Archive for March, 2010

30
Mar
10

and we wonder why Muslims hate us..

great video on evolution of Iran-USA relationship over 20th century…also brings up thee old inconvenient point of USA supporting Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran…

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13
Mar
10

horsey nails the vancouver olympics

from : http://blog.seattlepi.com/davidhorsey/

13
Mar
10

fringe econo-journalist max keiser calls the lehman accounting fraud back in july 2008…

excerpt:

Since it was discovered that Enron was hiding debt off their balance sheet to make their earnings, stock and stock options go up, Wall Street has decided they can’t get enough of this neat trick and every quarter we see more of it.

It’s peek-a-boo accounting where debts are removed from the balance sheet during the period when disclosure is needed (for quarterly earnings reports) and than the debt is temporarily parked back onto the company’s balance sheet, or parked on another bank’s balance sheet with an implied reciprocal agreement. (Enron had hundreds of shell companies that served as ‘debt parking lots’ to avoid having to include any liabilities on their quarterly earnings statement).

Lehman Brothers looks like they are trying to out-Enron Enron in the peek-a-boo accounting department.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-keiser/peek-a-boo-accounting-and_b_111340.html

dylan ratigan goes into detail here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

08
Mar
10

zach galifianakis on snl

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “snl/zach short“, posted with vodpod

 

07
Mar
10

inflation of stocks argument by don luskin

excerpt: 

04
Mar
10

great article on early-adopter hedge fund guy who made millions off real estate bubble

excerpt:

It surprised him that Deutsche Bank didn’t seem to care which bonds he picked to bet against. From their point of view, so far as he could tell, all subprime-mortgage bonds were the same. The price of insurance was driven not by any independent analysis but by the ratings placed on the bond by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. If he wanted to buy insurance on the supposedly riskless triple-A-rated tranche, he might pay 20 basis points (0.20 percent); on the riskier, A-rated tranches, he might pay 50 basis points (0.50 percent); and on the even less safe, triple-B-rated tranches, 200 basis points—that is, 2 percent. (A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point.) The triple-B-rated tranches—the ones that would be worth zero if the underlying mortgage pool experienced a loss of just 7 percent—were what he was after. He felt this to be a very conservative bet, which he was able, through analysis, to turn into even more of a sure thing. Anyone who even glanced at the prospectuses could see that there were many critical differences between one triple-B bond and the next—the percentage of interest-only loans contained in their underlying pool of mortgages, for example. He set out to cherry-pick the absolute worst ones and was a bit worried that the investment banks would catch on to just how much he knew about specific mortgage bonds, and adjust their prices.

Once again they shocked and delighted him: Goldman Sachs e-mailed him a great long list of crappy mortgage bonds to choose from. “This was shocking to me, actually,” he says. “They were all priced according to the lowest rating from one of the big-three ratings agencies.” He could pick from the list without alerting them to the depth of his knowledge. It was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop.

The market made no sense, but that didn’t stop other Wall Street firms from jumping into it, in part because Mike Burry was pestering them. For weeks he hounded Bank of America until they agreed to sell him $5 million in credit-default swaps. Twenty minutes after they sent their e-mail confirming the trade, they received another back from Burry: “So can we do another?” In a few weeks Mike Burry bought several hundred million dollars in credit-default swaps from half a dozen banks, in chunks of $5 million. None of the sellers appeared to care very much which bonds they were insuring. He found one mortgage pool that was 100 percent floating-rate negative-amortizing mortgages—where the borrowers could choose the option of not paying any interest at all and simply accumulate a bigger and bigger debt until, presumably, they defaulted on it. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item. “I’m educating the experts here,” Burry crowed in an e-mail.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/04/wall-street-excerpt-201004?printable=true




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