Posts filed under ‘Financial Crisis’
One might call it “chutzpah,” as several irate lawmakers did, or “rubbing salt in the wounds” of the American taxpayer. But to a few Wall Street financiers, a lawsuit that accuses the government of shortchanging the American International Group in its 2008 bailout is something else: a promising investment in a cause they support.
Maurice R. Greenberg, 89, the former A.I.G. chief executive who still holds a large stake in the insurance company, filed the lawsuit on behalf of fellow shareholders. He has now raised several million dollars from three Wall Street companions to help cover the cost of the case. The investors, who are entitled to a cut of any damages Mr. Greenberg collects from the government, contributed about 15 percent of the tens of millions of dollars in legal costs, according to people with knowledge of the arrangement.
Six years after the government saved Wall Street from the brink of collapse, the lawsuit is coming to trial, reopening one of the ugliest chapters in modern financial history. The trial, which begins next week in Washington, will most likely hinge on testimony from the policy makers who orchestrated A.I.G.’s rescue, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.
So Greenberg wants $40 billion more from us? Wanna bet he’s a Republican who favors “small government,” by which he means small for We the Peons, not small when it comes to bailouts.
HELP A FOOD BANK
NEAR YOU TODAY
Regular readers here know that I volunteer once a week at a food bank here in Boulder, Colorado. I started there in February, 2009 after spending four years sitting at a computer working on Outfoxed and at the Newshounds. I needed to be around people! Volunteering there has been one of the sweetest experiences of my life.
Anyway, thanks to the banks crashing the economy (enabled by government policies),
deficit reductions austerity measures and just plain no community relief whatsoever coming out of Washington, food banks are increasingly being asked to take up the slack in providing services. People are being priced out of affording a decent living in our new low wage society and non-profits who already operated on a shoestring budget are expected to do more and more and more. It is getting so bad, my food bank is even soliciting donations from its volunteers. Get a load of this part of a letter I got on Friday:
As you know, [our food bank] been a vital community resource for 96 years. Last year we conducted 17,975 face-to-face client interviews; distributed 671,230 pounds of food; provided $813,101 in direct financial assistance; and provided short-term or transitional housing to 145 families staying in our 51 apartments. The demand for our services continues to grow.
Each year it becomes increasingly difficult to find adequate funds to support the great work that you help us do every day. Less government support, increasing demand for services, job growth primarily in low-wage arenas and more nonprofits competing for fundraising dollars make it very challenging to find necessary resources.
How long do the bubbleheads in Washington think they can continue to squeeze organizations like the one I volunteer for? Eventually the donating public runs out of steam as more and more nonprofits ask for donations. Then the non-profits have to compete for the scraps.
But hey, we apparently have billions of dollars to suddenly spend on a new (three year?) war against ISIS. This really is an endless war, isn’t it? If ISIS (and the new iterations of it that will inevitably develop after we crush what’s there now) wants to destroy us, maybe they should hang out and wait a bit because we’re doing a good job of committing slow-motion suicide as a country on our own.
Jamie Dimon Has Cancer: Oops, Turns Out He’s a Human Being Just Like the People He Spent His Life Ripping Off
Breaking news about Jamie Dimon, yeah, that Jamie Dimon:
You can buy the best care the world has to offer (supplemented by our tax dollars) but hey Jamie, welcome to life down here on the ground.
Polls consistently show that We the People don’t think the economy has recovered. The Very Serious People in the media usually report that with a tone of bewilderment, as if they, gosh darn it, just can’t figure out why. Well, hello, here’s why:
Wages and salary as a share of GDP via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:
I don’t think I’ve heard a better description of Goldman Sachs than this one from this RawStory article about Matt Taibbi. Goldman Sacks is like a
vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
As I said last weekend, when a person reaches a certain strata in our society, the money just pours in. Like this:
NEW YORK/ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke earned more in 40 minutes on Tuesday than he made all of last year as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Bernanke was paid at least $250,000 for his first public speaking engagement, in Abu Dhabi, since stepping down in January, according to sources familiar with the matter. That compares to his 2013 paycheck of $199,700, and the appearance was only the first of three around the world this week.
I guess we’re supposed to believe that what Bernanke said was worth $6,250 per minute, even though by all accounts, he was asleep at the wheel while the world’s economy crashed.
We here in the U.S. (and in most of the world) have been told repeatedly that if we don’t bail out or prop-up the too-big-to-fail banks, it will spell financial doom for all of us.
Yeah? Then why is Iceland, which told the banks to go f*ck themselves, thriving?
Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save.
Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal.
While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime MinisterSigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high.
“Politicians always have something to worry about,” the 38-year-old said in an interview last week. “We’d like to see unemployment going from where it’s now — around 4 percent — to under 2 percent, which may sound strange to most other western countries, but Icelanders aren’t accustomed to unemployment.”
Of creditor claims against the banks, Gunnlaugsson says “this is not public debt and never will be.”
I looove that guy!
(The unemployment rate in the U.S. is roughly 6.7% which, of course, doesn’t count people who’ve given up looking for jobs, which is so ridiculous.)