If I commit a Felony before my birthday I'll be paid ten million dollars

Bank Write Downs at Two Trillion? You bet, not reported yet and it keeps on ticking. A corrupt financial structure whose business was making money and only making money may cause a near depression here. To those of you who think that the borrowers should share in the blame I merely point out that "All of us are Morons in the Other Man's Game," which translates to, even though I've got a PhD in nuclear physics I still don't know jack about high rise building projects or the recipe for rye toast. As more and more banks show signs of serious hull damage (all unreported), which scores as a "whoopsie" on the news wires week after week, and as more and more unindicted executives resign and move to Bali, the real damage and corruption of the entire credit system is becoming frightenly clear. Countrywide actually wrote down an instruction book on how to swindle "borrowers." Tell me you know all about credit swaps, LDOs, and collateralized debt that includes credit cards (unsecured debt), cars, and other bank financed debt like home improvement. All this debt has been endlessly "secured" with debt instruments that everybody has purchased as good investments but cannot be valued because nobody knows what debt is covered.

The US Federal Reserve, which is supposed to regulate mortgages, failed its duty. So did other US financial regulators, like Treasury and the SEC. They, and auditing firms, allowed banks to egregiously misvalue their mortgage holdings and create `conduits’ and `off balance sheet’ vehicles that were new forms of accounting fraud.

And the execs? Back in 2002, Mark Belnick, who had previously been one of the legal go-to guys for Wall Street as a rising star at corporate law firm Paul,Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, found himself transplanted as General Counsel at fraud-infested Tyco International. Mr. Belnick inked a retention agreement for himself and it was duly filed without fanfare at the top corporate cop's web site, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The agreement guaranteed Mr. Belnick a payment of at least $10.6 million (sit down) should he commit a felony and be fired before October 2003.

A recently unearthed 'highly confidential' Citigroup memo openly discussed the 'pressures' keeping research analysts from providing investors with honest research. Meaning almost all published "research" was fraudulent.

All this was financed with sub-prime loans which were mis rated and mis valued. To the borrower who misstated income? He was told casually that this is the way it's done now, don't worry about it.

This is serious, folks. The worst financial mess in our lifetimes, and in terms of the entire world perhaps the worst ever.

No comments: