Sheila Bair’s Editorial and Other Tidbits From Taibbi

Matt Taibbi wrote a blog post talking about various tidbits of interest, including that Sheila Bair posted an editorial in the Washington Post, comparing the handouts and freebies we’ve given to the banks to a solution of giving the American people loans of $10 mil each to invest in the economy:

I hope everyone saw ex-Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chief Sheila Bair’s editorial in the Washington Post, entitled, “Fix Income Inequality with $10 million Loans for Everyone!” The piece might have set a world record for public bitter sarcasm by a former top regulatory official.

In it, Bair points out that since we’ve been giving zero-interest loans to all of the big banks, why don’t we do the same thing for actual people, to solve the income inequality program? If the Fed handed out $10 million to every person, and then got each of those people to invest, say, in foreign debt, we could all be back on our feet in no time:

Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/free-10-million-loans-for-all-and-other-wall-street-notes-20120419#ixzz1sYNpcsEv

Taibbi also talks about BoA’s recent financial report, and the fact that BoA quietly reclassified(again!) toxic mortgage loans (I know you’re as shocked as me):

Meanwhile, Bank of America reported its first-quarter results yesterday. Despite that massive ongoing support from the Fed, it earned just $653 million in the first quarter, but astonishingly the results were hailed by most of the financial media as good news. Its home-turf paper, the San Francisco Chroniclecrowed that BOA “Posts Higher Profits As Trading Results Rebound.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, summed up results this way: “Bank of America Beats Analyst Estimates As Trading Jumps.”

But the New York Times noted that BOA’s first-quarter profit of $653 million was down from $2 billion a year ago, and paled compared to results of more successful banks like Chase and Wells Fargo.

Zero Hedge, meanwhile, posted an amusing commentary on BOA’s results, pointing out that the bank quietly reclassified nearly two billion dollars’ worth of real estate loans.

And the big investment banks are still sucking, despite the taxpayer/govt. $$$ infusion:

We’re about to see yet another big blow to all of the usual suspects – Goldman, Citi, Bank of America, and especially Morgan Stanley, all of whom face potential downgrades by Moody’s in the near future.

We’ve known this was coming for some time, but the news this week is that the giant money-managing firm BlackRock is talking about moving its business elsewhere. Laurence Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, told the New York Times: “If Moody’s does indeed downgrade these institutions, we may have a need to move some business around to higher-rated institutions.”

It’s one thing when Zero Hedge, William Black, myself, or some rogue Fed officers in Dallas decide to point fingers at the big banks. But when big money players stop trading with those firms, that’s when the death spirals begin.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/free-10-million-loans-for-all-and-other-wall-street-notes-20120419#ixzz1sYORQZYY

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