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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Banks’

Wall St ‘Too Big to Fail’ Subsidy: You Pay, They Play

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 27th, 2014 9:19 AM |

In the midst of your morning routine, you can probably lay out a number of situations in which you reach into your pocket to pay people or vendors for services/products provided. I would imagine that many reading this blog pay for a daily coffee and newspaper, perhaps a periodic shoe shine, a highway toll, or train and bus fare.

In addition to these fees, how do you feel about reaching into your pocket on a daily basis to pay a surcharge to support banking institutions on Wall Street that are deemed ‘too big to fail?’ How does that feel? Not very good, does it? I did not think so.

Yet, make no mistake, that daily banking toll you pay, and the subsidy the banks receive, are very much a reality in America circa 2014. (more…)

Is Capitalism Dead?

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 11th, 2011 8:20 AM |

While Uncle Sam in the persons of Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner et al may promote the fact that our capital markets currently are a reflection of a rebound in capitalism, they would be wrong.

Our markets and the Wall Street banks that dominate them no more embody the true tenets of capitalism than the incestuous nature of the Wall Street-Washington relationship truly represents the best interests of the American public.  As The New York Times highlighted this weekend, Banks Are Off the Hook Again,

Americans know that banks have mistreated borrowers in many ways in foreclosure cases. Among other things, they habitually filed false court documents. There were investigations. We’ve been waiting for federal and state regulators to crack down. (more…)

Citigroup: The Blind Leading the Blind

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 7th, 2010 1:28 PM |

When in doubt, hire a consultant.

When something fails, blame the consultant.

Shirk responsibility and pass the buck.

When will somebody with a set of balls on Wall Street stand up and take responsibility for the massive failures of risk management and business execution which led to the economic crisis which brought our country to its knees?  (more…)

Erik Sirri and the Costs of a Politicized SEC

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 6:27 AM |

When the exchange of financial ideas and, more importantly, capital becomes excessively politicized there are very real costs. Although those involved in the politicization process of these markets and exchanges may define the increased intervention of political influences as “in the best interests” of all involved, the supposed near term benefits come with long term costs.

Why do I broach this topic? A former SEC official decided he wanted to talk about the political overtones involved in the SEC’s decision to restrict short-selling in the equity markets in 2008. Bloomberg reports on this bombshell in writing, SEC Lets Politics Spur Short-Sale Decision, Sirri Says:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to restrict short selling was a political decision rather than one based on evidence, according to a former agency official who says it may set a precedent for future decisions. (more…)

AIG and LTCM

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 18th, 2009 3:50 PM |

A precursor to the turmoil roiling our economy and markets today occurred on a smaller, but certainly very dramatic, scale in 1998. The meltdown of the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management brought the market to its knees at the time. LTCM was effectively taken over by a consortium of Wall Street banks at the behest of New York Federal Reserve Chairman, William McDonough. The firms injected approximately $3 billion dollars in order to stabilize LTCM and then unwound it in an orderly fashion.

The lessons learned in the LTCM crisis were obviously not learned well enough because we are experiencing them again a multiple hundred fold. The centerpiece of our current fiasco is AIG (known here at Sense on Cents as “Ain’t It Great”).

The dramatic story of Long Term Capital Management is captured in a book I strongly recommend for anybody interested in the history of the financial markets. When Genius Failed, by Roger Lowenstein, is a great read and truly captures the intrigue, egos, and tension of that period. As the current turmoil unwinds I look forward to the books published on this period as well. (more…)






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