Robert Oak's blog

Sunday Morning Comics - Government Financial Management Edition

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Cup O' Joe


Good Morning! Rise and Shine! Get that Cup O' Joe...
break out the O.J....hang out with the pooch...time to check out the Funnies!


Friday Movie Night - Taleb & Johnson

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!

This week is an Bill Moyers Now interview with Simon Johnson and PBS interview with Black Swan author Nicholas Taleb.

I was planning on showing Frontline but the last two documentaries have been truly infiltrated with some sort of special interest agenda. The deficit response was all about gutting social security and Medicare and the documentary on health care never uttered single payer universal health as an option. I think we all have watched enough corporate and special interest spin to last a lifetime so I am not even linking to them.

With that, below are interviews which you missed are a profound must see.

Bail Out Hypocrisy - Manufacturing Gets the Shaft, Financials Get to Craft

The White House is in full hypocrisy mode. While Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner tries to do a massive power grab, invites financial sector CEOs to craft policy and cooperate in their multi-trillion dollar U.S. taxpayer money pig fest, the auto industry is shipped to bankruptcy court. Even worse, Chrysler is to be broken up into good cars and bad cars, yet Italy (Fiat) gets the good cars and the United States gets the bad.

Meanwhile Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs struggles as reporters immediately question the different standards:

Sunday Morning Comics - Mark Fiore Cartoons Edition

Sponsored by The More Brazen Public Relations Foundation - Bringing the world Corporatism and Oligarchy One Message at a time. Remember: The Bigger the Lie, the More They will Believe it
Cup O' Joe


Good Morning! Rise and Shine! Get that Cup O' Joe...
break out the O.J....hang out with the pooch...time to check out the Funnies!


Mark Fiore is one of my favorite cartoonists, but he still hasn't gotten embedding media down. Below are some select economics cartoons from his site. Click on the images to start the cartoons.


Zombie Bank

fiore Zombie bank

Geithner & Bernanke in Financial Services Committee Hearing

Folks, I must recommend turning off the pundits on TV, CNBC and even many of the blogs and tune into CSPAN.

Today in the House Financial Services Hearing, Oversight of the Federal Government’s Intervention at American International Group, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, along with New York Fed Chair William Dudley testified.

Systemic Risk - The New WMD

Securitization was based on the premise that a “fool was born every minute.” - Joseph Stiglitz in congressional testimony, Financial Regulation, October 21, 2008.

Even Adam Smith recognized that unregulated markets will try to restrict competition, and
without strong competition markets will not be efficient. More recent research has shown that
markets often fail to produce efficient outcomes (let alone fair or socially just outcomes) when
information is imperfect or asymmetric—but information imperfections and asymmetries are at
the center of financial markets. That is what they are about. Our financial markets have even
worked hard to exacerbate these problems; as we have noted, they created non-transparent
products that were so complex that not even those who created them fully understood the risks to
which they gave rise.

The Big Pitch - Geithner's Sales Job

The headlines are ablaze of Geithner's plan.   The Treasury Secretary is on CNBC, the cable news, even conference calls with select bloggers (I wonder if Krugman was invited?), are they twittering too?   The markets react, the Dow up almost 500 pts!   Astounding, magical, we have the cure....or do we?

I already wrote my own overview of the toxic asset plan and believe it fatally flawed with the same assumptions that got us into this mess, home values must drop to be in alignment with income and Americans are tapped out, the great debt fueled Ponzi scheme has collapsed.


The Real Screw Job - AIG Used as Funnel of U.S. Taxpayer Money

large screw small screw
See these two screws on the left? Think of the little screw as AIG bonuses. That big nasty long screw is AIG funneling $183 billion dollars of your money to foreign banks and to banks that already have wads of cash on hand. Those two screw jobs are not even to scale because the large screw would go past the page. Look those two screws over. Now which one do you believe Populist outrage should be focused on?

So we are all outraged over AIG bonuses. Now lets amplify that outrage to the scale of the ripoff. The bonuses are only 0.001 of the real ripoff that just happened. Your tax dollars were funneled through AIG to foreign banks and to U.S. banks for worthless assets. Your own blind rage is a smoke screen, being used by media elites so you do not see the real screw job going on.

In an Instapopulist earlier we showed the AIG payout disclosure. Now I want to amplify those payouts. In the attached file AIG lists payouts to counter parties.

What happened? Basically a bunch of companies placed bets, called credit default swaps, that home mortgages weren't so great and would probably go bust. AIG (Financial Products), as the great global gambling hall, allowed these bets to be placed. Then AIG got a huge mega wad of cash from the government so they could pay out on these casino hall winnings instead of going bankrupt. Banks who won big are foreign banks and of course Goldman Sachs, former Treasury Secretary Paulson's former company.

Think it's about unfreezing credit markets for you and me? Think it's about contracts? Don't you remember something about other nations taking care of their own banking system? Do you believe the United States should prop up the entire globe or payout U.S. taxpayer money to other nations?

Contracts are broken all of the time and considering this is U.S. taxpayer money footing the bill to pay for the below banks gambling bets, yeah, a nation can break such outrageous contracts. This is especially true considering these very institutions are getting billions of your money from the TARP and Federal Reserve. Did you know Goldman Sachs bought an energy speculation firm while receiving TARP funds?

The Wall Street Journal put together an image to show you how this Ponzi scheme works: