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.

COP Report on The Sham Called Helping Homeowners Through HAMP

The latest COP report just rips into Treasury for the lack of help for homeowners. Here's the juice:

HAMP will prevent only 700,000 foreclosures -- far fewer than the three to four million foreclosures that Treasury initially aimed to stop, and vastly fewer than the eight to 13 million foreclosures expected by 2012.

Get worse, the report basically says it's too late to really do anything about it. Nice huh, press releases, lots of warm buzz claiming government will help homeowners only to send them to a rat maze and they still lose their homes.

It is too late for Treasury to revamp its foreclosure prevention strategy, but Treasury can still take steps to wring every possible benefit from its programs. Treasury should enable borrowers to apply for loan modifications more easily -- for example, by allowing online applications. Treasury should also carefully monitor and, where appropriate, intervene in cases in which borrowers are falling behind on their HAMP-modified mortgages. Preventing redefaults is an extremely powerful way of magnifying HAMP's impact, as each redefault prevented translates directly into a borrower keeping his home.

The report also sums up nicely the fact foreclosure pays and that's due to the securitization process:

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.

COP Report on AIG and Congressional Hearing with Geithner

The Congressional Oversight Committee released a report on AIG last week. But before we get into those damning facts, check out the below video clip of Elizabeth Warren trying to confront Timothy Geithner on the failure of HAMP. Notice how 1 million people losing their homes goes in one ear and out the other as Treasury Secretary Geithner rambles on in response.



Here Comes CRE - Lastest COP report

The latest report from the Congressional Oversight Panel is out and they are making no bones about another shoe to drop, Commercial Real Estate (the link goes to a post warning on CRE from last July). On their main page is this:

Nearly $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate loan debt will come due for refinancing in the next several years. The Panel's February report expresses concern that a wave of defaults and losses could jeopardize the stability of many banks and prolong an already painful recession.

Let's cut to the chase and say Congress and the Obama administration have blown off Commercial Real Estate generally. Here is COP's conclusion:

The Panel is concerned that until Treasury and bank supervisors take coordinated action to address forthrightly and transparently the state of the commercial real estate markets – and the potential impact that a breakdown in those markets could have on local communities, small businesses, and individuals – the financial crisis will not end.

COP TARP Assessment Report for December 2009

The Congressional Oversight Panel has released their latest TARP report, Taking Stock: What Has the Troubled Asset Relief Program Achieved?

The Panel concluded that TARP was an important part of a broader government strategy that stabilized the U.S. financial system. It is apparent after 14 months, however, that significant underlying weaknesses in the financial system remain.

[TARP]created an implicit guarantee for major financial institutions that distorts pricing for capital and encourages excessive risk-taking. Unwinding this guarantee poses a difficult long-term challenge.

Some facts outlined in the overview:

  • 1 in 8 homes is in foreclosure
  • Unemployment is at the highest levels in 25 years
  • Banks still not lending
  • Small business & consumers not borrowing

New COP Report - Guarantees Created Significant Moral Hazard

On Friday you were probably bowled over by the unemployment rate. So astounded, we missed this major report release by COP, the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP.

The Report, Guarantees and Contingent Payments in TARP and Related Programs is another damning condemnation on corporate socialism to the point of moral hazard. Yet, at the same time, the report says taxpayers will likely profit from the huge TARP gamble. Well, well, if the government is turning the world into a glorified casino with U.S. taxpayer money, all the while guaranteeing the bonuses profits of large banks, at least it looks like we won't take the loss.

TARP COPs are back - Report Assesses Treasury Strategy & Actions on Financial Crisis

The Congressional Oversight Panel has released a new report, Assessing Treasury’s Strategy: Six Months of TARP. First, the $$$:

Over the last six months, Treasury has spent or committed $590.4 billion of the TARP funds. Treasury has also relied heavily on the use of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet which has expanded by more than $1.5 trillion (not including expected TALF loans) in conjunction with the financial stabilization activities it has undertaken beyond its monetary policy operations. This has allowed Treasury to leverage TARP funds well beyond the funds appropriated by Congress.