25 September 2008

American Public to Wall Street Banks: Drop Dead

When this was written a few weeks ago it was not with the idea that the 'offer' would be coming so quickly. But with McCain lagging badly in the polls, it looks like the money powers decided it was time to act.
"We will stand free or we will fall. But if we fall it will be by our own hand and a lack of resolve, a reluctance to put aside our fears and prejudices and greed that are used to play us for fools and face the facts, and listen to the truth.

When the banks make us an offer they think that we cannot refuse, we will be at the crossroads and will decide what we wish to be: slaves or free men. Yes, it really is that simple."

Death of Capitalism: Financial Tsunami Incoming - 8 Sept 2008
What is most surprising has been the enormous response from the public to the Congress since Paulson's Treasury made their arrogant proposal to the country last week on behalf of Wall Street. Aides report that it is running solidly 99 to 1 against. The common sense of the people is a sleeping giant and has apparently been awakened by this outrage.

The banks have mispriced assets on their books. They will never be worth what they thought they would be, where they marked them with the cooperation of the ratings agencies, if they hold them until kingdom come.

This is why they do not wish to hold them on their books. They want to sell them, but they do not wish to accept the price that an informed market will offer, now or in the near future.

Its hard to understand this unless you accept the inherently fraudulent nature of much of the paper that was packaged and put together for sale to others. This latest bubble fell apart prematurely when the market for this junk collapsed and the banks were left holding the bag.

Provide liquidity to the banks at a price. Put four hundred billion dollars into the FDIC to insure the savers' bank accounts and increase it to one million dollars per person. Put another three hundred billion in the Small Business Administration and Office of Thrift Supervision and the FHA if necessary to make loans to small businesses and consumers that cannot obtain market liquidity through the regional banks, which should be the key to the rebuilding of our financial system. Provide liquidity to the healthy banks in quantities require to support economic activity.

But by all means do NOT buy this junk from the Wall Street banks, especially the investment banks. Allow the tide continue to go out and see who is wearing what. If we provide a bailout to this crowd while they continue to pay out fat dividends and capital gains and outrageous salaries we deserve what we will most surely get in return.

"Last year Goldman paid its employees $20 billion, 44 percent of the firm's revenue. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein took home $68.5 million, and many otherwise ordinary human beings took home $10 million or more.

This inspired young people everywhere, many of whom may have privately wondered whether it was still worth their time to become investment bankers. Torn between a future in, say, the law and the manufacture of mezzanine CDOs they sucked up their courage and plunged onto Wall Street. And thank God for that: we needed the best and the brightest to get us into this mess, and we'll need the best and the brightest to get us out of it."

America Must Rescue the Bonuses at Goldman Sachs - Michael Lewis
The Wall Street banks are an inefficient, manipulative, overly-expensive, oversized, and a hopelessly broken mechanism for the rational allocation of capital. A number of those banks need to be broken apart and liquidated, not replenished with increasingly scarce public capital. We need to cut out the parts that are hopelessly rotten, save what is good, and rebuild together from there.

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