Friday Movie Night - Breaking The Bank

 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!


Before we get to the documentary, if you missed this one, it's a must watch! Before Congress, health insurance executives refuse to stop rescinding health insurance coverage, retroactively, when a person actually gets sick! Reminds me of the big Tobacco CEOs Seven Dwarfs famous clip, all under oath swearing they did not believe nicotine is additive.

Terminations of Individual Health Policies by Insurance Companies


Ok, This weeks economic related documentary is Frontline's Breaking the Bank.

The Documentary is on the shot gun marriage arranged by then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. Just in case you forgot, Frontline has a nice financial crisis meltdown timeline graphical display.



What the show does not answer is was the TARP even necessary and was this forced marriage needed either.

Fast forward to June 11, 2009, the House Oversight Committee is now serving subpoenas on the Federal Reserve for their role in the forced acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. The committee also held a contentious hearing on June 11th, 2009.

Now I think BoA sucks. They are predatory, offshore outsourced jobs, labor arbitraged, and on and on, but in this instance, is it fair to beat up on CEO Ken Lewis when they should be hauling into Congress Hank Paulson?

Here are some video clips from the hearing:

Kucinich Beats Up Lewis


Congress woman Kaptur: Shadow Relationships Blackrock, BoA, Countrywide, Subprime Mortgages


Congressman Kanjorski asks for regulatory reform "if onlys" from Lewis

How come they aren't hauling in Goldman Sachs? They funneled billions of TARP funds via CDSes from AIG. How about Citigroup? Let's really beat them up, after all they have been dictating economic policy, especially trade policy for a while now.



There is the possibility that Ken Lewis pulled a fast one.

He could have said you know Fed and Treasury we don't like how this Merrill Lynch deal is working so we are going to pull out of it knowing that JP Morgan Chase got a sweet deal from Fed for Bear Stearns. Fed and Treasury say name your price - Lewis says we want low-cost capital that we can't get in the market right now. Fed and Treasury know that they can't have another Lehman Bros. and they can't give the sweetheart deal they gave to JP Morgan Chase but they give BofA the additional capital.

There are no clean hands TARP. It was a matter of bailing out the financial oligarchy. It is interesting how the united front may be crumbling. We will see if anyone goes quietly - Citi Group is still a zombie and AIG is still a mess.

in the Frontline documentary

That's what he tried to do. He tried to pull out of it and basically wasn't allowed to pull out of it by Paulson.

I agree the entire thing was about saving the oligarchy but it seems Hank Paulson was puppet master.

No one has clean hands.

Ken Lewis' PR people are trying to portray him as a victim. It ain't gonna happen.

B of A was bailout to the tune of $52,500,000,000.

Did Paulson twist some arms sure but did Lewis get much needed cheap capital that he couldn't otherwise get from the market? Hell yes.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the $118 billion in loss guarantees on an investment pool.

Senator Grassley gets greased.