financial crisis

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.

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

FDR's solution to the Banking Crisis - a model for Obama

Despite a $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout, despite the Federal Reserve scooping over a $Trillion of questionable bank assets onto its balance sheets, despite an alphabet soup of new programs designed to aid the banking system, and despite -- or perhaps in part because of -- the almost-daily rule changes in the banking system I have dubbed Global Financial Calvinball; the economy and the financial emergency continues to worsen.
This is imho precisely because, as Jim Kunstler puts it:

The Evil Doers of the Financial Crisis

Many folks are asking what the hell is going on, how did we get here and who is responsible?

The Washington post has named names on what and who are responsible for this disaster.

The issue at hand was regulation of the derivatives market and Brooksley E. Born wanted to regulate it. This is 1998, the Clinton administration.

It seems Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. didn't want any regulation on the growing shadow banking system called derivatives.

Friday Movie Night - What To Do Edition

hot buttered popcorn 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!

This week we're focusing in on various economists' interviews on what is going on and what really needs to happen. Included are Bill Moyer's George Soros interview, Roubini, Jim Rogers and Bill Issac.

Plan 9 From Outer Space is Plan B

plan 9 from outer space
Now that the bail out and throwing money to Wall Street for bad debt isn't doing much, today we had a coordinated rate cut from central banks across the globe.

More money is proposed so Americans can go shopping instead of producing and AIG gets another $38 Billion.

Considering the magnitude of imminent Economic Armageddon, in last night's debate what do we get?  Spend, Spin, Platitudes and our favorite distraction, tax cuts. I often think we would be better with static and noise emanating from the idiot box than this absurd, vague drivel or deflection through attack to avoid the specifics on what will they do.

Volcker Stands on Twin Peaks - New Report on Market Regulation

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Jacob A. Frenkel (Group of 30) released a new report,

The Structure of Financial Supervison: Approaches and Challenges in a Global Marketplace

The attached paper recommends a restructuring on financial market supervision called Twin Peaks.

twin peaks red room dream sequence

Both Presidential campaigns have mentioned major structural and regulatory reforms of the financial systems. Volcker is advising Obama and please note, the other paper authors, many are from surviving financial institutions and yes, yet once again, Goldman Sachs is represented.

Here Comes The Show - Congressional Hearings, Debt and Conjecture

Multiple Screens! 360 Panavision! Let the shouting begin! The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold hearings the next two days. Committee Chair Representative Waxman:

Lax oversight and reckless investments on Wall Street are causing massive disruption throughout our economy. Our hearings will examine what went wrong and who should be held to account.

Up on the executive chopping block are:

DAY 1: Causes and Effects of the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

  • Dr. Luigi Zingales, Professor of Finance, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Robert F. Wescott, President, Keybridge Research LLC
  • Nell Minow, Chairman of the Board and Editor, The Corporate Library
  • Gregory W. Smith, General Counsel, Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association