How convenient for him to say this after the statute of limitations on many applicable laws has now passed… https://t.co/ItpgGxtx62
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) October 4, 2015
From the USA Today, “Ben Bernanke: More execs should have gone to jail for causing Great Recession“:
… “I think there was a reasonably good chance that, barring stabilization of the financial system, that we could have gone into a 1930s-style depression,” he says now in an interview with USA TODAY. “The panic that hit us was enormous — I think the worst in U.S. history.”
With publication of his memoir, The Courage to Act, on Tuesday by W.W. Norton & Co., Bernanke has some thoughts about what went right and what went wrong. For one thing, he says that more corporate executives should have gone to jail for their misdeeds. The Justice Department and other law-enforcement agencies focused on indicting or threatening to indict financial firms, he notes, “but it would have been my preference to have more investigation of individual action, since obviously everything what went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm.”…
Still, he does acknowledge some missteps by the Fed. Analysts were slow to realize just how serious the economic downturn would become, and he faults himself for not doing more to explain to Americans why it was in their interests to rescue the financial firms that had helped cause it.
“Every time I saw a bumper sticker which said, ‘Where’s my bailout?’ it hurt,” he told Capital Download…
Not as much as it hurt a lot of genuinely suffering people, Mr. Bernake. Video at the link, if you can stand six minutes of self-congratulation.
Apart from the usual plethora of putzes, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
Man, this Politico bullshit. Good Sweet Christ.
From just the headline and the tweet, I thought it was going to be a post about Bill Cosby!
To bring several ongoing conversation threads together, the new Pixar short is called “Sanjay’s Super Team” and was written and directed by an Indian-American animator at Pixar:
That’s what hurt, you sick son of a bitch?
Open thread needs kitteh!. Kitteh made it to the first page of ICHC/lolcats.
That is all.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Not seen the short but not a huge fan of the illustration shown in the article.
But that might have meant that someone he knew personally might have ended up in the graybar hotel and whatever role his friends and acquaintances might have had in collapsing the American economy while lining their pockets, homes, vaults, etc., they certainly didn’t deserve that, amirite? Considering how well rich folks don’t do in the slam….
Timing is all.
It’s gotten a huge reception at animation festivals. Still frames of animation don’t always look great, especially when they’re doing something stylized.
If it helps, the kid is supposed to be a caricature of the director at the same age.
“I think there was a reasonably good chance that, barring stabilization of the financial system, that we could have gone into a 1930s-style depression,”
Bernanke is pulling his punches. By standard US and international measures, the initial dive in economic activity for the Great Recession was worse (repeat, worse) and more rapid (repeat, more rapid) than in the initial stages of the Great Depression. If you look at old Krugman columns you will see the graphs and numbers. And in the Eurozone an periphery the cumulative loss in economic activity is by now larger than that suffered in the Great Depression Brad DeLong has discussed this in his blog.
Hard to see what saved us other than those stupid paleoliberal old-fashioned sclerotic automatic stabilizers and fiscal stimulus championed by the DemocRATS. And that the crazy GOP would like to get rid of.
Let’s go, Yankees!
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): OK then I will see it before I pass judgment.
ETA: I am not particularly religious but his images clash with what I grew up with, hence the reaction. BTW Hanuman is not monkey like he is a monkey or more precisely a vanar (langoor)
More execs should have gone to jail?!!? How about one, for starters.
And said executives or their successors will do it again, and again….why not? There’s no downside aside from potentially sinking your company, and if you walk away with 50 mil or something you can afford to pay a lot of lawyers to keep your felonious ass out of jail. Who knows, maybe even Eric Holder now that he’s returned to the bosom of Covington and Burling….why not the best?
@Fledermaus: They did send Rajratnam and Rajat Gupta to jail.
Open thread: spent all fucking day (8am-8pm)waiting for National Greed (minor issue). Not one call from them re: tech running late etc. I called twice, 1:30 4:30pm, was told I was on the schedule. Customer service closed 5pm. Made appointment last week and even with that buffer they wouldn’t commit to an am or pm time frame. I’m so pissed I doubt I’ll sleep much tonight.
What do you mean returned? They kept his office mis en place for him while he was in the Obama Admin.
Savings & Loan “scandal” in the 1980’s. Proof of concept.
@benw: To hell.
So we just killed MSF staff and patients, then? We wanted to make sure they knew who the boss was, I guess.
If you are considered a masochist, and you are truly worthy of that label, give an online listen to Bernanke from this morning’s Diane Rehm Show!
One of my favorite callers asked (paraphrasing here): ‘given the title of your book The Courage To Act…who were you thinking of in using the word “courage”?’ He missed maybe half a beat before responding (‘all those dedicated regulators blahblahblah…’).
A woman also called in who said she was a bank and S&L regulator in the eighties and through the mid-90s, noting that a LOT of bank and S&L execs went to prison back then. She then noted that Congress changed the laws so that, by the early aughts, regulators’ hands were tied so they had no legal authority to stop previously illegal behavior among financial institutions. She said that she and other oversight veterans foresaw what would result. Luckily for her, she retired (late 90s IIRC) before the collapse.
ETA: edited final sentence to (hopefully) remove ambiguity.
All I get from this the old boss should be in jail and the new boss should have been already in jail. The new Amerikan doj, and how those court cases going defending voter rights going? Dog save from ?
Prison, schmison, what really should have happened is a lot more bankers should have suffered financially. You know, where it really hurts for such folks.
It was necessary for the banks to survive the financial crisis — I accept that (to see why, consider the devastation that followed from letting Lehman Brothers go bankrupt).
What was NOT necessary was that any of the shareholders survive. *EVERY* bank that needed government help should have it’s equity cancelled. That alone would have crushed the net worths of the bankers who worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, etc etc etc. As it was, only Lehman bankers lost everything.
That would have caused a decent amount of financial shock among the financial classes. Some of the poor dears would have lost their fourth, third and, in some cases, even their second houses. Which would have been a lot better than what actually happened.
AFAICT (my first chance to see it would be next week), it’s supposed to be a six-year-old’s dream interpretation of what his dad has been trying to teach him. (You don’t even want to know what my six-year-old brain thought Jesus looked like.) So, no, those aren’t supposed to be the actual gods fighting like his favorite superheroes.
@sharl: Note that they aren’t business geniuses by any means.
They are thieves who are able to make legal.
It’s not like the DOJ needed Bernanke’s permission to prosecute.
Word. Astros up 1-0 now.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I grew up with Amar Chitra Katha, literal translation would be Immortal Picture Stories, which is a sanitized children’s version Indian history and mythology.
@sharl: Come to think of it, “act” isn’t the first verb I’d put on the cover.
Hey, fellow Juicers: My wife and I are going to be a Nielsen family!
I don’t know how they choose, but I get tabbed to ruin America’s TV about once a decade.
Look for these to skyrocket in populatiry: All kinds of soccer, the CFL, Doctor Who, and a lot of Adult Swim (epsecially for a household with our, um, demographics).
@Steeplejack (phone): Missed opportunity for a big inning there but the more pitches we force him to make early, the better.
That golf shot by Rasmus reminded me of a Lance Berkman style blast.
Yep, this cannot be repeated too often.
I remember stuff like the covers of Newsweek/Time/etc. puffing up the “genius” of people like Alan Greenspan. Maybe – maybe – you could find mention of his troubling fanboy relationship with the psychologically malformed Ayn Rand buried deeply in those articles, but mostly such articles were triumphal paeans that were only missing the accompanying music.
And there were so many other examples. Similar articles on Ken Lay of Enron fame and infamy. What I learned in autopsies of the Enron collapse – and this shouldn’t have surprised me – was just how completely business “journalism” outfits were owned by the people and corporations they cover. I don’t know how you fix a problem like that, especially as an individual news consumer, other than reading critically and going to social media to call bullshit when the coverage merits it.
The teabaggers have done a very good job of redirecting most people’s anger away from the Congresscritters that created the mess and towards the people who tried to clean it up even though the regulations that had been used for the S&L prosecutions were weakened or eliminated.
@ThresherK: haha.. I was called once and agreed, then they asked what channels we watched and changed their minds. Be prepared.
@sharl: The sick fact is that the unparsable Greenspan-speak pronouncements coming from our Fed are essentially unheard of in other Central Banks around the world. Not that I’m defending any Central Bank but at least they just make their minutes open and say what they’re going to do moving forward.
We sit around masturbating about what an 80 year old man may surmise about the state of the market.
So, its about ethics in business journalism? ;-)
@kc: [email protected]kc: we have a winner!!!!
I rec the Chinese solution for bankers bad behavior: firing squad.
I mean the US loves guns amirite??
In fact, maybe a rule that for every school shooting the DOJ gets to shoot a Wall Street banker. May solve two rather itchy problems…
@ThresherK: I got picked by arbitron while I was working at a top 40 station. Had no notify station management, and sadly, was unable to boost our overnight share. It would have been honest. I mostly listened when I was on the air, at least after the 30 second alarm light started flashing.
Any idea how fast gun control legislation would be passed?
If it wasn’t for Bernanke, those sociopathic Auserians in the GOP would have forced us into a deeper ditch.
I think the short is supposed to be the Hindu gods as seen through the eyes of a kid who watches a lot of “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Powerpuff Girls.” At least, that’s what the style looks like to me.
In weird religious comic books, I was actually given (and read) a copy of the classic Catholic propaganda “Hansi: the Girl Who Loved Hitler” comic book. It probably was not age-appropriate since it featured (off-panel) death and rape.
@Mike J: Sulfur smells like victory!
@jl: This needs to be repeated. The structural reforms of the New Deal and modern monetary policy saved us from a Greater Depression.
I know it’s kewl to punch guys like Bernanke in the dick, but things like QE saved our ass.
Slight correction — she was the girl who loved the swastika. You can actually read the whole Chick-style tract online:
@Corner Stone: Aw man, I forgot about that: business articles even praised his indecipherable gibberish as the utterances of a genius who couldn’t be bothered to speak plain English; obviously the ignorant hoi polloi were unworthy of such effort. More plausible speculation suggested that his ambiguous, confusing fed-speak was intentional, leaving him with a plausible opportunity to deny that he said…whatever it was people claimed he had said.
It seems to have worked out for him.
I’m starting a kickstarter for guillotines, I think its the right way to go.
@JPL: Well, I passed that hurdle, with the response “A little bit of everything” when I was asked “What kinds of programs do you watch?” The booklet is in the mail.
@Mike J: I don’t know about radio rating services, but I was distinctly asked if anyone in the house worked at a TV station or for a cable/etc provider. Since neither of us do, I forget the particulars of the question.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): There was an Amar Chitra Katha on Jesus too. I think it was written by a Catholic priest.
@Schlemazel: Go for VC funding and then take it public.
A moment of silence for the Boston team we need not name who are sitting at home and pitying themselves again.
Right, that seems like a long enough moment.
@efgoldman: Thanks! I will take a look.
@efgoldman: Don’t believe it until they build one.
Hurting fee fees is the worstest.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): That was surreal.
Which of you, by taking thought, can add one qubit unto his stature…..
The fuck? QE did not save our ass, it guaranteed bankster bonuses. The thing Helicopter Ben should have done is bunch drop in monies for the actual people who would have spent it.
Don’t try and paint this in any other way. We made the ultimate risk takers more than whole and we fucked every other party to the problem.
I think I’ve found a lesser-spotted Rand Paul voter:
Actually very different. Lots of people went to jail. Ask Bill Black.
@SRW1: Some combination of “tinted limo glass” and “rich guy’s sharetime helicopter” shoulda been able to shield his feefees from that onslaught.
@Corner Stone: Bernanke and US Fed FAR outperformed all the other Central Bankers in terms of getting the economy back. Faint praise given the competition, but still better than the others.
@ThresherK: This was decades ago and at the time I had cable. I think that excluding people who enjoyed PBS and shows like Biography on A and E, at the time, skewed their results. If they called today, I would be excluded because I’m on antenna. I flunked the test though.
@Morzer: His parents must be so proud.
NRA Gun manufacturer exec.
I wonder if the Gattis are smart enough cats to change their names and move out of state before their spawn decides to take up residence in their basement.
@catclub: Proof of concept means that they roughed out the edges and saw what they needed to do to make it more profitable next time.
@catclub: Did they really? Do tell how they did that.
Apparently his former high school has just dropped him down the memory hole:
@JPL: “Biography on A&E”? Wow, that was a time ago. Cannot remember the last A&E thing I tuned into on purpose.
Our system has Animal Planet, A&E, History, Discovery, HGTV, Food, TLC all in a row. Except for Food Network I don’t even bother with that part of the dial*. And Animal Planet we basically like for “Too Cute” and “My Cat from Hell”, neitherof which will be on during my Nielsen period.
(*Yes, my first TV had a dial. But it also had indented UHF tuning, not vernier.)
Being a Jew, Mr. Bernanke knows to fear a just God and knows he is called to atone for deeds he did NOT undertake to save innocent taxpayers and citizens.
You can try to fool us, Mr. Bernanke but there is no fooling Yahweh…
Glad my earlier post about Huntsman and Chaffetz was a hit!
On to the next GOP nightmare: CARSON’S (potential) DUKAKIS MOMENT HAS ARRIVED!
(no, he’s not going riding in a tank…I’m talking about asking him a very pointed question about his stand on an issue a la Dukakis’ being asked if he’d still be anti-death penalty if his wife Kitty were raped and murdered)
Someone in the media please take Carson’s quote
and ask him,
“Dr. Carson…if it were one of your three very accomplished sons lying there dead, will bullet holes in him, killed by someone with mental health issues…would you have wanted someone to have taken that person’s guns away, or would you instead feel grateful that at least our nation had not been devastated by that blow to the shooter’s freedom?”
@Morzer: It appears that it is going to be difficult to get into another school.
@Hawes: I consider Bernanke the only Dubya pick that we were better off for Bernanke going into the office and doing his job than just staying on permanent vacation.
Soft bigotry of low expectations and all that.
Bernanke could do a courageous act and start pointing fingers at the people and institutions that he believes would have deserved legal scrutiny and why. There’s no statute of limitations on that.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Jeffro: MNBC just played a clip of Carson on the Fox Morning Zoo (and of course one of the Douceys asked him about the gun being pointed at him as a Christian, the greatest test of faith! happens all the time) and he was babbling about how he’d tell everybody, let’s get him, he may kill me, he can’t kill all of us! And the theoretical secular humanist terrorist stands there listening while Dr Ben rallies the crowd. I usually think these people watch too much Justified (a show I loved), I think Dr Ben is stuck on Charlie’s Angels, or Walker! Texas Ranger.
I don’t trust the vulture capitalists, they tend to steal businesses from their founders. But I appreciate the thought, maybe you can be my CFO?
@jl: Bernanke did a good job fending off the REpuke crazies. I credit helicopter Ben for acknowledging reality
Bernanke isn’t a lawyer and didn’t work at the doj. Blaming him for sitting on his hands and not prosecuting is like blaming Obama for not sending marshawn lynch in the Super Bowl.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think you’re right about Walker-TR.
Even my 14-year-old gets how insane this worldview is…I told her about Rick Perry’s response to the Colorado movie theater shooting (that it would have had a better outcome if everyone had been armed)…she couldn’t believe that someone so clearly dumb/insane could have gotten elected to anything.
Make Carson answer the question: so, better that your kid should die than an American be denied his guns & ammo (or have them taken away), under any circumstances, is that correct Dr. Carson?
Am I off base, or are Kruk and Shulman just not that good an announcing team?
(Jessica Mendoza gets an alma mater pass)
@Schlemazel: Sure! I have a feeling that VCs won’t want to mess with you.
@Corner Stone: It saved us and enabled fat paychecks for bankers. The more optimal solution was money to those who spend it via spending programs. Like, the infrastructure we need to replace and the trains we need to build among the many things that could have been stimulative. There was a year or so where Social Security tax weren’t collected, which helped at the right level of the economy.
However, I imagine that you do remember that the sheriff was near and that there was nothing to be done in Congress after the 41 seat majority took the Senate. Made action by the Fed the only option. And, with rates down to zero, that left QE.
Not the best choice, but better than sinking the lifeboats with the Titanic. We could have punished the banksters but without 1) Congress, which we did without, and then 2) the Fed, which is still bailing us out, punishing the banksters would have been the least of our worries.
@David Fud: Some of this is on point. But my reply was to someone who made an argument that just doesn’t hold up.
Don’t tell me we could not have got anywhere by punching Bernanke in the dick. We should have punched him in the dick.
The Fed. Bailing us out? The fuck you talking about? Who is we, and where is that mouse in your pocket?
thats true, we could always use them for QA testing of our product!
Moral hazard has somehow grown two left feet.
Nice piece of hitting, Altuve!
Astros doing a good job of switching between American League and National League playing styles. Nice small ball for the third run.
And it should, because ur doin it rong.
Money talks, venality walks.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
BREAKING! Jeb? continues to be really, really bad at this running for president thing
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Lonestar! We meet again. For the first time, for the last time.
Paranoid Coward (PC)
What’s on tap? Max strength OTC pain killers, Smirnoff and the resultant stomach ache in order to kill the pain after broken ribs and a collapsed lung (ER was mighty stingy with the Percoset [10 pills] because party poopers). I would prefer MJ anytime, anywhere.
Major Major Major Major
Guess who got evicted agaiiiin #sanfranciso
@Morzer: The saddest aspect of that non-story is that TPM published it. How the mighty are fallen.
TPM has gone the way of Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, and is swirling around the bowl these days.
@Mandalay: Without getting into whether or not, some sites should have posted it, it might be a wake up call for those who offer can help. imo
TPM does some decent work with relatively limited resources. Sure, they aren’t as good as say Mother Jones, but they are definitely better than HuffPo and Buzzfeed.
A Hindu chemical engineer, actually.
@efgoldman: I read the original technical paper this morning, and there are a few caveats to bear in mind.
1) Despite what the press release claims about scalability to millions of qubits, what was demonstrated in the paper was construction of _two_ such qubits and a quantum connection (“entanglement”) between them. While _making_ millions of such structures is perfectly feasible since they’re working in silicon, establishing the entanglement connection at larger scales is a hard problem. No, it’s a HARD problem. No, make that a HARD problem.
2) You’re not going to see this on your desktop anytime soon. The authors didn’t give the exact temperature at which they worked, just that it’s below 50 mK. Figure about $500K of helium dilution refrigerator, plus infrastructure costs (power, chilled water, etc.) just to get started.
3) “Programming” a quantum computer is something we don’t really know much about. Without going too much into the weeds, there are a few classes of problems that are readily amenable to quantum speedups (most notably, factoring large numbers, which is essentially equivalent to “breaking cryptographic cyphers”), but it’s not going to speed up your spellchecker in Word. The closest thing that we have right now to a commercial QC, a system from an outfit called D-Wave, is basically an optimization engine (or so they claim. It’s …controversial). If you can map your problem to “here’s a very complicated mathematical function. Find the point at which the function has its minimum value”, then D-Wave might be able to help you.
Read people like Doug Henwood and Mike Albert, and publications like Z.
@Cervantes: Yep, I know them (and others) now, but fifteen years ago I did not (assuming they were publishing openly then).
Thanks. Was unfamiliar with Amar Chitra Katha. I’ve never read the Mahabhrata or the Ramayana; maybe I can digest some of the rudiments in this form.
providing money to regular shlubs is the job of fiscal policy, not monetary policy. there’s really no mechanism the fed has for quantitative easing that doesn’t go through the big banks.
the reason we didn’t have aid going to regular folks who would spend it is because congress made it clear early on that they weren’t at all fucking interested.
Still requires a big-ass cryostat.
I’m 63; I won’t live to see wide availability of quantum computing.
The approach has advantages only for certain classes of problems.
MS Word, Excel, and drawing pie-charts for executives are not among them.
Neither is running a Web browser.
Gin & Tonic
@Morzer: Can we spell “privilege”? The Killington Mountain School is a “ski academy,” where people with more money than brains send their children to train to be elite-level ski racers while pretending that they are also going to school (at a cost of nearly $50k/yr.) Needless to say, as with any sport, most fail to reach a financially sustainable level, and have to figure out how to do something else.
They were — and as you suggest, it’s never too late to read them!
Bernanke and US Fed FAR outperformed all the other Central Bankers
Except Iceland’s ?
I’m asking, not stating.
@JPL: Right. I didn’t mean to be dismissive about that student’s drinking problem. This was not his first brush with the law, he is in a deep hole, and he desperately needs help.
Obligatory Steve Gilliard reference.
@Morzer: TBF, Huff Post and Buzzfeed have also done some excellent reporting from time to time, amid all the dross. It’s just that TPM has changed so much. I guess they are doing what they need to do in order to say afloat.
I can’t even get all that excited about Yankee elimination day anymore.
@schrodinger’s cat: Absolutely adorable kitteh.
@Corner Stone: Actually I disagree with your description of Bernanke and agree with @catclub:
As one who spent a career in the back office of a branch of a major national financial services firm I understood what was going on that fateful September weekend in 2008. If Bernanke and the Fed, along with the bailouts of the Dems in the Congress, had not succeeded in rescuing those firms we’d all of us have been a lot worse off than we were/are. The fallout from their collapse would have been even more far reaching and devastating to the wider economy.
We were fortunate to have Bernanke and Paulson at the helm. They were competent realists, as were the Democrats in Congress.
To read the non-kids’ version of some of the stories from the Bhagavad-Gītā, I’d suggest the translation by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood. (Yes, the Isherwood of The Berlin Stories and vice versa.)
To go deeper into the philosophy, you might begin with Prabhavananda’s translation of the Upanishads.
Or for a wide perspective, there’s Prabhavananda’s book The Spiritual Heritage of India.
All are dated, sure, but, on the other hand, the sources are timeless.
@enplaned: Sorry, all of the poor should have lost their first houses and all other houses too. And lost most of their wealth — their stocks, bonds and investments. As foundations lost money and stopped making grants, I lost my job and my economic security. The non-profit I once worked for is HALF the size it once was. These f*cks deserved to lose everything.
Bhagavad-Gītā trans. Prabhavananda & Isherwood
Thanks. Amazon has used hardback edition in VG condition for 1 cent.
@PurpleGirl: Argh!!! I meant “the poor dears”. My bad, proofed it too quickly.
As I said, it’s dated!
I’m off. Have a good evening.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Wow. I read the whole thing and just, wow.
Was this comic exclusively Catholic propaganda? It seems to hit a lot of right-wing “Christian” memes.
I was born into a Jehovah’s Witness family and read a lot of stories about Hitler’s persecution of JW’s with a lot of gory details that were not age appropriate, but that comic really leaves me gob-smacked.
I don’t see that TPM has changed significantly in quality. HuffPo has definitely lost several notches in quality and Buzzfeed wasn’t great to begin with.
The entire output of tracts* in comics form from Jack Chick’s outfit were overt, dedicated Christian propaganda.
*description proudly flourished by the publishers themselves
Don’t forget W rode on Kenny Boy’s plane during the 2000 election and called it “integrity one”
No, I shit you not
and when Enron went belly up, W hardly met the guy.
Oh, but wait! Masterminds like Omnes Omnibus and burnspbesq have assured us, in tones of punitive hysteria, that it is absolutely impossible for any prosecutor to indict these Wall Street crime lords for their criminal fraud!
Because SHUT UP, that’s why.
Meanwhile, out here in the real world, Omnes Omnibus and burnspbesq are lying. They are lying their asses off. And it’s easy to prove it.
18 USC 1343, federal wire fraud statute:
Robosigning subprime mortgages is a scheme “devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretense” which ” transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice.” The fraudulent robosigning of subprime mortgages “affects a financial institution” and therefore according to the specific federal statute “such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
“But no prosecutor can prove intent to defraud!” Omnes Omnibus and andburnspbesq wail, showing that they’re either the world’s most incompetent and more ignorant liars, or they’re both paid astroturfer sock puppets who don’t know a law degree from a ole in their ass.
Proving intent to defraud on the part of Jamie Dimon (and all the other big Wall Street crime lords) is trivial. Here’s how you do it:
Goldman Sachs to Pay Record $550 Million to Settle SEC Charges Related to Subprime Mortgage CDO
Translated into English, this means that Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty to lying about the securities they packaged from subprime mortgages and sold to customers. Goldman Sachs lied about the quality of the securities they were selling, and the proof that Goldman Sachs lied is clear and unmistakable — because after selling those fraudulent worthless subprime mortgage-backed securities to customers, Goldman Sachs sold those very same securities short.
Lying about a financial instrument to your customers and then selling that financial instrument short constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to defraud.
Any prosecutor in America could stroll into a courtroom, slap the SEC fraud settlement (550 million dollars and a promise not to do it again) on the courtroom table and announce, “Your honor, the prosecution introduces Exhibit A, Goldman Sachs’ plea agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission admitting fraud.”
When the defense counsel jumps up to shout “Objection, your honor!” the judge will rap his gavel and intone, “Sit down, counselor, your clients entered into this plea agreement with the full knowledge that their admission of culpability would be on the record. The prosecution may continue.”
Then the prosecutor simply enters evidence of the short sales by Goldman Sachs into the record, announcing, “Your honor, the prosecution enters Exhibit B, recipts showing Goldman’s short sales of the mortgage-backed securities they sold to customers.”
And when the counsel for the defense jumps up to yell “Objection, your honor!” the judge asks, “On what grounds?” And the counsel for the defense mumbles and fumbles and splutters, “Um, uh, it’s, er, it’s, uh…” And the judge says, “Sit down, counselor. The prosecution may proceed.”
And then the prosecutor says, “Your honor, we move for a directed verdict of guilty to the charges on 18 USC 1343.”
And when the counsel for the defense shrieks “What? Wait! There has to be trial! I object! I–”
The judge cuts him off. “Objection overruled. The evidence introduced by the prosecution constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to defraud. Does defense counsel dispute the electronic records of the short sales?”
And the judge cuts him off again and says: “Does defense counsel dispute the accuracy of the recorded plea agreement your client made with the SEC?”
“So how do you explain, counselor, your client misrepresenting securities and then selling them short? What other reasonable inference can anyone arrive at other than self-evident and unmistakable intent to defraud?”
“I…but, I, they…they might have…er…it’s–I don’t…”
“Thank you. Be seated counselor. So ordered. I hereby enter a directed verdict of guilty to the charge of federal interstate wire fraud, 18 USC 1343. Bailiff, place the defendant Jamie Dimon in handcuffs and remove him for processing.”
And that’s it.
That’s all there is.
It’s a GODDAMN FUCKING SLAM-DUNK.
Everyone on this forum who has claimed that “you can’t prosecute Jamie Dimon or other Wall Street CEOs for fraud under current statutes” is lying to you. Everything they say is a lie. They are lying when they use the word “and” and they are lying when they use the word “a” and they are lying when they use the word “the.”
my favorite Jack Chick spoof, and just in time for Hallowe’en …
[ checks horoscope, weather, perimeter for additional anomalies ]
Another Chick/Cthulhu mashup [ warning PDF ]
Clearly and provably wrong.
The single most efficient mechanism for QE is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Jacking up the EITC to, say, $10,000 a year for low income people would introduce enormous stimulus into the U.S. economy. Aggregate demand would skyrocket.
Moreover, these kinds of income transfers to low-income people have been tested in the real world. They have been proven to work. In fact, such income transfers have been shown in tests in the real world to be more effective at eliminating poverty AND at boosting the economy than any other method.
See the article “Free money might be the best way to end poverty,” The Washington Post, 29 December 2013.
Nobel laureate economists like Paul Krugman have urged that the EITC be greatly expanded, as it’s by far the most effective way of simultaneously stimulating the economy and fighting poverty.
We now return to the regularly scheduled flood of paid far-right astroturfers who will call me “insane” and “in need of therapy” and “ranting and raving” for citing documented facts.
First time I’ve heard massive amused indifference described as a flood of astro-turfers.
As widespread as this was, it was Standard Operating Procedure at a lot of these companies, so it WAS the firms. What a shithead.
@jl: Mostly correct. I kind of look at Bernanke as mixed bag. He was appointed by Bush and took over for Greenspan in January 2006. Both in his prior job as President of Atlanta Fed and upon taking over for Greenspan, he joined Greenspan in the “Groupthink” bubble that financial markets had priced and hedged all the risk and the only thing they had to worry about was wage inflation taking off if money was to loose. So for 2006 and first 7 months of 2007, as the housing bubble popped, and under water mortgages started turn all that AAA mortgage back securities paper to junk, they kept right on tightening, believing the sub-primed market was “well contained.” As Kramer said at the time, “they know nothing.” See http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/17/cramer-phew-fed-gets-it-prepare-for-high-prices.html August 2007 may been the wake up call for Bernanke because was the month credit markets froze. The real estate market stopped as no one was lending money anymore as house prices started crashing. (The builder then in our neighborhood had been building and selling $400,000 plus homes in our neighborhood up until August. After August, to this date, not one new house has been built in the sub-division. The builder was bankrupt within a year and about half the homes sold went through foreclosure. House values plunged 40% and, in our area and still not really recovered.) However, in 2010-11 when the ECB and several other central banks around the world started raising interest rates, Bernanke went the opposite way and in the teeth furious criticism of Conservative critics, inflationistas, and austerity fans, including folks on the Fed Board like Richard Fisher, kept interest rates at zero and enaged in QE II and QE III, which basically kept the U.S. economy afloat and adding jobs despite the best efforts of the Republicans to sabotage the economy 2011 and 12.
However, I think both he and Janet Yellen made another mistake in starting to taper QEIII in 2013. We are going to near recession next year or 2017 as result and I would not be surprised to see QE IV.
On the contrary. They’re telling the literal truth but it has NOTHING to do with statutes. Politically, you can’t prosecute the bankers because they own the courts, the politicians and everything else. The courts and politicians know this and so do the people on the forum saying you can’t prosecute them.
What some of those guys are beginning to wake up to is that you CAN guillotine them, and that’s the court of last resort when you can’t prosecute them (in practical terms: I admit technically you ‘could’). This is quite true. It’s what happens when the ultra-hyper-rich gain this kind of power and try to actively use that degree of privilege, and amazingly the ‘cuckolded’ courts and politicans might not be wildly excited about defending those hyper-rich who were so scornful and usurped the courts/government’s power.
I’m in agreement that Bernanke was a mixed bag and did manage to avoid going full austerian: ask Mark Blyth, he’ll tell you that’s why the USA is doing better than the Eurozone. He testified in Congress to that effect, and I hope somebody listened, because the recipe for springing back and becoming a dominant world power again is to double down on that Keynesian thing and do the opposite of austerian policy. It’s the perfect time to do it.
On the other hand, mclaren, I’m fully in agreement on your Universal Basic Income points. That’d be the single most effective way to get our economy really cranking in practical terms. I personally would see an immediate benefit: some of my customers literally can’t afford $50 and would like to be able to buy my plugins, they’re just not liquid. A lot of economic activity would be made possible if all us po’ folks had a few thousand extra bucks, no questions asked.
Hell, I’d see a difference from a HUNDRED bucks a month. I cancelled my cellphone service entirely, rendering my old iPhone an elaborate camera and note-keeping device, to save about $70 a month, and it’s been a big help.
@mclaren: In what universe can the Federal Reserve Bank change the tax code? Does the Constitution there also make the head of the FDIC the commander in chief of the armed forces?
Rob in CT
So, McLaren doesn’t understand what “fiscal policy” as opposed to “monetary policy” means. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!
Boosting the EITC would indeed have been a good stimulus measure. Doings so would require congressional action. The Fed has nothing to do with it. Blaming BB for not expanding the EITC is utterly nonsensical.
This is what the phrase “not even wrong” was invented for.
My recollection is that BB spent years (quietly – probably too quietly but there are reasons a Fed chair tries to stay out of dust-ups with congresscritters) lamenting the failure of congress to provide more stimulus.
[This is not a comprehensive evaluation of Bernanke/the Fed’s response to the financial panic of ’08, or his recent comments. I’m well to BB’s left.]
J R in WV
Yet again I am forced, very much against my will, to agree with mclaren.
Squirming and writhing, I think we could still use his described method to put all the leaders and active partners in the many fraudulent schemes away for 30 years, and forfeit their bonuses, salaries, homes, yachts, helicopters, private jet planes, sons and daughters…
Wait… stop. Maybe not their kids.
But everything else, GONE!! And all funds to be deposited into pension funds left without sufficient financial support by fraudulent bankruptcies.
Rob in CT
I can’t comment on the legal angle. IANAL. I strongly suspect that a lot more was possible, and the Holder (and Obama for appointing and sticking with him) and various other officials have a lot to answer for on that account. Talk about moral hazard.
Bernanke, though? WTF? The Fed was gonna prosecute banksters how?
So, to recap: McLaren isn’t wrong about outcomes, but appears to be deeply confused about process.
Rob in CT
By the way, someone who cites Krugman might want to try reading him:
Krugman points out the obvious: the Fed did what it could, and that was somewhat helpful, but more important was fiscal policy. We are very fortunate we have the automatic stabilizer programs in place (that the GOP wants to kill), and the too-small stimulus passed by the Democrats was good too. Not enough, mind you, but all of that helped avert what could have been the worst depression in a century or more. More could and should have been done, and some of the blame goes to the Dems who were too cautious, too inside the box and too connected to Wall St. to respond properly. Far more goes to the rabid jackals known as the GOP.
I’m unconvinced that BB could have done more than what he did. He had a limited set of policy tools and he used them. A lot. And caught so much shit for it from his fellow GOPers that it pushed him out of the party.
This is not the enemy you are looking for.