Thank you, every one of you, for the hundreds of comments you contributed here on my posts about federal departments stockpiling ammunition and the eventual collapse of the dollar.
I’m going to follow up on the ammo and dollar collapse pieces soon. I’m working on getting “official” responses and will put together a series of pieces on what to look for if a dollar collapse is coming, how to survive it and how we might actually come out ahead from it.
First, the good news: It looks like MF Global’s customers will get all their money back.
The next bit of good news is that yesterday an honest and inspired judge, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern District of New York, ordered MF Global’s former accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to face a lawsuit it wanted to have dismissed.
I wrote Thursday's column after my well-connected friend informed me his high-in-the-ranks Department of Homeland Security buddy told him DHS was preparing for the collapse of the U.S. dollar. This weekend I did a lot of digging on the subject of...
It’s yet another prime example of “The strong get more while the weak ones slave.” Private equity shops and institutional players are buying and packaging (securitizing) nonperforming mortgages and selling those mortgages to mutual funds and themselves.
On the surface, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) wants to minimize the cost to taxpayers. After all, we have to cover the insurance guarantees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made on loans it backed but are now nonperforming or in foreclosure.
That’s really nice of HUD and the FHA, thinking about us taxpayers. Maybe they should have thought about us when they agreed to guarantee payment on loans to less-than-prime borrowers who only have to put down 3% to get their loans. But, whatever, they’re from the government…
Do you remember the not-so-big-deal legislation known as the 2012 STOCK Act?
That’s STOCK as in Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge.
Members of the House and Senate passed this act – which in this case should be short for acting like whores -quietly because it pointed to Congress as a bed of lascivious insiders who trade for personal gain through the backroom market-moving horse trading that they massage into laws in D.C.
Of course, our Congress of paid pimps and panderers intended the STOCK Act to show everyone that they were willing to make a law to make sure they wouldn’t do what they said they weren’t doing.
Well, it looks like they may be doing it anyway.
Last year, under the cover of darkness, a Senate investigation looked into whether Mark Hayes, a top Senate aide on health care matters, broke any protocols (aka laws) when he apparently “predicted” in an e-mail to Height Securities (a “policy research firm” … wink, wink) that there was about to be some Medicare-related stuff coming down the pike that would move some insurance stocks.
Hayes is now a lobbyist – of course.
This kerfuffle happened in the Sen and was investigated within the Senate by Senate investigators. Can you guess what happened?
Late last month, depending on how you look at it, either something wonderful happened – or the feds continued their cowardly, conniving ways.
A group of federal prosecutors met in Washington and in New York with various financial regulators to discuss filing criminal charges against and coercing guilty pleas out of two giant banks.
David O’Neil, head of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division; Preet Bharara the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York; and Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, met in Washington with regulators and lawyers from the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). And then they took the Acela Express up to the Big Apple to meet with Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York State’s first superintendent of financial services.
During these meetings, they discussed extracting guilty pleas from Swiss megabank Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) and giant French bank BNP Paribas (Euronext: BNP).
Credit Suisse is accused of helping U.S. citizens evade federal taxes, while BNP Paribas is charged with knowingly doing business with nations, such as Sudan, that face U.S. sanctions.
Send up the fireworks, right? Federal prosecutors are actually doing their job! They’re punishing the patently criminal activity that’s so frequently perpetuated by big banks.
This looks to be a historic occurrence. But two things tell me we shouldn’t pop open the Champagne…yet.
No doubt you’ve heard about Michael Lewis’ new book, “Flash Boys.”
And, no doubt you’ve been hearing more than ever before about the subject of Lewis’ book, High Frequency Trading (HFT).
I ran to Barnes & Noble to buy the book the second I heard about it last week. They didn’t have any copies. So, I ordered it online, which was cheaper anyway.
It was waiting for me when I got home Saturday night. I finished it by Sunday morning. Although it’s only 271 pages, it took me 12 hours to read it because I wanted to savor every word and let it soak in.
Well, let me say this about high frequency trading and Michael Lewis’ book:
The Dow fell 200 points yesterday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen dared to suggest a timetable for raising interest rates.
But then they recovered and ended down only 114 points on the day.
Gee, that was a close one, the 1% sighed.
What most people don’t understand is that the 1% in America – and by the 1% I mean the really, truly rich who consistently make (not have) $5 million or more a year – have been the principal beneficiaries of the Fed’s zero interest rate policy for the past six years.
But they pale in comparison to the “Too Big To Fail” banks (many of which employ plenty of the aforementioned 1%) who are making record profits off the zero interest rate policy and the Fed’s “quantitative easing.”
Now, I don’t have a problem with anyone making a ton of money.
But I do have a problem with “redistribution” as the means by which wealth is transferred – including the transfer of wealth by “entitlement” programs from workers to unentitled lazy people. And especially when it’s transferred from America’s middle-class to the TBTF banks and the 1%.
That’s what the Fed’s zero interest rate policy is all about.