A new year but same old story from the Obama Administration - more reports of coddling of the financial oligarchy and Wall Street. This time from Bloomberg: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished as Banks Seek Profits from Bailouts. This story of centers around the now infamous PPIP program. The one crafted by the financial oligarchy's biggest protector in the Administration - Timothy Geithner.
The supposed purpose of PPIP was to purchase, through government and private investors, some the bad debts that were the books of "troubled banks". Well, guess what. Financial conglomerates are not stupid (they may be incompetent when it comes to assessing risk):
Only months after it was started, the U.S. program designed to purge debts of no immediate discernable value from the balance sheets of troubled banks has helped transform the frozen debt into a money-maker as the bonds have rallied. Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., who received 22 percent of the $418.7 billion American taxpayers loaned to troubled financial institutions, boosted holdings on their trading books of home- loan bonds that lack government guarantees while investors were raising cash for the program, according to Federal Reserve data.
Got that? According to Bloomberg reporters' analysis, the two biggest zombie banks actually went out and purchased more "toxic assets". But these two zombie banks were not alone:
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America along with Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., all based in New York, added a combined $2.74 billion of the debt, for which there were few buyers as recently as March, to their short-term trading assets during the third quarter, up 13 percent from the second quarter, the most-recent data show.
(Of course, emphasis added)
Not so funny thing is that these toxic securities are rallying now but what if the economy tanks again? Remember, these financial conglomerates don't have a good track record at assessing risk. And these trades are again speculative on the part of the financial conglomerates - what the hell do they care they got cheap money to make these purchases. So if this market tanks again it expose these financial conglomerates to even more losses that the PPIP was suppose to mitigate.
“It’s a trade that will likely work out, but it’s still a speculative trade, which is not what a taxpayer should want from firms that have only recently come out of critical care,”
Sadly, this isn't surprising. Nothing has changed from the beginning of this crisis until now. There has been no accountability for the irresponsible actions of financial conglomerates. The bondholders and equity holders are still their positions. And now some of those financial conglomerates that caused this crisis are profiting from the unwinding of the mess they created. Same old story.