Inside Job, the movie. A must-see

The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

Inside Job clearly documents the rise of the power of financial institutions to the point where they now clearly have corrupted both our political and financial systems. They document this in an almost understated way, letting the facts and participants speak for themselves. Both major political parties are equally complicit. The gutting of financial regulation started with Reagan, continued with both Bushes, was heavily aided by Clinton, and Obama essentially hired the same people who corrupted the system to clean it up thus assuring the status quo. Europe and Britain have made substantially more reforms than the US. Obama refused to limit corporate salaries even after 20 European countries did so.

The thought that continually ran through my mind tonight while watching Inside Job was, these people are criminals, nothing more. And the government protects them.

We need a change.

Greenspan: This is worst financial crisis ever, including 1930’s

Yes, the man who helped cause it all by creating and presiding over two bubbles and subsequent collapses now says – wait for this – the rich are now getting richer while everyone else gets screwed. Perhaps the old buzzard is feeling a twinge of conscience or realizes his historical name is mud unless he does something to atone, and quickly. But realize this, he is indeed saying things for most people are worse than during the Great Depression.

FDIC: Many more bank failures coming

As previously reported, Citibank reserves right to put 7 day hold on withdrawals and a recent SEC proclamation does the same for money market accounts.

Connect the dots, folks. Our federal government, Citigroup, Greenspan, and others are telegraphing they see big trouble coming. We aren’t nearly out of this.

Dead Battery of the Decade Award: Alan Greenspan

Wall Street Cheat Sheet gives this prestigious award to the man who without him, the financial collapse could not have happened – Alan (“I heart Ayn Rand”) Greenspan.

The video explains that Ayn Rand would have detested what Greenspan did, as he was constantly meddling with the markets and never allowed the destructive side of capitalism to smash weak businesses so new and presumably better ones could be born.

Greenspan used Randian philosophy (but not its practice) as a cover for an elite oligarchy to steal from the rest of us. He is no champion of capitalism or of democracy but the precursor and enabler of the current parasitical investment banks who continue to loot as they destroy the economy.

And he doesn’t care if everyone else suffers and neither do they. The banks need to be shattered into pieces and the financial records of their executives pored over to determine if they committed indictable offenses.

Then maybe this country will start to get back on track.

Greenspan-bashing goes mainstream


We continue to see the wreckage caused by Greenspan’s no-regulations, cheap money, extreme right-wing Ayn Rand philosophy. I remember being at a client, a precious metals dealer, during the peak of his regime, and being baffled at why the traders treated his deliberately indecipherable pronouncements with such awe. He was then, and remains, an extremist charlatan who believes greed is good and the common good should be ignored, if not spat upon. (He was an early disciple of Rand, part of her inner circle, and that was her philosophy.)

The credit markets are still dangerously frozen. One reason: Credit default swaps from Lehman and WaMu settle this month. Institutions who sold these financial instruments of mass destruction, which pretended to be insurance on what is now toxic waste, may face losses of 80-85 cents on the dollar. $400 bn of Lehman swaps unwind on Friday, so losses for some could be catastrophic (assuming they even have the money to pay, if not, then the other side on the transaction gets hurt.)

Banks are believed to be hanging on to cash both to pay for their own settlement and out of fear that their counterparties may take irreparable damage in the Lehman settlement process. There may be some relief if the financial community passes this test, but with another big settlement, WaMu, later this month, banks are still likely to remain on high alert.

TED Spread at record. Translation: The big banks don’t even trust each other for short-term loans.

Take a bow, Mr. Greenspan. Your policies led inexorably to this day.