documented similar allegations against Magnetar, a Chicago-based hedge fund that also created mortgage-based bonds and then bet those bonds would fail.

According to ProPublica:

“several people with direct knowledge of the deals … say Magnetar pressed to include riskier assets in their CDOs that would make the investments more vulnerable to failure. The hedge fund acknowledges it bet against its own deals but says the majority of its short positions, as they are known on Wall Street, involved similar CDOs that it did not own. Magnetar says it never selected the assets that went into its CDOs….

Key details of the Magnetar Trade remain shrouded in secrecy and the fund declined to respond to most of our questions. Magnetar invested in 30 CDOs from the spring of 2006 to the summer of 2007, though it declined to name them. ProPublica has identified 26.

An independent analysis commissioned by ProPublica shows that these deals defaulted faster and at a higher rate compared to other similar CDOs. According to the analysis, 96 percent of the Magnetar deals were in default by the end of 2008, compared with 68 percent for comparable CDOs….

The issues in the Goldman case go to the heart of the controversy in Washington over Wall Street regulation. President Obama is demanding much greater transparency in the buying and selling of CDOs and their derivatives, called credit-default swaps; congressional Republicans, at the behest of Wall Street, are trying to limit that disclosure.

But had tighter rules and greater transparency been in effect a few years ago, such transparency would have tipped off both investors and regulators about the game being played by Goldman, Paulson, Magnetar and no doubt others, a game that played a large part in driving us into this recession.

For those interested, here’s a simplified explanation of how CDOs were created, and how they failed:

Crisis explainer: Uncorking CDOs from Marketplace on Vimeo.

243 comments Add your comment

TnGelding

April 17th, 2010
11:07 am

Unbelievable! Jail time appears to be justified, even if only partly true. And the little guys get burned……again.

Ninja

April 17th, 2010
11:10 am

So these people were the super achievers we had to hand billions of dollars to?

Bosch

April 17th, 2010
11:11 am

Ninja,

We had to keep the top talent – in this case, the top thieves.

Ninja

April 17th, 2010
11:17 am

Bosch-
Actually I meant the taxes and bending the economic playing field to the whims of these fun people. Heck, I’d say they were pretty good for their respective companies.

NowReally

April 17th, 2010
11:37 am

Next the WaMu bank robbers…..

Jaykee-Scot

April 17th, 2010
11:42 am

Oh dear whats this? Oh my I AM shocked? Polarization? Innovation? Who blends people together? You, with the capital? Or me, who wants to be free? Words are only misleading, folk. We’re trying to live on borrowed bread!

DirtyDawg

April 17th, 2010
11:47 am

Hey guys, if you hadn’t noticed the Obama Administration recognizes that we need people in the ‘oversight’ positions – i.e., the SEC – that actually understand this crap and either already know, or can quickly figure out, how these SOBs have been gaming the system…along with some compelling ‘rewards’ for whistle-blowers. Now if we can just make sure we mete out some stiff penalties to the key people, we just might accomplish something. Of course, they’ll have to fight the Republicans all the way, but at some point we’ve all had to ‘hit the ball, and drag Charlie’ around the course.

By the way, if this were Japan, the cretins would have to commit hara-kiri…and if China, executed.

No Surprise

April 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

And still, everyone is blaming the people who dared to go for the American dream and own a house instead of being a rent slave and who now can’t pay their mortages because they don’t have a job. The greedy banks were bailed out first and they of course STILL won’t negotioate a lower rate with people so they short sell to people for less money who eventually make more money later. And because they banks STILL won’t lend, employers aren’t hiring and again, the working stiff, who is now really stiffed gets the blame and pays with anguish. The investors for the most part, are just get pissy because they aren’t getting as much as they’re used to, not because they are really put out of their house.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

This will never come to trial, remember, you heard it here first.

1) These charges have been brought by the same goon squad that FORCED THE LENDERS TO MAKE THE SUBSTANDARD MORTGAGES IN THE FIRST PLACE. They do not want this knowledge to be shook in their faces in a court of law, make no mistakes about that. One page from the Community Reinvestment Act legislation being submitted as evidence and it doesn’t matter how much obozo fancies himself a third world hack tinpot, Goldman Sachs will run rampant on his ass in front of the whole world, that ain’t gonna happen.

2) Ever wonder what happened to Suckie Face Waxman’s show trial for the health insurance industry and their billion dollar write downs? Perhaps somebody did the math for and showed the pertinent regulations to Suckie?

3) The true motivations of this reckless, illegal and illegitimate administration is to take control of private industry. That is it. The sole, underlying purpose of this new and disgusting obomination. In America! Land of the “free!” It isn’t like he illegally took control of General Motors or anything.

4) What ever Bookman says, you can expect something totally opposite to be the truth. I know that he knows that he lies. But he get’s paid to lie. It’s his job.

I rule.

Jack

April 17th, 2010
12:15 pm

There are consequences to buying deams. Dreams come true mostly in the movies.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
12:34 pm

Andy’s drunk and angry tonight… nobody’s really biting though…

Should I remind him that just last month he’d told us all that upstanding Federalist-society legal stooges were gonna “sue our ass” over healthcare reform, whereas this morning he’s saying:

You know what sucks, we won’t ever be able to sue the government

Stands for dingbats- You may want to check this but the states ARE suing your asses, just saying…

What I am referring to today, is the rights of individuals engaged in free enterprise being trampled by an errant government hellbent on illegally interfering with their Constitutional Rights, you know, We the People.

You have no idea of freedom from government oppression, do you?

~~~~~

Oh, and in relation to Goldman Sachs, all throughout the mortgage boom, I read the fine print and said, uh, no thank you, but then again, I guess I am just smarter than the rest of you deadbeat liberals.

Two years after the fact you are boasting about something that can’t in any way be backed up with facts?

You sir/madam have miserable self esteem, don’t you? No wonder all the hate you spew. Sad.

McFool- My mortgage is a 30 fixed locked in at 4.85% and I will send proof of this information to Bookman upon request.

By the way, I also own about 60% equity on Home Sweet Home, like I said, I am not a stupid person.

Haha, parasite.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
12:36 pm

30 year fixed locked in at a rate of 4.85%, speed typing, (-:

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 17th, 2010
12:44 pm

While I’m admittedly not an expert on high finance, why don’t we just do away with Credit Default Swaps completely? To my eye they seem to serve little purpose in the grand scheme of things, other than to make a few schemers rich.

As to those involved, if convicted, the firing squad seems appropriate to me. More likely though, they’ll get 3-4 years in a country club prison, $20-30 million dollars in fines and walk out of prison rich men, just like they were when they went in.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
12:48 pm

The government forces you to make risky mortgages that you know are going to go bad. Do you protect yourself from this forced risk?

Soothsayer

April 17th, 2010
12:50 pm

NowReally

April 17th, 2010
12:55 pm

I Report, you are starting to sound delusional.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 17th, 2010
1:01 pm

Soothsayer @ 12:50

Interesting article. I still can’t quite understand how you can sell something you don’t own. On Wall Street, it means you’re a genius and you’ll make lots of money. If, on the other hand, I sell you a piece of land that I don’t own, I’m likely headed for the hoosegow.

ATF

April 17th, 2010
1:01 pm

I wonder if what Goldman did is illegal. Evidently it is okay to do this kind of scam as long as you tell investors that the company hired to pick the mortgages for the CDO’s was betting they would fail? Is the only punishment a settlement – paying back any gain they made?

Couldn’t there be some jail time – like 10 years for every million dollars defrauded? And, maybe, taking every house, car, airplane, boat, jewel, stock, bond, bank account, and clothing off the back of the persons involved in creating the fraud, including assets held by a spouse and children if received by the person who committed the fraud?

I bet Goldman settles for a pittance or gets out of it all together. Paulson evidently hasn’t done anything illegal since they are not the ones required to tell investors they were being scammed. The SEC is just about the most inept federal agency around – and deliberately made so by those we elect so they can keep getting big bucks for reelection campaigns.

Soothsayer

April 17th, 2010
1:05 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe:

Doing away with Credit Default Swaps would be like doing away with auto insurance. What is criminal is selling Credit Default Swaps (essentially insurance against a default on a loan) without adequate cash reserves to cover the potential losses. Just like if someone sold you auto insurance and you had a claim and they told you that they don’t have the money to pay your cliam. This is exactly what happened with AIG.

Soothsayer

April 17th, 2010
1:07 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe:

That’s exactly the point: it’s called leveraging. People who think they actually own gold really only own a piece of paper. Nothing more nothing less.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 17th, 2010
1:26 pm

Just like if someone sold you auto insurance and you had a claim and they told you that they don’t have the money to pay your cliam. This is exactly what happened with AIG.

That’s sort of like what happened in Georgia when SEUS sold Workman’s Comp policies to businesses and local governments and then went belly up. They were quite free with hunting trips and other perks for elected officials, though. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms I guess.

Brad Steel

April 17th, 2010
1:28 pm

Fraud or caveat emptor when dealing with the Wall Street used car salesmen?

[...] Goldman Sachs fraud case stunning in its indictment of – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)But if the facts prove out as the SEC alleged, the whole culture of Wall Street is even more corrupt and cynical than we’ve been led to believe. Which is really saying something. Let me try to make this as simple as possible. The SEC alleges that [...]

DoggoneGA

April 17th, 2010
1:37 pm

“bequest”

Jay! Not “bequest”! Behest

Bosch

April 17th, 2010
1:38 pm

Kamchak,

Your Blue Lions are looking rather….blue.

jt

April 17th, 2010
1:56 pm

“But had tighter rules and greater transparency been in effect a few years ago, such transparency would have tipped off both investors and regulators about the game being played by Goldman, Paulson, Magnetar and no doubt others, a game that played a large part in driving us into this recession”

That is a crock.

The more rules and regulations just means more money has to be spent to compel the SEC to look the other way. There are numerous examples of “whistleblowers” reporting these actions to the SEC. (Read some Matt Tabbi). Goldman Sachs IS the government. That is the problem.

Anyhow, one of the Russian Romanov Czars had a “tea party” like episode. The peasants were surrounding his palace demanding justice(pitchforks and all).
This Czar chose 6 cabinet ministers and literally threw these guys off of the balconey to the mob below. It wasn’t pretty.

I see a parallel in the timing of this SEC grandstanding and the Tea Party. I think little Barry is scairt.

I got this info from the great book “The Romanovs”. The definitive history of Russia.

Jay

April 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

Thanks, Dog, fixed now.

I am properly ashamed…

jt

April 17th, 2010
2:22 pm

I think it was this incident. Salt Tax. Tsar Alexi made his guys draw straws to see who would be sacrificed. It worked. The mob calmed down. Unfortunantly , the ruling corropto-klepto class still continued fleecing the peasants. Kinda like ours. A sacrifice only works for so long.

We all know how the Romanov dynasty ended.

“The indignation of peasants and townsfolk forced the government to abolish this new way of taxation, but the previous arrears, however, were being collected for the past three years all at once. On 1 June 1648, upon Alexei I’s return to Moscow from his trip to Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, a crowd of townspeople surrounded the tsar and complained about the boyars and prikaz officials. The royal bodyguards started dispersing the crowd, pushing them away from the tsar. This caused a major outbreak of anger among the people. On 2 June, most of the Streltsy joined the rebelling citizens. The insurgents burst into the Moscow Kremlin and demanded the surrender of Leontiy Pleshcheyev (head of Zemsky Prikaz and Moscow police department), Duma diak Nazar Chistoy (salt tax initiator), boyar Boris Morozov (actual head of government) and his brother-in-law Pyotr Trakhaniotov (head of Cannon Prikaz). The tsar was forced to surrender Leontius Pleshcheyev to the people on 3 June, who would be soon executed. The rebels set fire to the White City and Kitai-gorod and sacked some 70 households of the most hated boyars, diaks, okolnichys, and merchants, killing Nazar Chistoy. Pyotr Trakhaniotov tried to escape, but was soon apprehended and executed on 5 June.

OldObDoc

April 17th, 2010
2:45 pm

Bookman sounds like his cohort at the AJC, Cynthia Tucker, writing about the peanut factory problem. “We just need better laws and more oversight” . Ah yes, all we need is the unbreakable law and we will be living in Nirvanna.

When will the public realize that the regulation and oversight is what led to the debacle. It was the only way to keep the truth from the people. Markets are funny things though. When they find out the truth, the Emperor has not clothes, they respond swiftly to punish bad behavior. Regulations and oversight takes years to sort it all out.

Who in their right mind thinks Goldman Sachs (and their managers) will ever have to pay any penalty meted out by the government. There will be so many trials and appeals that the only winners will be the lawyers and the losers will be the investors and the taxpayers. The investors took the risk, the taxpayers should not have.

The point to the whole episode is political. How can we hammer the Republicans to vote for more regulation and oversight and more takeover of the private sector.

Moderate Line

April 17th, 2010
2:46 pm

The No. 2 contributor to Obama $994,795 and the No.4 contributor to McCain $230,095.

Politics is a game where the guy with the most money gets to pick his referee.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00006424

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
2:47 pm

“Given that much of the financial contagion was fueled by uncertainty about counterparties’ balance sheets,” Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn wrote in a letter at the beginning of the annual report, “we support measures that would require higher capital and liquidity levels, as well as the use of clearinghouses for standardized derivative transactions.”

Plus, if we didn’t write this letter, obozo would pull the trigger on the gun he is holding to our head’s, just sayin..

Aahhh, nothing like Fascism.

Seig Heil!

Yes we can!

mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

TaxPayer

April 17th, 2010
2:54 pm

Seig Heil!

I guess Whiner must have a picture of Hitler over his computer.

Moderate Line

April 17th, 2010
2:57 pm

theyeshaveit

April 17th, 2010
3:02 pm

Whiner, just so you know, I scroll by anything you post.

jt

April 17th, 2010
3:02 pm

Funny how the Toyota acceleration problem was reported to the proper government authorities, YEARS before it came to light. (if there really is one).

Funny how the Maddoff ponzi scheme was reported to the SEC, YEARS before it blew up.

Is Consumer Reports a private magazine? They sure got results on that Lexus problem. I wonder if the Transportation Authority knew about that. Didn’t the government test these cars first?

I guess the government just needs more money. The same entity that thought, up until the late 1950’s, that an Ice Pick Lobotomy was the cure for an un-ruly child. You wouldn’t believe the effort that went into convincing the “authorities” that this wasn’t so.

Yea, just more money is all they need. More regulations, more rules, and more money will solve everything.

jconservative

April 17th, 2010
3:03 pm

No one can, and no one has, yet produced one single mortgage granted by a lender who was forced to grant the mortgage as a result of the Community Reinvestment Act. Nor will anyone ever do so.

Andy

April 17th, 2010
3:08 pm

Put the evidence of anything in front of the right wing, and they suddenly will become blind.

Scout

April 17th, 2010
3:09 pm

1 Timothy 6:10

“For the love of money is the root of all evil ……….. “

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
3:14 pm

But the fact that so many Republican senators feel comfortable starting with “Hell, no!” resistance to the Democratic plan demonstrates the GOP’s confidence that it has convinced voters that Big Government poses a greater threat to prosperity than Big Business, especially when they can portray the former as the servant of the latter.

The Republicans’ “narrative” about Obama’s economic agenda — articulated again in Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s attack on financial reform — has been straightforward and unrelenting. In their telling, Obama is transforming the United States into a sclerotic European social-welfare state; forcing the strained middle class to fund both a “crony capitalism” of bailouts for the powerful (the charge McConnell leveled against the financial bill) and handouts for the poor (through health care reform); and impeding recovery by smothering the economy beneath stultifying federal spending, taxes, and regulation.

You reckon?

Moderate Line

April 17th, 2010
3:22 pm

The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.

Paul Krugman

This was in reference to Phil Grahm being an economic adviser to McCain. However, once Obama is elected we then get Larry Summers as Director of the White House’s National Economic Council for Obama who was the Scretary of Treasury under Clinton when the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act was signed.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/the-gramm-connection/

That’s called a Lose-Lose.

84% of Dems in the Senate and 75% of the Dems in the House and Bill Clinton signed the law. 98% of Rep in the Senate and 98% of the Reb in the House.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gramm-Leach-Bliley_Vote_1999.png

Kamchak

April 17th, 2010
3:34 pm

Old news, Jay—I’ve been posting this link to a McClatchy story for a couple of months now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bosch

Yep, blue is the word—-along with red. John Terry red carded.

hmmm

April 17th, 2010
3:47 pm

You can bet the feds will cook the small fry and let the big fish get away.

Chasing Small Fry, S.E.C. Let Madoff Get Away

They are looking to put John Q. Public on the hook with regulations. It’s all for show.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

My eyes is filled with duh tears cause Shave It scrolls past me little posts, eewwww, I mean, boo hoo hoo.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
4:03 pm

By the way, that’s another example of the self-indulgent irrelevance of Obama. The mound of corpses being piled up around the world today is not from high-tech nuclear states but from low-tech psycho states. It’s not that Britain has nukes, and poor old Sudan has to make do with machetes. It’s that the machete crowd are willing to kill on an industrial scale, and the high-tech guys can’t figure out a way to stop them. Perhaps for his next pointless yakfest the president might consider a machete nonproliferation initiative.

In a characteristic display of his now-famous modesty, President Obama reacted to the hostility of the Tax Day tea parties by saying, “You would think they should be saying ‘thank you’” – for all he’s done for them. Right now, the fellows saying “thank you” are the mullahs, the Politburo, Czar Putin and others hostile to U.S. interests who’ve figured out they now have the run of the planet.-MarkSteyn

Moderate Line

April 17th, 2010
4:07 pm

jt

April 17th, 2010
3:02 pm
++++++++
An intereting side note is Egas Moniz who helped develop the lobotomy won the Nobel prize for medicine in 1949.

So much for experts.

Michael

April 17th, 2010
4:10 pm

Of course Goldman designated some 30 year old VP as the fall guy. Scenario: in 2007 the overlords at Goldman see the writing on the wall. “Promote Fabrice Tourre to VP in charge of this hedge fund. Tell him he may have to do some jail time over this but he and his family will receive $100 million in bullion from petty cash if he toes the company line.”

vuduchld

April 17th, 2010
4:14 pm

In a nutshell this was one big Ponzi scheme and “we the people” woke up with an migrane headache. These same people will get rewarded because of monkeys like “I Whine” who can seem to tell the diffference between free markets and scams. For all of you out there beating your chests about making “good choices” I bet you don’t feel that secure now do you. Your lives are affected like everyone else so don’t think that you’ve dodged the bullet. In China they excute people like this, I suggest we start thinking in that direction.

Doggone/GA

April 17th, 2010
4:18 pm

“In China they excute people like this, I suggest we start thinking in that direction”

Not the punishment I would choose. execution is letting them off easy. I would force them to live on the income of the lowest paid person in their company for the rest of their lives. Thinking janitor here.

Funny

April 17th, 2010
4:19 pm

Funny how the regulations are always, repeat always, written by those who are regulated. Whether automobiles, pharmaceuticals, or banking, those lobbyists write the laws. Most of the regulations protect the status quo and make the price of entry extremely difficult for late arrivers to the party. But corruption and powermongering is nothing new; it has existed since Adam, working on a tip from a serpent, thought he could get an advantage over God in the Garden of Eden. (Please substitute whatever ancient, alternate fairy tale you believe).

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
4:21 pm

vudunce- Problem is, the executees in China don’t have Colt AR-15’s like us secure people do here in the United States.

Anytime you’d like to make your little dream a reality works for me.

Fundad

April 17th, 2010
4:25 pm

All this crap started back in the Clinton administration when Billyboy and his cronies in the house passed a law repealing the Glass/Steagal act that had for 75 years barred commercial banks from dealing in securities, insurance, and other types of financial investment productsl. For 75 years those were the dominion of the investment banks & securities firms on wall street and the insurance companies.The local banks were left to make their money by loaning money for cars, houses, boats, campers, creditcards, mortgages and businesses. Its time to separate their businesses once again and force banks to make money by loaning money and require more & better disclosures for the riskier financial investments sold by the securities and investment firms.

Funny

April 17th, 2010
4:33 pm

Yeah, Clinton’s fault. That eight year Bush Administration thingy never happened. Or he was powerless. And for some reason, I don’t know, they weren’t able / didn’t try to illegalize abortion. Must have been some talking points they just use to get votes.

Stock up on guns and bullets because your unemployed neighbors and the gangsters and methheads in Atlanta are coming for you before the government can get a committee to decide how to screw you.

Dave R.

April 17th, 2010
4:35 pm

This article points out the very reasons why I believe that we should never have bailed out these bad actors. Goldman Sachs got $10 billion of our debt dollars from TARP to cover their mistakes.

Maybe a lesson learned would stop this practice, rather than more ineffective regulations.

TnGelding

April 17th, 2010
4:41 pm

The bane of capitalism?

Dave R.

April 17th, 2010
4:35 pm

It was an investment; not a bailout:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-goldman-sachs-other-banks-repay-tarp

TnGelding

April 17th, 2010
4:46 pm

The bane of capitalism.

stw

April 17th, 2010
4:49 pm

And I thought Liberals/Socialists are experts in everything. Theyre going to take care of us ..

Mick

April 17th, 2010
4:51 pm

Hedge fund people can get away with it, doesn’t matter if its repubs or dems, they can circumvent the system and make it seem like standard operating procedure.

jt

April 17th, 2010
5:00 pm

Moderate Line

Interesting.

Eventhough I respect the Reporter/Whine, he might be a little “party blind”. Check this out concerning his 3:14 and McConnells “hell no”——————————————————–

“Obamacare,” or More Accurately, ConservativeRepublicanCare

When you actually look at the bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas … a lot of the ideas in terms of the exchange, just being able to pool and improve the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market, originated from the Heritage Foundation. (Barack Obama, NBC’s Today Show, March 30, 2010)

The latest chapter in US healthcare is one of the most surreal. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was signed into law by Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Among many provisions, the act includes expanded Medicaid eligibility, prohibiting denials of coverage for preexisting conditions, and a requirement to purchase federally approved health insurance or pay a fine.

While the content of the Act is summarized in myriad places, much more interesting is its conservative Republican origins. The Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler, the intellectual behind urban enterprise zones, in Senate testimony in 2003 proposed a plan for universal healthcare coverage.[29] Here’s one surprising portion of the testimony that sounds like it was uttered by a European socialist:

In a civilized and rich country like the United States, it is reasonable for society to accept an obligation to ensure that all residents have affordable access to at least basic health care — much as we accept the same obligation to assure a reasonable level of housing, education and nutrition.

Keep in mind that Butler is the conservative Heritage’s current vice president of domestic and economic policy. No wonder Butler seems to have found a new admirer in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Butler again:

The obligations on individuals does not have to be a “hard” mandate, in the sense that failure to obtain coverage would be illegal. It could be a “soft” mandate, meaning that failure to obtain coverage could result in the loss of tax benefits and other government entitlements. In addition, if federal tax benefits or other assistance accompanied the requirement, states and localities could receive the value of the assistance forgone by the person failing to obtain coverage, in order to compensate providers who deliver services to the uninsured family.

Now “Obamacare” is certainly more than just a mandate, but the mandate is certainly what has conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, both of whom have connections to, if not sponsorship by, the Heritage Foundation, screaming bloody murder the most. There’s no doubt that these ideas influenced Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan in Massachusetts.

Voters naïve enough to think they will get a complete repeal from the Republican Party appear to be in for a major disappointment. “Obamacare,” with its continuance of socialized costs for private gains in American medicine, was the treatment that the conservative Republican doctor had in mind for some time. The problem is that the Democrats were the first to implement it.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/steinreich/steinreich12.1.html

A statist is a statist regardless of the stupid letter after their names.

CONSERVATIVE..DITTOhead.

April 17th, 2010
5:01 pm

JUMPING THE GUN….JAY……….NO QUILT PROVEN…..JUST AN INDICTMENT…?? Do not try this company in the corrupt Media……..HERE IS A CASE OF THE ….POT….calling the kettle black…??/

Kamchak

April 17th, 2010
5:08 pm

Moderate Line

April 17th, 2010
5:14 pm

Funny

April 17th, 2010
4:33 pm

Yeah, Clinton’s fault. That eight year Bush Administration thingy never happened. Or he was powerless. And for some reason, I don’t know, they weren’t able / didn’t try to illegalize abortion. Must have been some talking points they just use to get votes.
++++++
He didn’t say it was Clinton’s “fault” he said it “started”. As I pointed out earlier both Rep and Dem supported deregulation including Larry Summer who now works for Obama. Both parties are responsible for the mess.

eddy

April 17th, 2010
5:20 pm

Ah-h-h, the blogs here are just a snapshot of the members of congress. Might be the reason nothing really gets done correctly when writing legislation and then voting to implement it. Bet Jay didn’t know he was creating a mini-congress when he began his blog. Lots of noise, finger pointing, “I’m smarter than you’s”, “It’s Bush’s fault” “No, I disagree, it is Clinton’s fault” But it really is the Repubs or maybe it is the Dems….I just don’t know but we have a problem. The asylum doors are open, feel free to enter!!!

b6542

April 17th, 2010
5:29 pm

The screws are tightened so Dodd and Barry can get their finance reform………….Welcome to ChiTown Wall Street !!!!

jt

April 17th, 2010
5:49 pm

The Senate did not initially take the slave rebellion seriously, until it became clear that Rome itself was under threat.

Crassus was rising steadily up the political ladder when ordinary Roman politics ( plundering the populance of wealth) was interrupted.

The Third Servile War. …………………A Slave Rebellion.

In this epic struggle, Crassus employed DECIMATION upon HIS OWN citizens and warriors to realize his political survival.

Decimation. Look it up if you have to.

He ultimantly prevailed and to smooth things over with “his” citizens for decimation, Soon afterwards, Crassus was nevertheless elected consul with Pompey for 70 BC. In that year, he displayed his wealth by entertaining the populace at 10,000 tables and distributing sufficient grain to last each family three months.

WyldByllHyltnyr

April 17th, 2010
5:49 pm

This is little more than a pile of poppycock for two reasons.

First, the securities business, as wih everything on the Street is a BUYER BEWARE BUSINESS. The folks buying the bonds had the same ability to reach Paulson’s determination that the underlying bonds would default. perhaps the purchasers made an informed, but incorrect decision that the mortgages would be ok and thought they stood to make an outsized gain on the purchases. One cannot regulate away bad decisions. If we could there would be no more traffic accidents because nothing could ever be more regulated than traffic.

Next, even if there was fraud, you can’t regulate away fraud because those who perpetuate fraud tend to be liers and deceivers. And those sort of folk, particularly on the Street where 2/3rds of ‘em go to church on Saturday anyway, will lie and commit fraud no matter the level of regulation.

Regulation kills legitimate innovation and we don’t need more of it.

jt

April 17th, 2010
5:54 pm

“distributing sufficient grain to last each family three months.”

Decimation for food stamps.

Brian J. Donovan

April 17th, 2010
6:01 pm

Truman

April 17th, 2010
6:03 pm

It’s time for “Pierre Kunz Insanity”
You must see it on youtube.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 17th, 2010
6:15 pm

Between 1997 and late 2005, house prices rose more than 80%! In 2005 Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, declared: “House prices have risen nearly 25% over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals, including robust growth in jobs and incomes, low mortgage rates, steady rates of household formation, and factors that limit the expansion of housing supply in some areas.”

The part about that, that stands out to me, is robust growth in jobs and incomes. Real wages in this country have been flat for 20-30 years. To me, that shows how out of touch these people are with the real world. That would be okay, if their decisions didn’t have such a serious impact on those of us in the real world.

getalife

April 17th, 2010
6:16 pm

Behold the gop populist position on this issue.

It is downright liberal.

The really sad part is Germany will prosecute because our government is too corrupt.

But it is accountability that has been missing for years.

Rightwing Troll

April 17th, 2010
6:39 pm

That’s nice Andy. Of the 6 houses I own, three have mortgages of less than or right around 50% of their value, the other 3 are paid off.

That is, until I have to give them to Obama…

professional skeptic

April 17th, 2010
6:57 pm

I-Report and his ilk believe that there’s nothing wrong with insider trading and securities fraud, and that they shouldn’t be crimes.

“But…but… why can’t we craft new forms of financial instruments and withhold key information about their composition and the dangers inherent in them, and then unleash them on millions of unsuspecting investors who have no possible way of knowing what they’re getting into?”

Because it’s wrong. It’s criminal. It ruins lives. Society won’t tolerate it.

“But…but… I WANNA!! Blah blah blah personal freedoms!! Blah blah blah Ayn Rand!! Blah blah blah my own best interests!!”

Fine, then. Go rot in jail with your comrade Madoff, and enjoy the 8th Cirlcle of Hell after that.

professional skeptic

April 17th, 2010
7:00 pm

Kamchak
April 17th, 2010
5:08 pm

That was an excellent episode of “Frontline.” The best part was when Alan Greenspan admitted he was wrong and that his philosophy was flawed.

Kamchak

April 17th, 2010
7:25 pm

professional skeptic

If you liked that episode of FRONTLINE be sure to catch this week’s Bill Moyers Journal. I saw it last night on N.C. Public television.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

That’s nice Andy. Of the 6 houses I own, three have mortgages of less than or right around 50% of their value, the other 3 are paid off.

We’re not talking crackhouses, hole.

Go play in the street.

A Whine in Time Saves Nine

April 17th, 2010
7:41 pm

Did Andy say he has a mortgage on a cracked ho house. I guess since his Republican leaders under the Gold Dome got busted for messin’ around with women that they were not married to, business just has not been as good. Don’t worry, Andy. They’ll be back.

theyeshaveit

April 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

If a certain someone does not get off of drugs in here, he is going to end up in a half-way house or a cuckoo house.

Rightwing Troll

April 17th, 2010
7:50 pm

3 in Kennesaw, one in Hiram and 2 in Marietta. Oh Yeah, I almost forgot the 50% stake in the duplex in woodstock…(that one’s paid off too).

The only crack involved is you smoking it while you post your a$$hat nonsense…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
7:55 pm

Oh wow, Kennesaw and Hiram. Did you look in Tennessee too when shopping those close in locations?

What, a buck fifty a square foot I’m guessing?

Think of East Cobb for a moment and for digs #2 I ain’t disclosing my new location, let’s just call it the 600K house on the lake and leave it at that.

600K in 2010 values, heh.

@@

April 17th, 2010
7:56 pm

Tension builds at L.A. white supremacy rally–MSNBC

There was a brief flare-up of violence when a man removed his shirt revealing tattoos that featured Nazi lightning bolts, which some in the crowd deemed offensive.

Police officers stood between the white supremacists and counter-demonstrators on the south lawn of Los Angeles’ City Hall, where about 50 members of the National Socialist Movement waved American flags and swastika banners for about an hour.

I’m a little confused here…were the Socialists waving swastika banners?

Counter-protester James Lafferty, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, said he saw the tattooed man punched and kicked as a plainclothes officer dragged him behind police lines. Blood could be seen at the base of his neck, Lafferty said.

Boy! those socialists can get violent. Saw a video of a white supremacist at a Tea Party rally…members of the Tea Party verbally confronted him and followed him around with a camera until he left. No violence.

Look for the supremacists to be crawling out from under their rocks. The MSM has sent out the invitations (not literally) well, yeah….literally seein’s how they’re journalists. The pen is mightier than the sword. In this instance, the pen has drawn the sword.

@@

April 17th, 2010
7:59 pm

I would love to live on a lake. Can’t decide if I’d like the lake as my front yard or backyard tho. Probably backyard. What I’d REALLY love is to have a house on an island in the MIDDLE of the lake. Would that be called an island?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
8:01 pm

The first male humminbird of the year!

Hot damn!

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

How can one tell a male hummingbird from a female? High-powered binoculars? High-powered telescope? Those birds are iddy bitty.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

@@- Heavily wooded backyard that is clear enough to get a good view of the lake from any part of the wrap around back deck. The view of the water is absolutely stunning from the breakfast nook or from the sunken family room. The foliage is too thick to see through from the second story balcony of the back deck so you have to set your chair in a precise location if you wish to see the water.

If all else fails, walk 75 feet out the back french doors and sit on the dock. Or get in the boat.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:09 pm

Andy:

I envy you but in a good way.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
8:09 pm

@@- The male hummers have fire red chests.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:12 pm

The male hummers have fire red chests.

Oh!

RW-(the original)

April 17th, 2010
8:16 pm

Who doesn’t love a Zip-Zip baseball game heading into the 13th inning?

@@,

Some of those iddy bitty hummers are pretty bada$$. Once they decide a feeder is their territory woe be onto any other hummer that wants a drink.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:22 pm

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/middleeast/18iran.html?pagewanted=2

And ^^^ there you have it!

Should’a listened to Cheney.

————————————————————-

RW:

When I was at my brother’s the other day, his wife had filled one of those tubes full of red sugar water early that morning. It was gone before I finished laying the tile around 3:00. Sugar high.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:23 pm

Oh, and…

Who doesn’t love a Zip-Zip baseball game heading into the 13th inning?

Me.

(ISH)

theyeshaveit

April 17th, 2010
8:24 pm

@@, it always amuses me how those on the right, while knowing they are on the right have no clue as to who is there with them. For your information, communists and socialists are far left while facists and nazis are far right. Confuse by the label “National Socialists”? Don’t be. The National Socialists were right wingers diametrically opposed to communists. The labels do not mean much. Let’s take a look at a country in which I lived for several years, Japan. The party in power in Japan now is called the Minshu-To (Democratic Party). They are indeed quite liberal. However, the party that was in power two years ago (and for many years before) is the Jimin-To (LDP or Liberal Democratic Party). That party is quite conservative. Yes, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan can in many ways be compared to the Republican Party in the US. So much for lables.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 17th, 2010
8:25 pm

RW/ @@- I hang two feeders in separate locations just for that reason. Without fail there will be three or four females along for a drink, the male will go absolutely berserk and the females will tag team him, breaking off one at a time to go the 2nd feeder while the others occupy the madman.

Hilarious.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:28 pm

ShaveIt:

I was just pointing out how violent socialists are. Who knew taking your shirt off would provoke people to physically attack someone. I thought leftists liked being nekkid.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:31 pm

…and tattoos.

theyeshaveit

April 17th, 2010
8:37 pm

@@ said, “ShaveIt: I was just pointing out how violent socialists are. Who knew taking your shirt off would provoke people to physically attack someone. I thought leftists liked being nekkid.”

You still did not get the gist of what I said. Sure neo-Nazis can be violent (so were the originals). But Nazis are NOT socialists. They are right-wingers. Socialists are left-wingers.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:42 pm

But Nazis are NOT socialists.

Did I say they were?

I always look at socialists as communist “light”.

@@

April 17th, 2010
8:47 pm

That should have read “communists’ ‘light’”.

getalife

April 17th, 2010
9:24 pm

getalife

April 17th, 2010
9:27 pm

Oops.

Bird watching eh.

Got some big ones down here pooping everywhere.

Not a good idea to have a klan meeting ion LA.

Probably trying to start riots.

cons don’t have much to say about this fraud.

RW-(the original)

April 17th, 2010
9:37 pm

Sports chaos….Braves about to be no hit…..Cards/Mets still scoreless……Washington/Montreal going to OT…..