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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Geithner’

Consumption Takes Another Leg Down

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 23rd, 2010 7:56 AM |

Do you increasingly feel that you are not receiving the full story in terms of our overall economy? Do you feel as if the ‘political class’ in Washington is speaking a different language than the ‘working class’ in the rest of the country? Do you scratch your head as to why economic releases are often immediately panned and quickly thereafter revised? (Case in point, the initial release of 2nd quarter GDP on July 30th was quickly thereafter projected to be halved.) For all of the above reasons, more and more Americans are relying on independent economic research and analysis. Two of my favorites in this camp (aside from Sense on Cents, of course!!) are John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics and Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute.

I recently highlighted Williams’ work in writing, What Is the Real Rate of Unemployment in the United States? In that commentary, I referenced Williams as he had stated:

That began a lengthy process of exploring the history and nature of economic reporting and in interviewing key people involved in the process from the early days of government reporting through the present.

For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front page stories in the New York Times and Investors Business Daily, considerable coverage in the broadcast media and a joint meeting with representatives of all the government’s statistical agencies. Despite minor changes to the system, government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last decade or so. (LD’s emphasis) (more…)

Goldman Sachs and Uncle Sam’s “Games People Play”

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 17th, 2010 7:42 AM |

Why does it seem that whenever something really dicey happens on Wall Street, the crowd at Goldman Sachs is typically in the middle of it? How so? Let’s enter the world of new issue equity underwriting.

There is very little that is truly sacred on Wall Street. That said, one of the traditional “sacred untouchables” on the street of dreams has been the new issue equity underwriting spread. Maintaining this spread between a cushy 2% to 3% level is typically sacrosanct and actually more easily maintained now given the oligopoly that currently defines Wall Street. I have written extensively on how this game of oligopoly has been played on Wall Street circa 2010. (more…)

What Does George Soros Know About Glass Houses?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 24th, 2010 11:07 AM |

“People in glass houses should not throw stones.”

On the outset of the G-20 to be held in Toronto, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers served up a pile of platitudes yesterday by writing in The Wall Street Journal, Our Agenda for the G-20. Meanwhile, they have their henchman George Soros pull out the bazooka and take direct aim at Germany today in writing in the Financial Times, Germany Must Reflect on the Unthinkable.

In reviewing Soros’ commentary, it is plainly evident that my Irish Catholic heritage does not hold the patent on laying the heavy guilt trip. Soros writes: (more…)

G20 and US: Going Separate Ways Highlights Prisoner’s Dilemma

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 7th, 2010 8:25 AM |

As we continue navigating the global economic landscape, national interests are now overwhelming coordinated global interests. How so?

Unlike the coordinated message at the widely publicized 2009 G20 summit held in London, the clashing of widely divergent national views at the 2010 G20 meeting held in Busan, South Korea is hardly melodious. The implications for global markets will be enormous.

Last year, the U.S. swapped all sorts of favors for a coordinated global fiscal stimulus; this year, the U.S., represented by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is receiving the cold shoulder. Finance ministers from around the world are happy to go their own way in pursuit of what they believe to be their national interests. Can you blame them? (more…)

Indict, Prosecute, Convict the Fraudsters…Or Else!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 2nd, 2010 1:20 PM |

Has America lost the courage to aggressively address those who commit fraud? Is the American public even aware of the massive fraud perpetrated by those in our financial system which led to our current economic crisis? Are those in Washington willing to take a stand, risk their own skins, call out those engaged in fraud, even if some of the fraudsters occupy neighboring seats at nearby regulatory bodies?

Unless we find people in our government who are willing to make these calls, repeat them publicly in a long, loud fashion, and compel prosecutors to issue indictments, then I fear our union will pay a price and incur a cost that may be immeasurable.

Why so strong? Why so strident? (more…)

European Bank Stress Tests? Nein, Danke!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 1st, 2010 8:58 AM |

How do you think the wizards in Washington are feeling about the European bailout structured two weeks ago at their behest? In those two weeks, the Euro has plummeted another 5%, equities continue to suffer, and credit spreads continue to widen.

Our Washington wizards are looking back into their bag of tricks and now recommending another of their ‘shell game’ proposals to their European counterparts. Which proposal might this be? How do you spell charade? Try, bank stress tests.

Treasury Secretary Geithner is pressuring European central bankers to perform and release bank stress tests as a precursor to restoring financial health and stability into the European system. The Wall Street Journal highlights Geithner’s recommendation this morning in writing, U.S. to Push Europe on Stress Tests:

The U.S. intends to urge Europe to disclose publicly the results of bank stress tests as a way to calm jitters over the health of the Continent’s financial system, U.S. officials said. (more…)

Finger Pointing and Payoffs

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 9th, 2010 9:12 AM |

Who in America is going to stand up and accept appropriate culpability for his/her contribution to our current economic crisis? Who in America is also willing to expose the incestuous nature of the Wall Street-Washington relationship which provided the cover for the activities which have debilitated our nation?

Let’s review what we have learned so far:

1. Blame has been directed at bank executives…but they got paid handsomely, and have not accepted full responsibility.

2. Blame has been directed at ratings agencies….but they also got paid handsomely to provide ratings, while not really knowing what they were doing. (more…)

Gaming Uncle Sam’s Mortgage Modification Program

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 11:08 AM |

A new release by the SIGTARP (Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) is exceptionally enlightening in detailing how a likely significant percentage of those homeowners who entered the trial mortgage modification process gamed the system.

Once again, major high five to our friends at 12th Street Capital for sharing this report and providing insightful commentary. As 12th Street points out this morning:

With all of the hoopla surrounding the government and Bank of America announcements to push principal forgiveness to the top of the waterfall for mortgage modification triage, it would have been easy to miss the latest report from the SIGTARP (Special Inspector General of TARP). I have attached the report here and would encourage you to print it out and read it. (more…)

Barack Obama Has Ben Bernanke by the Balls

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 16th, 2010 3:32 PM |

Is the White House now in charge of both fiscal and monetary policy?

The Federal Reserve just released its March statement confirming no change in its monetary policy and little change in economic outlook. A brief overview of the Fed’s statement includes the following:

>> Maintains the Fed Funds range at 0-.25% for an extended period.

>> The quantitative easing program used to purchase $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and $125 billion in federal agency debt is nearing completion at the end of this month. The Fed will monitor economic conditions and employ policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.

>> Economic activity is generally improving. The overall pace of economic recovery is moderate. (more…)

White House Sees Elevated Unemployment for ‘Extended Period’

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 16th, 2010 11:43 AM |

Is the White House reading Sense on Cents?

While I ask that question in a self-effacing fashion, I will allow others to pass muster as to whether my commentary deserves attention in Washington. Why do I ask that question now though? I wrote this morning, “What Happened to Focus on Jobs?”:

The ‘talking points’ utilized by those in Washington project that our economy and markets are experiencing cyclical unemployment. I firmly believe they are wrong. Our economy and markets are experiencing structural unemployment.

Now it appears as if the White House ‘talking points’ have changed. (more…)






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