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SEC Orders AIG Info Sealed Until 2018

SEC Orders AIG Info Sealed Until November… 2018!

Business Insider
January 12, 2010

Good news. It looks as though we’ll be getting access to secret data on the bailout of AIG and its counterparties.

The bad news: We’re going to have to wait until November of 2018, according to Matthew Goldstein at Reuters.

    In May, the SEC approved a request by AIG to keep secret an exhibit to a year-old regulatory filing that includes some of the details on the most controversial aspect of the AIG bailout: the funneling of tens of billions of dollars to big banks like Societe Generale, Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Merrill Lynch.

    The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, in granting AIG’s request for confidential treatment, said the “excluded information” will not be made public until Nov. 25, 2018, according to a copy of the agency’s May 22 order.

    The SEC said the insurer had demonstrated the information in the exhibit, called Schedule A, “qualifies as confidential commercial or financial information.” More

By then, Wall Street will have significantly recycled many people (and probably some more firms) and perhaps the American public just won’t care about how Tim Geithner helped bail out a gigantic black hole of a firm, upon which so many ostensibly rock solid firms had their foundation.

Bankergate: Emails Expose Criminal Financial Dictatorship At Work

Geithner’s Fed told AIG to hide “backdoor bailout”

New York Fed Faces House Subpoena Over AIG Bailout

 



Top contributors to Obama and McCain are big banks

Top contributors to Obama and McCain are big banks

 



WaMu: The Biggest Bank Collapse In U.S. History

WaMu: The Biggest Bank Collapse In U.S. History

TOP News
September 26, 2008

In what is being termed as the biggest bank collapse in US history, J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. will acquire massive branch network and troubled assets from Washington Mutual Inc. for $1.9 billion, as per a deal arranged by federal regulators. Under the deal – the latest stunning development in the ongoing credit crisis – J P Morgan Chase will acquire all the banking operations of Washington Mutual, including $307 billion in assets and $188 billion in deposits.

Washington Mutual had been one of the most hard-hit banks during the financial crisis after it bet big, like many of its competitors, on the strength of the housing market – only to see its fortunes sour as housing prices fell. Many analysts were speculating that the endgame for the embattled savings and loan was imminent, particularly after ratings agency downgrades this week, and a freefall in the company’s stock.

As a result of the Washington Mutual acquisition, the New York City-based J P Morgan Chase – after its mid-March acquisition of investment bank, Bear Stearns – will now boast some 5,400 branches in 23 states. “We think it is a great thing for our company,” said Jamie Dimon, J P Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO, in a conference call with investors late Thursday night.

Federal regulators who helped in finalizing the deal said the transition for Washington Mutual customers would be “seamless.” In a statement, FDIC Chairman, Sheila Bair, said: “There will be no interruption in services and bank customers should expect business as usual come Friday morning.”

The acquisition might prompt criticism from J P Morgan Chase rivals about preferential treatment by the government. For instance, no government assistance was extended to Bank of America Corp. in its recently announced purchase of Merrill Lynch. However, in the case of Washington Mutual acquisition, there were presumably other bidders who, in comparison to J P Morgan Chase, offered better deal for the deposits and branches.

The fall of Washington Mutual is the latest turn in a dizzying fortnight that has seen the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) and the near collapse of insurance giant AIG (AIG, Fortune 500). In fact, Washington Mutual has set a ‘record’ of sorts – it is the 13th bank to fail so far this year, and earns the title of the country’s ‘largest bank failure’ by assets on record, surpassing Continental Illinois’ $40 billion in assets when it failed in May of 1984.

Washington Mutual Is The 13th Bank To Fall This Year
http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html

 



Paulson’s former firm to be among largest beneficiaries of bailout

Paulson’s former firm to be among largest beneficiaries of bailout

John Bryne
Raw Story
September 23, 2008

It certainly pays to be Treasury Secretary if your former firm is a brokerage house, a new study says.

Goldman Sachs Group — formerly run by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Morgan Stanley, stand to be among the biggest beneficiaries of a $700 billion US bailout.

“Its benefits, in its current form, will be largely limited to investment banks and other banks that have aggressively written down the value of their holdings and have already recognized the attendant capital impairment,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America’s head of credit strategy research, wrote in a report obtained by Bloomberg News yesterday.

Paulson was the head of Goldman Sach’s investment banking division from 1990 to 1994. He later became chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman, and left his post to join the Bush Administration.

According to the study, the bailout benefits Paulson’s former firm more because banks haven’t had to write down as many troubled mortage assets under accounting rules. This means that participating in the program would cause them to actually lose capital, as opposed to investment banks, which stand to gain.

Paulson $700 billion program is designed to remove “bad assets” from the US financial markets to prevent credit for businesses from drying up, which would send the economy into a further tailspin. Many businesses rely on credit to fund their daily operations.

Lawmakers are debating the plan today.

“While Goldman and Morgan Stanley, both based in New York, were yesterday granted permission to transform themselves into bank holding companies, the companies so far have operated mostly under investment-bank accounting rules, logging almost $21 billion of asset writedowns and credit losses,” Bloomberg News notes.

Goldman made sizable profits in 2007 from the subprime mortgage sector. It, along with Morgan Stanley, has fared better than investment houses Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, because it has held a more conservative capital base.

Paulson has admirers: during his Goldman tenure the firm donated 680,000 acres of land in Chile, and he has personally given away $100 million of his fortune to charitable groups.

According to estimates conducted by Open Secrets, Paulson is the richest cabinet member of the Bush Administration.

Conflict Of Interest? Report Says Goldman Sachs ‘Among Biggest Beneficiaries’ Of Paulson’s Bailout
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/22/paulson-goldman-bailout/

 



Lehman Brothers Bank Files For Bankruptcy

Lehman Brothers Bank Files For Bankruptcy

AP
September 15, 2008

Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old investment bank choked by the credit crisis and falling real estate values, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the biggest bankruptcy filing ever on Monday and said it was trying to sell off key business units.

The filing was made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the bank’s holding company. The case had been assigned to Judge James M. Peck.

Lehman fell under the weight of $60 billion in soured real estate holdings, and the credit market’s dislocation ultimately forced it to seek court protection. The credit crisis has caused global banks to write down more than $300 billion in asset value since last year, and caused the shotgun sales of Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bear Stearns Cos.

Lehman’s bankruptcy filing marks the end of a Wall Street firm that started the U.S. cotton trade before the Civil War and financed the railroads that built a nation.

Read Full Article Here

FDIC Monitoring Lehman Impact
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSWAT01005420080915

 



Taxpayers to Pay Trillions for Fannie and Freddie Bailout

Fannie and Freddie Seized…Cost to Taxpayer: Over $1 Trillion

Contrarain Profits
September 8, 2008

Uncle Sam has finally taken over Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE). Yesterday, the Bush administration placed the mortgage giants under a conservatorship, putting billions of dollars of taxpeyers’ money at risk in the process.

The Treasury says it will stump up $200 billion to back the companies in exchange for a 79.9% stake in each. The government is now the biggest player in the US mortgage market.

Don Rich warns that the government’s bailout spells trouble for anyone holding US dollars. A major issue is that the Congressional Budget Office’s estimation of the costs of the bailout is far too conservative…

This from last Thursday’s Daily Reckoning:

A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has zero credibility. It pegged likely taxpayer losses in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts at $25 billion. For those with a sense of history, it is worth remembering that the S&L bailout had a $160 billion price tag. The numbers diverge so far from reality as to be laugh-out-loud funny. Funny, that is, except that the CBO estimate demonstrates a willful disconnect with the actual consequences of federal government actions.

As demonstrated below, the real cost of the bailouts will easily exceed $1.3 trillion. In fact, the real cost is likely to range between $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion, and is not unlikely to reach $2.5 trillion.

Between 2001 and 2007, Fannie and Freddie purchased or guaranteed $700 billion of Alt-A and subprime loans. Given the default rates on these loans – and the fact that the price of the housing that is the ultimate security of the loans will, for reasons demonstrated below, fall by at least thirty percent – this alone implies a loss for Fannie and Freddie on the order of $210 billion.

Fannie and Freddie acknowledge already-impaired loans on the balance sheet of $19 billion, which they have used creative accounting to avoid deleting from the shareholder equity account. This means that Fannie and Freddie have a maximum of $64 billion in capital remaining.

Given the inevitable losses on the Alt-A/subprime portion of their portfolio, it must be the case that if the federal government, as it is doing, guarantees Fannie and Freddie’s solvency, the difference between the loss and the capital to be made up by the government (i.e., the taxpayers) must equal, not $25 billion but $147 billion.

That alone would mean that the CBO is blowing smoke with their estimated cost figures, and if you think back to the S&L cost of $160 billion, this is not a surprising result. The real picture is so much worse that it is pretty obvious the CBO is flat out inventing figures just to get the politicians through November.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out how the government is going to get its hands on such money: the Federal printing press…

I don’t know what those people in Washington are taking to sleep at night after all their electorally driven accounting and finance exercises, but I can tell you what they will be doing to keep the government open for business: printing a whole lot of money.

Chairman Bernanke has the discount window open to any collateralization not worth the paper it is written on, so in effect he has the helicopters ready to drop hundred-dollar bills over Wall Street – as he once famously described the ultimate policy instrument of a fiat-money system.

Of course, if he does that, we will have to change his nickname from Helicopter Ben to Hyperinflation Ben, which answers the question of who picks up the tab of bailing out Fannie and Freddie: anyone owning dollars.

Produce a lot of something, and it becomes worth less. And given the losses at Fannie and Freddie, the taxpayer guarantee, and the ongoing initiation of Boomer retirement, only the inflation tax will work to pay for keeping Fannie and Freddie afloat.

Like it or not, we are about to enter interesting times, and it is too bad our supposed professional civil servants at the Congressional Budget Office have failed to tell the emperor the truth: that he is buck-naked bankrupt and getting ready to take a lot of people with him.

P.S Don Rich is an instructor of economics, finance, and political science at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. He also teaches economics, government, and history at Delaware County Community College in Exton, PA. You can leave comments for Don on the mises.org blog.

 

Greenspan: U.S Economy in ’once-in-a-century’ financial crisis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t6dLePtyXQ

 

U.S. Is “More Communist than China”: Jim Rogers

CNBC
September 15, 2008

The nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shows that the U.S. is “more communist than China right now” but its brand of socialism is meant only for the rich, investor Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC Europe on Monday.

“America is more communist than China is right now. You can see that this is welfare of the rich, it is socialism for the rich… it’s just bailing out financial institutions,” Rogers said.

Stock markets jumped after the U.S. government’s decision to launch what could be its biggest federal bailout ever, in a bid to support the housing market and ward off more global financial market turbulence.

But Rogers said in the long term the move spelled trouble.

“This is madness, this is insanity, they have more than doubled the American national debt in one weekend for a bunch of crooks and incompetents. I’m not quite sure why I or anybody else should be paying for this,” Rogers told “Squawk Box Europe.”

Read Full Article Here

 

Soros Compares Mishandling Of Current Crisis To Great Depression

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
September 17, 2008

Billionaire investor George Soros has slammed US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson for behaving in the same manner as bankers in the 1930’s and mishandling a financial crisis that threatens a repeat of the Great Depression.

Soros told BBC Newsnight that the world was merely at the beginning of a financial storm and warned, “We mustn’t allow the financial system to collapse as it did in the 1930s.”

Referring to Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, Soros stated, “The way Paulson is handling the situation is reminiscent of the way the bankers handled it in the 1930s.”

He added: “The financial system has gone overboard and the financial engineering has grown to big, it takes up too big a share in the world’s resources.”

“Now it is shrinking. When it becomes regulated it will be less profitable than the last 25 years.”

Soros, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, is ranked by Forbes as the 99th richest person in the world with a net worth of around $9 billion.

Ironically, Soros made his name by reaping the dividends of another financial meltdown when he “broke the Bank of England” by short-selling the pound sterling before the currency dropped out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992, landing Soros a profit of around $1.1 billion.

In 2006, the highest court in France upheld a conviction that Soros had practiced insider trading when he bought shares in French bank Société Générale after discovering that the bank was on the verge of a takeover.

Soros has repeatedly predicted fiscal armageddon, writing three books about a “superbubble” that is on the verge of collapse.

In response to those accusing him of crying wolf in an effort to panic financial markets and benefit from the fallout, Soros stated, “I have a record of crying wolf…. I did it first in The Alchemy of Finance (in 1987), then in The Crisis of Global Capitalism (in 1998) and now in this book (2008’s The New Paradigm for Financial Markets). So it’s three books predicting disaster. (After) the boy cried wolf three times . . . the wolf really came.”

Respondents to a Daily Mail article about Soros’ comments accused the financier of engaging in wanton hypocrisy.

“I don’t know why on Earth they interview Soros since he has been proven again and again to deliberately spread financial rumour for his own exploitation and gain,” wrote one, “Soros became a multi multi billionaire precisely through manipulating markets like this – if this man says that we are heading for a 1930’s style crash you can guarantee he already has plans to profit from it.”

Recent News:

China paper urges new currency order after “financial tsunami”
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSPEK4365020080917?sp=true

US authorities have now spent $900 billion to prop up the financial system
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/..d=9736054&cKey=1221686585000&ty=ti

Central banks pump £100bn into money markets
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/m..2008/09/17/cncentral117.xml

Treasury announces debt auctions for Fed
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jnS9Vm..m4iAD938I1A80

Fed Pumps $70B Into Financial System
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080916/ap_on_bi_ge/fed_credit_..E44U6Xfx.Fe7GUOQ.D1v24cA

Run On The Bank? Americans Could Lose Their Deposits
http://www.prisonplanet.com/run-on-the-bank-americans-could-lose-their-deposits.html

Merrill Lynch seals future with Bank of America deal
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/bu.._finance/article4755438.ece

Rogers: Dollar To Lose World Reserve Status
http://www.prisonplanet.com/rogers-dollar-to-lose-world-reserve-status.html

Paulson: Congress Has No Authority Here
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/09/paulson-congres.html

Goldman profit plunges 70 pct amid market slump
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080916/bs_nm/goldmansachs_dc

August home starts seen at lowest level in 17 years
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1638353220080917

Russia halts trading after 17.5% share price fall
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles..ORTUNE5.htm

Dow closed down 450
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20..er=1;_ylt=Al5VvbZImvYKFj5hEtFaLktv24cA

Is Britain Heading For Worst Recession Since 1929?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/09/15/bcnrecession115.xml

Washington Mutual Tumbles 30%
http://news.yaho..CZ6k2k2Rd38VKPgv6b.HQA

Now fear stalks British banks
Inflation rises to 4.7% and FTSE plunges ANOTHER 90 points as global markets tumble in wake of Meltdown Monday
Bush Claims Economy Can Weather Storm
Bailouts Will Push U.S. Into Depression

U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



10th Bank Collapse This Year

10th Bank Collapse This Year

Bloomberg
August 29, 2008

Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, Georgia, was closed by U.S. regulators today, the 10th bank to collapse this year amid a surge in soured real-estate loans stemming from the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

Integrity Bank, with $1.1 billion in assets and $974 million in deposits, was shuttered by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Regions Financial Corp., Alabama’s biggest bank, will assume all deposits from Integrity, which was run by Integrity Bancshares Inc. The failed bank’s five offices will open on Sept. 2 as branches of Regions, the FDIC said.

“Depositors will continue to be insured with Regions Bank so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance,’’ the FDIC said.

Banks are being closed at the fastest pace in 14 years as financial companies report more than $505 billion in writedowns and credit losses since 2007. California lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc., which had $32 billion in assets, was closed July 11 in the third-largest bank seizure, contributing to a 14 percent drop in the U.S. deposit insurance fund that had $45.2 billion at the end of the in the second quarter.

 

FDIC may borrow money from Treasury to see it through an expected wave of bank failures: report

Reuters
August 27, 2008

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) might have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The borrowing could be needed to cover short-term cash-flow pressures caused by reimbursing depositors immediately after the failure of a bank, the paper said.

The borrowed money would be repaid once the assets of that failed bank are sold.

“I would not rule out the possibility that at some point we may need to tap into (short-term) lines of credit with the Treasury for working capital, not to cover our losses,” Chairman Sheila Bair said in an interview with the paper.

Bair said such a scenario was unlikely in the “near term.” With a rise in the number of troubled banks, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund used to repay insured deposits at failed banks has been drained.

In a bid to replenish the $45.2 billion fund, Bair had said on Tuesday that the FDIC will consider a plan in October to raise the premium rates banks pay into the fund, a move that will further squeeze the industry.

The agency also plans to charge banks that engage in risky lending practices significantly higher premiums than other U.S. banks, Bair said.

The last time the FDIC had borrowed funds from the Treasury was at nearly the tail end of the savings-and-loan crisis in the early 1990s after thousands of banks were shuttered.

The fact that the agency is considering the option again, after the collapse of just nine banks this year, illustrates the concern among Washington regulators about the weakness of the U.S. banking system in the wake of the credit crisis, the Journal said.

Recent News:

Bankruptcy Filings Surge 29%
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2008/08/bankruptcy-filings-surge-29.html

FDIC: Bank Profits Fell By 86% In 2nd Quarter
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/busi..webbanks26.html

World Bank: More People In Poverty
http://www.reuters.com/article/worl..=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Dow Falls Another 240 Points
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2..=1;_ylt=ArOpbuqd64sBzkF3Xyx3zOxv24cA

Merrill, Wachovia in Danger of Failing: Strategist
http://www.cnbc.com/id/26262..Cquote%7Ctext%7C&par=yahoo

Large U.S. bank collapse seen ahead
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSSP21695020080819

Deepening economic crisis ‘may trigger family breakdown’
http://www.dailymail.c..onomic-crisis-trigger-family-breakdown.html

Auto industry seeks $50B in loans from Congress
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/23/news/economy/auto_bailout.ap/index.htm

Living the American dream in Brazil
http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2008/08/200881884358873790.html

Illegal Immigrants Returning to Mexico in Record Numbers
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,409221,00.html

FDIC: Highest Level Of Troubled Banks Since 2003
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20..s;_ylt=AiX6b2alma.c4GBC5tc9LJqs0NUE

FDIC Increasing Staff for Expected Increase in Bank Failures
Japan’s Mitsubishi takes over US bank