Friday, December 17, 2010

Krugman Rewatched Thunderball

The SPECTRE of Inequality.

"Even the big one — demanding a ransom for two stolen nuclear warheads — is 100 million pounds, $280 million. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $2 billion — or one-eighth of the Goldman Sachs bonus pool.

It’s just an indicator of how huge top incomes have become that what were once viewed as impressive numbers, the kind of thing only arch-villains might demand, now look trivial. Or maybe the other way to look at it is that we have a lot more arch-villains around than we used to."


Anonymous said...

To understand the crime, you must undertand the motive. In both cases, it was insatiable demand for compensation that drove both Blofeld and Blankfein.

Massive executive suite compensation growth in corporate America (notice not so much in Europe) over the last 30 years, especially on Wall Street, led directly to financial crisis of 2008, and prior financial scandals and meltdowns as well. Off the top of my head: Milken and junk bonds, S&L crisis and Keating, Enron - Lay/Skilling, Worldcom, Long-term Capital, bubble - Quattro, to name a few.

Without the possibility of outrageous short-term payouts to senior management or partners, we may likely have never seen the creation of the finanacial Frankenstein's monsters known as MBSs, CDSs and CDOs or the frauds that these instruments enabled.

These "instruments" were created for the sole purpose of generating fees for "Bankers" by hiding the true value of the trash mortgages that were at their core. Mortages that were in many cases, fraudulently created, then fraudulently represented as MBS, and then fraudelently re-represented as CDO/CDS. Now homes are being fraudulently forclosed on - please read Randall Wray on MERS for the complete picture).

All of these financial time bombs serve no economic or societal purpose, and as history has shown, they are incredibly dangerous. Yet we still don't have any adequate oversight for most of this radioactive financial horseshit.

Please read Professor William Black on Control Frauds. He explains why and how corporations are "taken over" by their senior management to maximize management's immediate income stream via their bonus plans, while putting the business at risk of total failure. And, if the businesses are large enough, entire economies at risk of collapse.

Just bacause Obama is owned by Wall Street and refuses to order Attorney General Holder and the SEC to investigate possible the criminal activity that led directly to 2008 finanacial meltdown, does not mean that crimes did not occur.

So, we are left with the current dog and pony show of a few insider trading arrests recently announced. I'm shocked, shocked to find out that people were selling insider information for personal gain, and that the financial community was involved.

Do Obama and his handlers really think that the American people, at least those who are even minimally informed on this subject, don't realize it's just another misdirection play to keep people's eyes from seeing the trillion dollar heist by Wall Street, et. al., which is just barely hidden underneath the "TARP".


ps. Blankfein does look a bit like Dr. Evil, and I can just picture him asking his cronies why he can't get some clever financial instuments (i.e., sharks with laser beams on their friggin heads) to generate massive income streams for their bonus pool (shark pool???). I mean really, is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To understand the crime, you must understand the motive. Whether you are talking about the plot of Thunderball or the financial meltdown of 2008, the motive was the same in both cases...MONEY.

At the heart of Krugman's comedic piece lies the fact that executive corporate compensation has exploded exponentially over the last 30 years. It is especially absurd on Wall Street, where compensation pools often exceed the GDP of many nations. For some reason this didn't happen in most EU corporations.

It was the potential for these outsized returns that drove the senior management of Wall Street et. al., to approve/request? the creation of the financial Frankenstein's monsters known at MBS, CDS, and CDOs.

Krugman, and I don't know why, never wants to mention the word fraud when discussing the meltdown. Until he does, he will always be one step short of the finish line and the truth. Please see professor William Black on control fraud and please see professor Randall Wray on MERS. The whole mortgage mess was rife with fraud from start to finish. It began with Liars Loans etc...bundled, and packaged, and repacked into the MBS, CDS, and CDO time bombs that detonated in 2008. We now see fraudulent foreclosures as current great contribution of the "money industry" to our society.

Unfortunately, there was no real-life James Bond to protect us from the Spectre of Wall Street extortion. So we, the taxpayers of the United States, paid the full ransom in the form of TARP, Open Window at the FED, and the purchase of trillions of dollars of radioactive financial horseshit (MBS/CDS/CDOs) that Wall Street peddled during the go-go bonus years 2000-2008, that were found to be worth maybe 30 cents on the dollar. Yes folks, you were left holding the bag so that the Bankers could keep their houses in the Hamptons, and Paris, and Aspen and St John's and their private jets and their exotic cars and their parties with midgets........

The funny thing is I think they were willing to walk away with their businesses and careers in shambles, as long as they got to keep the money they had made over the last ten hell with anyone else.

However, they had bought Obama with massive early campaign contributions, Bush was told what to do, Paulson was a Goldman Sachs insider, and once they realized that no one else (with any real power or influence) in the goverment was going to hold them accountable (I'll bet they could smell the fear in the remainder of the political class), they went for broke again. Wall Street "extorted" the US government to pay 700 billion in TARP (280 billion to AIG to facilitate direct payments to Wall Street), an open FED window for investment banks, and we also took all the toxic crap off their books, all of this so that they could makes instant bonuses again to the tune of 250 billion in 2009/2010. Why not, after all, they knew they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. What a great long con.

They should all be in jail now with Bernie Madoff.

You know come to think of it, Blankfein looks a lot like Blofeld and Dr. Evil. I can just see it now, flashback several years ago to the Goldman Sachs boardroom, Blankfein is asking numbers 2-9 for some weapons of mass financial destruction with "frickin laser beams attached" to them.

It might be funny if it weren't for the current reality of millions of unemployed American workers and broken American families that resulted from this insidious greed.


Howard said...

I really don't understand why you feel the need to post the same comment over and over again (and I don't mean the accidental double post here). Please stop telling me to "Please see professor William Black on control fraud", I've done so, years ago. We've had this conversation over and over. There's a difference between "fraud" and "control fraud" and maybe an investigation will show that fraud was committed, maybe not.

My issue with Black and with some of the "they should all be in jail" comments is that while the events in narrative are accurately described, the motives are assumed to be criminal. I've not seen anything that says a CEO created a CDO or CDS so saying "approve/request?" seems disingenuous to me, particularly knowing how large organizations work. Derivatives weren't regulated because a lot of people thought regulation was ineffective and wrong, not because a Bank CEO was trying to commit fraud.

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