Friday, September 26, 2008
The End of the Mother of all Ponzi Schemes
Much bigger than the South Sea Bubble and the dot.com bubble (also known as the I.T. Bubble) the sub-prime mortgage financing ponzi game blew up and the watchdogs (Congress, White House, SEC and the Fed) were asleep at the wheel or looked the other way while the rapacious financial entities did their thing -- repackaged mortgage securities to the sky until even they did not know what they were worth. But the executives responsible made money...and were going to make more under Secretary Paulson's plan, the original 3-page plan, asking for $700 billion without any oversight and restrictions!
Fox News reported comments by Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas:
"Huckabee also was critical of President Bush’s handling of the crisis.
He said to lay the $700 billion obligation on the nation “in 24 hours” amounts to “holding the country hostage.”
“I just think the American people ought to be screaming their lungs out, saying to Congress, not so fast. That’s our money you’re giving away,” Huckabee said.
He said the burden of the $700 billion relief package will fall on the next generation and those in their teens and 20s.
The president, in his speech to the nation on September 24th, didn't mention a word about those responsible for the debacle. How could he? He was one of them.
John McCain seeking brownie points
James Surowiecki in The New Yorker
- Before the government stepped in last week, the bodies of financial institutions—Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and A.I.G., with Washington Mutual and even Morgan Stanley threatening to be next—were piling up so fast it seemed possible that Wall Street might simply cease to exist. The list of blunders that led to the carnage is by now familiar: firms succumbed to the frenzy of the housing bubble; relied on dubious mathematical models to manage risk; and leveraged bad bets with suicidal amounts of borrowed money. But the impact of these mistakes was made worse by a seemingly harmless decision that these companies made many years ago: the decision to go public. Doing so put the firms at the mercy of the stock market, and last week that mercy evaporated.