Friday Movie Night - Inside Job

Tonight's documentary is Inside Job.  Made in 2010, this is probably the best documentary on the financial crisis and it also won an Academy award.  It should also make your blood boil and then bubble over considering business as usual is still going on.  The conflicts of interest alone exposed in this film will stun you  In short it's a must see and if you have watched it already, well, see it again.


Don't Go There AIG!

moneyhatThe most incredible headline flashed across the screen, AIG is thinking of suing the Federal Government for bailing them out. This is the company at the heart of financial contagion. AIG had created derivative dominoes where if one financial institution failed, that one institutional failure would trigger credit default swaps derivatives which in turn would collapse the entire global system.

Foreclosed Upon Americans Get Chump Change While Banks Erode Regulations

bankstersgThe Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are cutting an $8.5 billion deal against ten of the largest banks for their systematic foreclosure and loan modifications abuse which resulted in millions losing their homes. From the settlement press release.

Bloomberg's Bail Out Bombshell Du Jour

nuclear bombBloomberg news has served up another bombshell story on the Federal Reserve loans during the 2008-2010 bail outs. Banks made $13 billion off of secret and ultra-cheap loans from the Federal Reserve. Banks lost $21.6 billion during the same time. That's $13 billion of free money in essence.

Literally the Fed committed $$7.77 Trillion to bailing out these banks. This dwarfs the $700 billion TARP bail out. Bloomberg:

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.

BoA Took the Money and Ran, You Should Too

By now all of America has heard about BoA's $5 dollar a month fee to use a debit card, or $60 dollars a year just to use a standard feature of any checking account in the digital age.

The question becomes, why would anyone keep their money with Bank of America?  Switch!  It's easy!  There are all sorts of online banks, credit unions which offer free checking, assuredly free debit card use, free ATMs and even offer interest on low balance checking.



America, vote with your consumer power and leave BoA, Wells Fargo or any other financial institution nickel and diming you to death. All these banks care about is keeping their executive bonuses rolling in.

Today we've heard from the 2008 TARP bank bail out inspector general, SIGTARP, that banks left TARP early, not because they wanted to pay back the taxpayer, or because they were financially stable....they left the bank bail out early in order to increase executive pay. The terms of TARP limited executive pay so banks were hell bent on getting out of it, despite their flimsy financial footing.

Guess who was at the top of that list?  Bank of America.

An Update on the Foreclosure Mill

Grinding the middle class one family at a time, the foreclosure wheel keeps turning. Did you know Treasury blocked aid to homeowners facing foreclosure?

19 states which are recipients of the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)—a portion of TARP money set aside to help homeowners in states struggling with the highest unemployment rates and steepest declines in the housing market.

Some of those states, including Ohio, let Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner know as far back as this past spring that they wanted to use some of those funds to assist legal aid groups that help individual homeowners. Seems like a reasonable request—unlike the absurdity of handing over trillions of dollars to robo-signing, foreclosure-mad banks, no questions asked.

Treasury solicited the opinion of an outside law firm, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Never mind that the firm's clients include BB&T Corporation and payday lender CNG Financial Corp. The firm said, in essence—sorry, no can do on the legal aid. Not permitted under the TARP.

Huh? Hold on a sec—is this the same TARP that granted the Treasury Secretary all those "extraordinary powers" to protect people's home values, preserve home ownership, promote economic growth, etc.?

Senator Sherrod Brown held a hearing and said Mortgage Servicers Akin to Predatory Lenders:

The predatory practices of the mortgage servicing industry are remarkably similar to the predatory practices that led to the subprime crisis.

No Room at the Inn - No Mortgage Relief in TARP

Michael Collins

What do you get when you cross Tim Geithner and Peter Peterson?

Barack Obama; who would rather help the big banks and "balance" the budget than offer a helping hand for struggling homeowners. (Image)

The president demonstrated new heights of indifference toward the people in his handling of the mortgage relief program made a part of the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP). Citizens paid the full share for TARP and were to get a modest proportion. That's not the case. The November 2010 Congressional Budget Office Report on TARP was just issued. It showed that the funds for home mortgage assistance programs would be reduced from $50 billion to $12 billion, as reported in the Huffington Post.

Reading the details of the report, we find that the take back from homeowner relief through TARP funds is even more outrageous. The actual funds spent so far for homeowner relief is only $710 million.

TARP Money Helps Foreign Nations

Yet another month, yet another report on how our money was used to bail out foreign banks, while we go without retirement and jobs.

The Congressional Oversight Committee has released a new report, The Global Context and International Effects of the TARP.

Guess what?

It appears likely that America‟s financial rescue had a much greater impact internationally than other nations‟ programs had on the United States.

Gets better. Of course the U.S. didn't bother to ask other nations to help...

if the U.S. government had gathered more information about which countries‟ institutions would most benefit from some of its actions, it might have been able to ask those countries to share the pain of rescue. For example, banks in France and Germany were among the greatest beneficiaries of AIG‟s rescue, yet the U.S. government bore the entire $70 billion risk of the AIG capital injection program. The U.S. share of this single rescue exceeded the size of France‟s entire $35 billion capital injection program and was nearly half the size of Germany‟s $133 billion program.

And even better. Of course to this day the U.S. Treasury isn't collecting data on our taxpayer dollars flowing overseas.

Treasury gathered very little data on how TARP funds flowed overseas.