Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who Likes Investment Bankers, Now?

"I've got a system," is the sit-com or movie comedy line where the smart protagonist puts his wallet back in his pocket, it is that ubiquitously a stupid statement that it's a joke. Or is it? David X Li had one, and apparently it was a doozy since it has pretty much sunk the financial system of the world. Huh?
For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

The Lords of Finance, the Masters of the Universe had a system? Until it fell apart. Go ahead, you go tell your Uncle Joe you've got a system...

Bank of America and Merrill have received $45 Billion in Federal assistance and done a few things like pay $3.6 Billion in bonuses to Merrill employees and spend $10 Million on a Super Bowl party and $8.7 Million on lobbying in 2008. NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo would like B of A President Ken Lewis to tell him about those bonuses and President Obama is done with Bankers flying around in corporate jets...think so?
On Thursday, Lewis refused to provide a list of bonus payments to the New York Attorney General, after arriving in New York in his $50 million corporate jet

Sorry to be rude, but that's a pretty major Fuck You.

You may remember Northern Trust threw a big bash for their employees and rich customers at a golf tournament and for some reason people objected to them taking $1.6 Billion in taxpayer money and having a big party. It seems they'd rather keep on partying without hearing about it from the peons.
Northern Trust has set a goal of repaying government funds "as quickly as prudently possible," Waddell said.(Pres & CEO)

Earlier this week, eighteen Democrats on the financial services panel, led by Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told Waddell in a scathing letter, "We insist that you immediately return to the federal government the equivalent of what Northern Trust frittered away on these lavish events."

Prudent? How about now, asshat?

I'm sorry to do this, but AIG should scare you spitless. The $160 Billion restructuring package is failing, AIG is expected to post (no kidding) $60 Billion 4th quarter losses - 3 damn months. Why should this bother you, other than the money spent?
"If the government lets AIG fail, I think you are going to see an enormous sort of shock wave across all industries because AIG had their finger in a lot of different areas," said Russell Walker, a risk management professor at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Actually, Walker is understating the extent of the damage, now are you spooked?

Citigroup has burned through their $36 Billion and now their hands are out for more, a lot more.
The U.S. government will exchange up to $25 billion in emergency bailout money it provided Citigroup Inc. for as much as a 36 percent equity stake in the struggling bank,

Maybe you don't have your hate on for this bunch quite yet. I can help you right along with that. UBS, yep Phil Gramm's employer, settled a tax evasion based case with the US Government that cost them a $780 Million deferred prosecution agreement that also included the release of the names of 52,000 American clients that DOJ suspects used them for tax avoidance. The kicker, UBS is being sued in Swiss courts to block that release.
The lawsuit accuses UBS and Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, of violating Swiss bank secrecy laws and of conducting what Swiss law considers illegal activities with foreign authorities. It also named Peter Kurer, the chairman of UBS, and Eugen Haltiner, the chairman of Finma, as defendants.

The suit, filed by a lawyer in Zurich, Andreas Rued, on behalf of nearly a dozen American clients, underscores the growing clash between Swiss banking secrecy laws and those of the United States. Tax evasion is not considered a crime in Switzerland. Disclosing client names under Swiss law is a criminal offense and can expose bank executives and officers to fines, prison terms and other penalties.

The Swiss have a bit of a problem going on, you see they hid Nazi loot and some agreements were made about the survivors and descendants of those looted and a part of that is tied into this action. Just try real hard to not remember this stuff as the Republicans accuse you of class warfare...

Maybe you don't have to smack the stupid off their faces, just spit on their boots. They've got a system... Let the bastards run wild because they're rich and we mustn't mess with that and free markets and government is the problem and class warfare and you're doody heads so we'll have a teabag rebellion socialist pig Democrats won't let them fail like a good Randian would and...and...rotten liberal media keeps making us look bad and...and...

Sure, sure, and that poll down below is just a joke.

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