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In today's edition of You Must Be F&^%ing Kidding Me we have a 2 fer.

1. AIG. AIG Considers Suing US Over US Bailout Of AIG

2. Goldman - Secret Goldman Team Sidesteps Volcker After Blankfein Vow

You can't make this crap up. The banks obviously have learned NOTHING from the financial crisis and continue to act as if they are owed a wildly profitable existence with no down side ... well with Geithner and Bernanke around, no wonder. Talk about an entitlement mentality.

1. So first up we have AIG, poster child of a totally screwed up company that took on massive amounts of risk, with no clue to what they were doing (writing protection on worthless MBS). Rescued by the government instead of being put out of its misery and rightly eliminating the net worth of creditors and shareholders .. it is now pouting that it really did not need a bailout. All I can think is that they think that they would have been fine if the Feds had not rescued the banking system .. because then they would not have had to have paid out on all those CDSs.

Sometimes you just have to laugh - or you will cry. In what could well have been Tuesday Humor if it wasn't so real, the AIG board (fulfilling its shareholder fiduciary duty) is considering joining Hank Greenberg's suit against the government over the cruel-and-unusual bailout that saved the company. The $25bn lawsuit, as NY Times reports, based not on the basis that help was needed but that the onerous nature "taking what became a 92% stake in the company with high interest rates and funneling billions to the insurer's Wall Street clients" deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment (prohibiting the taking of private property for "public use, without just compensation")
2. Remember the Volker rule - you know banks can't play in risky markets through prop trading, and remember how Goldman has claimed that it no longer does prop trading?

Surprise ... they were just kidding (we might call it lying ... but hey its just a slight variation in meaning ... I'm sure there is a technicality in there somewhere ... and if not they can easily spend a few hundred million on lawyers to convince us there is.)

“We shut off that activity,” the chief executive officer told more than 400 people at a lunch organized by the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., slicing the air with his hand. The bank no longer had proprietary traders who “just put on risks that they wanted” and didn’t interact with clients, he said.

That may come as a surprise to people working in a secretive Goldman Sachs group called Multi-Strategy Investing, or MSI. It wagers about $1 billion of the New York-based firm’s own funds on the stocks and bonds of companies, including a mortgage servicer and a cement producer, according to interviews with more than 20 people who worked for and with the group, some as recently as last year. The unit, headed by two 1999 Princeton University classmates, has no clients, the people said.

I really think George Carlin had it right. The death penalty is wasted on drug dealers ... what impact will it have on those already willing to die. To work there actually has to be some fear involved ... like if it were used on bankers.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:06:30 AM PST

  •  Volcker rule was, IMHO, always going to be (0+ / 0-)

    extraordinarily difficult to set up. It's one thing to say we'll ban prop trading, but that's what banks do: they risk their own capital to gamble on assets (mortgage loans), they can and often should use other arrangements to hedge that risk (hence, toward the end of the Glass-Steagall era, the OCC giving the green light to banks to use derivatives), and investment houses engage in market making.  

    I think the current iteration of the Volcker rule is best seen as limiting some of the more obvious cases of prop trading.  

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