What is Mark to Market and Why Should You Care?

Relax the rules! Override the FASB! No, it's all a Ponzi scheme enabler, it's Enron Style accounting!

What are these people even talking about with mark-to-market accounting methods?

Mark to market accounting simply means assets are valued at the current market prices. Where the controversy comes into play is in those assets which are not easily assessable since there is no actual market upon which to evaluate them.

So, what happened was we had fictional financial models created to evaluate the value for some types of derivatives. This is what the Enron scandal was in part about. There was no separate established market for energy derivatives, thus Enron with their conspirators, made up some over-inflated fiction on these contracts since there was no real world check to determine their true value.

The Fed's Funky Formula - Public and Congress Don't Compute

Senator Bernie Sanders to Fed. Reserve Chair Bernanke - Show Me the Money!. This is a must watch clip and note the condescending attitude, the expression of disdain, from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Sanders basic question of who is getting $2.2 trillion dollars in short terms loans from the Fed.

What is Nationalization and why is Everyone Afraid of It?

What's in a word? Doesn't a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

But the boogie man du jour is nationalization.

What do they mean exactly? The definition of nationalization is:

Takeover of privately owned corporations, industries, and resources by a government with or without compensation.

Ok, so what's the difference between this and the fact the U.S. taxpayer has given the financial sector $800 billion dollars?

There is little difference says George Will.

The issue is what the U.S. taxpayer gets in return.


NY Times: "You Try to Live on 500K in This Town"

In many ways, the past forty years of Anglo-American history have been marked by a revolution of a few who live by wealth upon the many who live by labor. If the first half of the 20th century can be seen at the revolt of the masses, this latter half has been a revolt of the elites. Nowhere is this more apparent than in delinking of increases in labor productivity from growth in real wages. I think that this graphic illustrates what's been happening pretty clearly.

Given this the plea to "Save the Bankers" which will appear on the front page of the style section of tomorrow's New York Times is all the more galling.

The article begins by explaining how $500,000 a year (the CEO salary cap propose by the Obama administration) is simply not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

Senators Sanders & Grassley Offer Hire American Amendment - Watered Down to a Symbolic Gesture

This is an update. I just read in Business Week that the actual amendment passed is not what is presented originally the below post. I've now confirmed:

This amendment, as modified, is being cosponsored by Senator Grassley and has been cleared by both sides. This amendment simply requires recipients of TARP funding to meet strict H-1B worker hiring standards to prevent displacement of U.S. workers.

Outsourcing expert Ron Hira estimates this will only affect 1,000 jobs. Remember Citigroup alone fired 50,000 and also signed a $2 billion dollar offshore outsourcing contract after receiving a $25 billion dollars in U.S. taxpayer money.

Here is Grassley's Press release:

Who will benefit from nationalization of finance?

I put this up yesterday on DailyKos. It did not get much traction, but I think it is important to get people thinking about the issues raised. In short, the success of both the two-pronged bank bailout (TARP and the Fed’s largesse), and the stimulus bill, are going to depend on whether or not the U.S. economy is transformed. I don’t think there is much disagreement in the direction we need to shove the U.S. economy; BruceMcF has done a brilliant job of discussing some of the more important aspects of transportation.

Word Du Jour - Nationalize

What is Nationalization? It means to put under government ownership and/or control a private sector institution.

Like a grassroots tsunami wave, the blogs are now a buzz with the concept of nationalization of the banks. But we pointed out, months ago, by nationalization, Sweden had the best result and least pain during their financial crisis.

Tony has made a list of some of the nationalize now blog posts sprouting up like mushroom clouds in a nuclear implosion.

Weekly Audit: The Battle for Wall Street Begins

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium MediaWire Blogger

"I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans. I'm talking about a moral deficit . . . . We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick."

-Sen. Barack Obama, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Jan. 20, 2008

Banks Using TARP Funds to Speculate in Oil Markets

Prepare to be deeply offended. Banks to who the US government has given billions of dollars of loans are using this money in order to speculate in global oil markets. First, let's start off with the news brought up yesterday on Daily Kos by Scout Finch. Around 80 million barrels of oil are being stored at sea.

Norway's Frontline (FRO.OL: Quote, Profile, Research), one of the world's biggest oil tanker owners, said on Friday oil firms were storing "about" 80 million barrels of crude oil at sea, possibly the highest in a quarter of a century....

30 to 35 Very Large Crude Carriers (Very Large Crude Carriers) capable of carrying two million barrels each and 10 Suezmaxes with a capacity of a million barrels each were being used by oil firms for floating storage in the last few months.