Bailout Scandal Expands w/ 20 TARP Fraud Probes

Well, now we know the real reasons as to why Bernanke, Summers and Emanuel were all over the Sunday talk shows telling us why they won't be needing any more TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money. It's simple, really. After today's report hits the Hill from Bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky's office, the administration doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting another cent.

And, with the announcement that Barofsky's initiating no less than 20 civil and criminial fraud investigations, as well, I'd even go as far as to say that some heads are gonna' roll.

In what may only be described as a scathing, brutal indictment of the Federal Reserve's and the Treasury Department's management of the Wall Street bailout to date,  the New York Times front page for Tuesday tells us how Bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky's latest report, scheduled for release later today, no less than slams U.S. government bailout efforts, especially with regard to the "public-private investment partnerships," calling them:   "...inherently vulnerable to fraud and should not be started without stronger safeguards."

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FL's Top Bank Fails; Bush Treasury Scandal Unfolds

This past week, the Treasury Department's Office of Thrift Supervision Issued a Prompt Corrective Action Directive to $14 billion holding company BankUnited of Coral Gables, Florida's largest financial services firm.

From Zero Hedge:


(BankUnited) was told by its regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, to find a buyer who would raise its depleted capital to acceptable levels or risk a government takeover. In an ominously sounding "prompt corrective action directive", the OTS has essentially given the bank a 20 day ultimatum.

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Roubini's Pissed-Off and Stiglitz Goes Ballistic

ROUBINI

New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini went batshit on Geithner in Forbes Magazine, yesterday, essentially telling us the upcoming, "Stress test results are not worth the paper they're written.


The 'Stress Tests' Are Really 'Fudge Tests'
Nouriel Roubini, 04.16.09, 12:01 AM EDT

The spin machine about the banks' stress test is already in full motion. Some banking regulators have already served up--to The New York Times--their spin that all 19 banks that are subject to the stress test will pass it. In other words, not one will fail.

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"Lurching downward"

Sound familiar?

From Wikipedia: Lurching downward


Lurching Downward

The Great Depression was not a sudden total collapse. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April, though still almost 30 percent below of peak in September 1929.[2] Together government and business actually spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. But consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the prior year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent...

...In the spring of 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates, but people were reluctant to add new debt by borrowing. By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931. Conditions were worst in farming areas where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas where unemployment was high and there were few other jobs. The decline in the American economy was the motor that pulled down most other countries at first, then internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better. By late in 1930, a steady decline set in which reached bottom by March 1933.


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Credibility: Wm. Black Wins It; Goldman CFO Loses It

News events appear to be unfolding in a virtually symmetric fashion over the past 24 hours to indicate that the shit may, indeed, be hitting the fan with regard to congressional TARP/bailout investigations into various, potential improprieties that may have occurred, in the early Fall of 2008, between senior management at AIG and Goldman Sachs. Further exacerbating these realities, it  is a matter of highly-publicized record that all of this played out under the direct supervision of some of the highest-ranking U.S. officials within the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve.

William Black, the former deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp during the U.S. Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980's, is interviewed in this week's Barron's Magazine in what may be an even more provocative piece than his highly publicized Bill Moyers' interview last week.  As many reading this may recall, Black's PBS interview was widely covered in the blogosphere last week, including a very spirited discussion between multiple DKos' diarists.

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Coming Up: More Crash & Burn?

Crash and Burn? A Strong Case That Recent Market Upswings Were Illusion.

I've recently started following Tyler Durden's blog, Zero Hedge, as a byproduct of reading another blog on the economy and markets, Naked Capitalism. Both are decidedly left-leaning, market-oriented blogs that offer insights on Wall Street that simply just aren't available in many other online communities.

And, for the record, take your tinfoil hats off and just reference Durden's statistical/analytical support (via the links) for his comments, discussed herein.

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NYT's Rich: Economic Morality; the Whoring of Summers

It's all right here, from Sunday's NY Times: "Awake and Sing!"

I know there are many reading this that are buying into the latest, so called, positive commentary about our economy.  IMHO, I would beg to differ with most attempting to put any lipstick on this ugliest of pigs. The truth is, more likely than not, the worst is yet to come. And, rather than go into a lengthy diary resplendent with academic reference, tonight I think a picture's worth a thousand words. My statement at the beginning of this paragraph is quite succinctly supported by history, and it's right here (and I'd love to re-post it, but it just doesn't seem proper from a copyright standpoint), so you'll have to click on: my pick for the most compelling graphic about our economy that I've seen in a long, long time.

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Obama to Call for a Nuclear-Free World in Prague!

According to published reports this evening, President Obama will deliver a major speech on weapons proliferation in Prague, on Sunday, where he will call for the elimination of all nuclear weapons throughout the world.

Here's the story: "Obama to call for nuclear-free world."

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9 Bailout/Economy Lies and Deceptions

It's been pretty busy the past few days in the MSM and on the blogs with regard to commentary about Wall Street and our economic bailout.  Herein, I hope to provide a little clarity for those believing everything they're reading. There's a lot of misinformation being spewn...and from some of the highest levels, too.

But, as the saying goes, "The Truth Is Out There." In fact, it's right here!

So, without fanfare, here are "Nine Bailout/Economy Lies and Deceptions We're Hearing Right Now:"

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Chumps?

Webster's defines the noun, "ambivalence," as follows: "...n. in psychoanalysis, the simultaneous operation in the mind of two conflicting wishes."

There's somewhat of a zeitgeist in certain corners of the blogosphere that barely enables stories and/or diaries like this and this and this to see the light of day.

I even posted something about this very story, three days ago.

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Diaries

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