Skip to main content

Sorry for the short diary, but this just broke a few minutes ago and I haven't seen anything else on it here. But according to various news sources including the NY Times:

Stephen Friedman, the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Board, abruptly resigned on Thursday, days after questions arose about his ties to Goldman Sachs.

He had been expected to depart by year's end, but this abrupt resignation was sudden and unexpected. Although, given his massive conflict of interest issues that may verge on the criminal (at least to this non-lawyer), I can see why he quit suddenly.

Perhaps he's gotten a call from the White House or DoJ?

The full, brief article below the fold.

Friedman Resigns as Chairman of New York Fed
May 7, 2009, 5:57 pm

Stephen Friedman, the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Board, abruptly resigned on Thursday, days after questions arose about his ties to Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Friedman was chairman of the New York Fed at the same time he was a member of Goldman’s board. He also had a substantial stake in the firm as the Fed was crafting a solution to keep Wall Street banks afloat. Denis M. Hughes, deputy chair of the board, will take over as the interim chairman, the New York Fed said in a statement.
...
Because the New York Fed approved a request by Goldman to become a bank holding company, the chairman’s involvement in Goldman was a violation of Fed policy, The Wall Street Journal said in an article earlier this week.

The New York Fed asked for a waiver, which, after about two and a half months, the Fed granted, the newspaper said. During that time, Mr. Friedman bought 37,300 more Goldman shares in December, which have since risen $1.7 million in value.
...

He actually bought Goldman stock while head of the NY Fed, AFTER the meltdown happened and the TARP program went into effect!!! I guess it would be hard to run the NY Fed from a jail cell.

No wonder Bernanke didn't want to release the names of banks receiving Fed help. I wonder if he's going to be under investigation too. Sounds like he should be. Wasn't he Friedman's boss?

Update: Per Seneca Doane, who also has a diary up on this story, here a link to Friedman's letter of resignation, and to a Slate article by Eliot Spitzer on this matter:

The kerfuffle about current New York Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Stephen Friedman's purchase of some Goldman stock while the Fed was involved in reviewing major decisions about Goldman's future—well-covered by the Wall Street Journal here and here—raises a fundamental question about Wall Street's corruption. Just as the millions in AIG bonuses obscured the much more significant issue of the $70 billion-plus in conduit payments authorized by the N.Y. Fed to AIG's counterparties, the small issue of Friedman's stock purchase raises very serious issues about the competence and composition of the Federal Reserve of New York, which is the most powerful financial institution most Americans know nothing about.

A quasi-independent, public-private body, the New York Fed is the first among equals of the 12 regional Fed branches. Unlike the Washington Federal Reserve Board of Governors, or the other regional fed branches, the N.Y. Fed is active in the markets virtually every day, changing the critical interest rates that determine the liquidity of the markets and the profitability of banks. And, like the other regional branches, it has boundless power to examine, at will, the books of virtually any banking institution and require that wide-ranging actions be taken—from raising capital to stopping lending—to ensure the stability and soundness of the bank. Over the past year, the New York Fed has been responsible for committing trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to resuscitate the coffers of the banks it oversees.

Given the power of the N.Y. Fed, it is time to ask some very hard questions about its recent performance. The first question to ask is: Who is the New York Fed? Who exactly has been running the show? Yes, we all know that Tim Geithner was the president and CEO of the N.Y. Fed from 2003 until his ascension as treasury secretary. But who chose him for that position, and to whom did he report? The N.Y. Fed president reports to, and is chosen by, the Fed board of directors.

Thanks SD!

Update 2: Some commenters were complaining that I posted the entire article, even though it was a very short one with only 6 paragraphs. So to stay in technical compliance with this site's fair use policy, I took out a few sections. Everyone happy now? :-P

Originally posted to kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:35 PM PDT.

Poll

Did Stephen Friedman

29%135 votes
57%262 votes
8%38 votes
0%2 votes
0%3 votes
2%13 votes

| 453 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GainesT1958, JekyllnHyde, Terri, Chi, ferg, Timaeus, Bob Love, johnmorris, exotrip, cotterperson, meg, bellatrys, OLinda, lysias, eeff, Mnemosyne, sobermom, RFK Lives, SallyCat, MarkInSanFran, mataliandy, Creosote, bronte17, understandinglife, stevej, chuckvw, buckhorn okie, fumie, high uintas, wader, Dr Colossus, Chicago Lulu, gmb, alizard, MeToo, randallt, Josiah Bartlett, rapala, radarlady, 3goldens, Jeffersonian Democrat, denise b, greycat, blueyedace2, PsychoSavannah, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, majcmb1, EdlinUser, ladybug53, Wufacta, Skid, Phil S 33, babatunde, FightTheFuture, Pluto, Land of Enchantment, BachFan, vigilant meerkat, victoria2dc, koNko, ceriboo, Magnifico, greenearth, StrayCat, 4Freedom, bubbanomics, JVolvo, bleeding heart, jjellin, kurious, dochackenbush, Hedwig, louise the dog, andrewj54, Nulwee, DBunn, One Pissed Off Liberal, marykk, lightfoot, wa ma, Cottagerose, Wino, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, bnasley, Seneca Doane, chicago jeff, Moderation, MadAsHellMaddie, TexasTwister, Badabing, trueblueliberal, willb48, Predictor, Terra Mystica, TomP, Empower Ink, dotster, limpidglass, skohayes, beltane, happymisanthropy, noddem, Horsefeathers, luckylizard, Athenocles, Dems 2008, JonBarleycorn, cameoanne, 1BQ, pileta, litoralis, h bridges, zackamac, Mercuriousss, Angry Mouse, sulthernao, robertacker13, on board 47, That Anonymous Guy, chrome327, Crabby Abbey, wvmom, polar bear, samanthab, SoCalHobbit, Earth Ling, pateTX, washunate, Betty Pinson, MsGrin, samantha in oregon, mechboots, RepTracker, I love OCD, Susipsych, Situational Lefty, page394, blue husky, zukesgirl64, FistJab, bamabikeguy, Sark Svemes

    Not for me, for poor Steven's moral defense fund...

    Bwahahahahahahaha!

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:36:03 PM PDT

    •  kovie, my diary on this came just after yours (44+ / 0-)

      I'm willing to delete it, but (1) could you pare the quotes from the NYT down to "fair use" limits, and (2) would you consider porting over the Eliot Spitzer article I included?  I'll leave mine up until you at least do the former, as until you do it's subject to being deleted by management.  Thanks.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

      by Seneca Doane on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, I'll add the links and excerpts (9+ / 0-)

        But given how short the article is, I'll keep it up in its entirety unless and until told to cut it by FPers. The FUD has always been subject to the occasional "stretching".

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:00:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  2 Posts on this are legit, since it's been... (38+ / 0-)

          ...near the top of the news cycle in the metro NY area for many days...if we can have 200 diaries on torture prosecution, we can have 2 diaries on someone finally getting nailed at the NY Fed...definitely THE most powerful institution--even moreso than the Federal Reserve Board itself--when it comes to determining "where the money goes!" Kudos to both you and Seneca Doane for being on top of this story.

          Now let's nail G-S, Gov't and Fed'l Reserve officials for a variety of unethical actions for the past 18 months, shall we?

          This is just the tip of the iceberg!

          G-S has been many steps beyond "too-big-to-fail" for far too many years. It's the biggest outrage in the entire system...next to the fact that they've done nothing less than become officially sanctioned to loot the entire economy of the U.S. during the past 18 months, as well.

          It is light years beyond outrageous...and the apathy amongst the public about all of this is, perhaps, the most reprehensible matter of all!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:14:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The apathy is partly due to (23+ / 0-)

            both the complexity of the situation, and the surreal sense, outwardly at least, of things being normal, as before. It's like we're all cattle being led to the slaughter in one of those huge automated slaughterhouses, where until literally just seconds before you're about to get put down, you have no clue that something's SERIOUSLY wrong.

            And what's most surreal--and troubling--of all is that Obama has so many ex-Goldman abd Fed types working for him at the highest levels, allegedly trying to FIX the very problems that they caused. Either Obama's a genius, or, well, let's not go there yet...

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:19:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, they have people whose job it is to (11+ / 0-)

              design those chutes so as to not raise the anxiety level of the livestock.
              I suppose it's all just easier that way.

              -- We are just regular people informed on issues

              by mike101 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:36:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The pyromaniacs are supposed to rebuild the house (10+ / 0-)

              that they just burned down.  How many other times have you seen a Dem POTUS entrust the same people who created a disaster remedy that disaster?

              There's no genius being displayed by Obama here.  His trust towards people w/ impressive pedigrees is clearly at work.  Problem is, in this case, Wall Street pedigrees is the last thing he should be looking for.

              Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

              by RFK Lives on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:47:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I honestly can't figure him out (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RFK Lives, polar bear, Earth Ling

                Which I think is by design, in part. Sure, like many I have my guesses, but when it comes down to it, that's all that they are, guesses. But it does seem plausible to me that he has an excessive faith in the value of paper credentials and titles, as opposed to genuine expertise and a solid track record--and esoteric theories and strategies, as opposed to what's been proven to work in the past.

                And I think this is among the more generous assessments of what's going on w/him.

                I'll leave it at that.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:10:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Plus Summers went to Harvard, like him. and the (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mataliandy, Winnie, Predictor, Earth Ling

                  Clintons love Summers, too.  He seems to think the Clintons have nothing but good advice.  Or maybe he really is a super corporate kind of guy and many of us had him pegged wrong.  I was, however, happy, happy, happy to read that he had dinner, i think it was, with Krugman and Stiglitz.  Plus i believe Simon Johnson has been named to some budgetary board.  

                  This stuff is so wrong, on so many levels, though.

                  •  I don't have a problem with Harvard (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    polar bear, Earth Ling

                    I went to an Ivy, a different one (not Yale, either). You meet all sorts in these places, smart, dumb, good, bad, indifferent. The issue here is the specific people and policies, not their general connections. Again, I don't know what his reasons are, but I don't like these policies and staff choices, on their merits (or lack thereof), and neither do a lot of very reputable economists who do this for a living.

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:17:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I didn't mean to sound like i have a problem with (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kovie, Earth Ling

                      Harvard--i don't.  i was just stating that since Obama went to Harvard, he probably has a conviction that these are intelligent, etc., guys, who he will pick over others.  

                      I don't understand his picking people who believe in these policies at all, unless he believes these are the best policies, which may only mean that i misjudged him.

                      •  I think that it's more complicated than this (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mataliandy, joynow, polar bear, Earth Ling

                        But I do sense a certain overconfidence on his part in paper credentials. Of course, the same could be said of those who throw in with Krugman & Co.--hey, they won the Nobel! But unlike many of Obama's people, economists like Krugman have stood the test of peer review in the broader economic profession. They might not be perfect, of course, but when the overwhelming concensus of progressive economists (and Obama is still claiming, however indirectly, to being a progressive, no?) is with Krugman & Co. and not Summers & Co., you've got to wonder who's more credible here.

                        Remember, it was Summers' and his mentor Rubin's and protege Geithner's policies that helped caused this meltdown, in part. Smart or not, their ideas and policies failed. The question is why they're being put in charge of fixing that which they helped break--especially when their "solution" is to help some of the other people who helped break it, i.e. corrupt and incompetent bankers, by throwing money at them?

                        It's surreal, like, as many have said, putting a bunch  of arsonists in charge of putting out the fires that they set! Whadufuk?

                        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                        by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:40:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Plus Giethner was in charge of the (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kovie, Terra Mystica, Earth Ling

                          Asian "recovery" at the IMF - the time otherwise known as "the lost decade." He then spent his time at the NY Fed cajoling the bankers to self-regulate for the sake of their reputations. (Yes, really. His speeches are all posted online.)

                          His career path appears to be a prime example of failing upward.

                          We cannot assume that our leaders are able to discern our meaning from our silence.

                          by mataliandy on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:58:48 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Scary stuff indeed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Terra Mystica

                            Again, I repeat, either Obama's a genius whose brilliance is beyond our (and more than a few economists') ability to grasp, in WAY in over his head and making some really bad decisions that individually might be understandable but in the aggregate simply make no sense, or, I shudder to think...

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 08:47:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I wrote back in OCTOBER of (11+ / 0-)

              last year that it was just amazing that Goldman Sachs was coming out of everything just fine and dandy; and, it stunk to high heaven that that was the case.  And I don't even follow the financial world all that closely!  It looked like a duck and walked like a duck and quacked like a duck.....

              I really don't like that Obama has so many of the foxes on his team.  I really don't.

            •  I'm a pessimist by nature (4+ / 0-)

              and a septic... but if I were to choose to be optimistic I'd guess Obama doesn't have as many choices or as much free rein as he would if not for the machinations of the system. There's a lot of powerful groups arrayed against the people and anyone who takes a stand for them(us). IIRC FRD threw a fit when he couldn't get Representatives to help the country, and he tried taking his case directly to the public and it failed.

              Sorry if I got any of this wrong. The point is Obama might not be able to do much even assuming he wishes to.  

              ...I'm not sure about anything, so...  

              Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

              by SoCalHobbit on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:28:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  plus no one on the major msm shows (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mataliandy, Predictor

              is really explaining these outrages to us.  i don't think most people even know about it.

            •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terra Mystica, Earth Ling

              Except the part about having no clue.

              Sadly, lots of people have been screaming bloody murder about this for nearly 2 years, but it seems many people still aren't ready to pull off the darned blinders.

              I wish it were possible to push people through the Overton window, so they could see the whole of what's on the other side...

              We cannot assume that our leaders are able to discern our meaning from our silence.

              by mataliandy on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:54:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Who will prosecute? (10+ / 0-)

            Given that the US Treasury and the NY Fed have acted like wholly owned subsidiaries of G-S at least since the Clinton administration, who has the clout, guts and expertise needed to do it?

            There was one guy... what's his name?... paid dearly for his transgressions, but what exactly was he paying for?

          •  I wrote all about what is going on this morning.. (9+ / 0-)

            in a diary: Rep. Alan Grayson is going after the FED/Bernanke.  

            I agree bob, I'm amazed at how little people really know about the Federal Reserve, (but that is exactly the way the FED likes it).  Amazing that no one is even allowed in Congress to know what the hell they are doing with our money: The Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950, which prevents the Federal Reserve from being audited by Congress in section 31, USC 714(b).

            This is the 'fake' Inspector General of the Federal Reserve who couldn't find her own ass if you gave her a map and a flashlight...

            her office "conducts independent and objective audits, inspections, evaluations, investigations, and other reviews related to programs and operations of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System."

            That is code for: filing her nails and making dinner reservations for Ben Bernanke.  

            Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

            by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:30:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Grayson's been really good about this (17+ / 0-)

              Especially for a freshman Dem rep from a fairly conservative state. You may not know this, but one of his top aides is former blogger Matt Stoller, of MyDD and OpenLeft.

              I don't know how this is going to play out, but I suspect that even if they try their best, the corrupt aholes who are responsible for this might not be able to keep this house of cards standing for much longer, multi-trillion bailouts or not. Something's gonna give and if Obama and Dems aren't on the right side of it, they could face massive electoral losses in '10 and '12. And given the current state of the GOP, that could easily lead to a situation not unlike that in Germany in 1933.

              We are in very, very dangerous territory right now, even though it's not immediately obvious. Not just economically, but politically and socially. This could destroy what's left of our still very creaky democracy, if poorly managed.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:36:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree Kovie, it was a very dangerous situtation (9+ / 0-)

                to begin with.  FDR made a huge point of distancing himself from Wall Street with the Percora Commission. President Obama never fully understood how important that and what an astute political move that FDR made when he removed himself from the 'Crooks'...

                   

                Pecora's work unearthed numerous conflicts of interest--a "preferred list" of investors (including President Coolidge and Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts) kept by Morgan who had access to lucrative securities offerings not available to ordinary customers; the unsavory practice of bank presidents of borrowing money to short stocks, including sometimes their own; and the first wave "securitization," in which investment banks made sketchy loans and repackaged them as bonds for unsuspecting investors.

                   Pecora's work led to several resignations of bank executives, but more importantly in created a climate for reform legislation. Pecora's findings helped inform the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 separating investment banking from government-insured commercial banking, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Most importantly, it functioned as a public shaming of Wall Street. It thus helped change the political climate so that radical reforms could proceed. President Roosevelt encouraged Pecora's work and he encouraged the public indignation. Pecora was subsequently appointed by Roosevelt as a commissioner of the newly created SEC.

                Obama misread the publics outrage, and could have used his political capital to completely change how we 'do business'...I think it was his biggest mistake.  I really do. I think he picked the wrong team to play on when he chose 'the same old crooks' I think it is going to come back and bite him on the ass.  

                Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

                by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:58:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know what Obama's thinking is here (5+ / 0-)

                  But at BEST, he appears to either believe in his 11D chess strategy (that to many of us outside the worship zone makes no sense at all), or be a fool who's just trying to cover up one bubble with another, to buy time while he figures out what he really wants to do--at which point it might be too late, economically or politically.

                  I'm hoping that it's his inexperience and naivite that's causing his actions here, and not some crazy pony-chasing economic strategies--or worse.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:05:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you simply cannot discuss any issue without (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kat68, FistJab

                    taking jabs, can you?

                    "11D Chess"
                    what's that supposed to mean? It's some stupid catch phrase developed here that is meaningless. I get the point, but "3D" or possibly "4D" would suffice. 11D sounds childish and spiteful.

                    "outside the worship zone"
                    what can be said here? We get it, you have some sort of problem with something you consider an out of control cult of personality. Using terms such as "hard-core supporters" is probably a more accurate descriptor and it certainly would lend more credibilty to your positions.

                    So, by your reckoning Obama is either convinced of his own unrealistic and even impossible strategy or he is simply a fool. Sounds like a fair and reasonable assesment. Geez.

                    "his inexperience and naivite"

                    Yeah, that dumb ass Obama. Not smart like us.

                    Please. Maybe Obama is following a mistaken strategy, that is certainly a debatable point. And one that he probably did debate with Krugman over dinner. And one that he is probably giving serious consideration because that appears to be the way he approaches problems -- giving honest and serious consideration of his opposition. But it seems hard pressed to describe Obama as "a fool," or inexperienced and naive. Doing so only reflects poorly on yourself and other writers who do so.

                    Your anger and spite cloud anything of value you might have to say and in case you haven't noticed you just end up talking to those who agree with you because your caustic tone does nothing to convince people on the other side of issues.

                    •  And you simply cannot stop giving him (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mataliandy, Earth Ling

                      the benefit of the doubt as he makes one mistake after another, all because he brilliantly won an ELECTION against long odds.

                      And in case you haven't noticed, most of this site's most serious and well-informed members, along with serious and reputable economists, happen to agree with me--or, more accurately, I happen to agree with them--as opposed to people who post diaries full of nothing but meaningless photos that connect with the child in all of us.

                      Dude/dudette, Obama's giving away the country's fortunes to a bunch of corrupt and incompetent bankers in a strategy that one Nobel Prize-winning economist after another has declared DOA--and trying to let war criminals off the hook at the same time--and I'm the one being unfair here?

                      Sorry, but "I like/trust him" isn't a mature argument. Not at this level, not in these crises. That's how a child thinks. Or a follower. Same thing, really.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:41:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are wrong (0+ / 0-)

                        As usual. Stop your hate and bitterness from the primaries and grow up.

                        •  Every time one of you responds this way (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Earth Ling

                          You never ever EVER back it up with anything but ad hom. No substance, all bile, because I dare to pick on your infallible hero. And you deliberately try to bait me into flame wars this way, hoping that I'll post something HRable.

                          I'm posting specific and credible criticisms of Obama that are subscribed to by many of the most respected people here and elsewhere. If that's what you call "hate and bitterness", then that says way more about you than about me and these people.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:49:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  OK...please bacl up the "and trying to let (0+ / 0-)

                            war criminals off the hook at the same time" part.

                            Is he? How is that? Seems to me once he released those memos he triggered a process that took it out of his hands. He can say all the "look forward" he wants to...and that's a fine place for him to lppk. He is not prosecutor or investigator, he is President.
                            He is not suppose to tell the DOJ who to investigate or prosecute. He is not there to declare who committed a crime.

                            He released the memos. He said it is torture. Puzzled at how you equate that with trying to let war criminals off the hook.

                          •  Then why does he keep saying (0+ / 0-)

                            that he wants to "look forward"? How can that not be viewed as anything but not wanting there to be serious investigations, let alone prosecutions. If this is a personal preference, he should keep it to himself, as it unfairly prejudices the DoJ's actions.

                            By saying these things, he IS telling the DoJ whom to investigate and prosecute, indirectly. You think Holder doesn't understand political code? If he was really not interested in interfering with DoJ, he would have released the memos and said that if any crimes might have been committed, it's up to DoJ to determine that, and that at this point it's out of his hands, and that while it might be DoJ's job to "look backward", it's his to "look forward". At BEST, this is what he meant, but said it very, very poorly. But I'm not convinced that it's what he meant. Obama is not a man to use words carelessly. Even "You're likeable enough, Hillary", was likely calculated to rattle her.

                            And it worked, obviously. Obama's a smart guy. He knows what his words mean.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:11:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I think President Obama at first just did not (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    polar bear, SoCalHobbit, Earth Ling

                    realize how he had jumped into a tank of sharks.

                    I'm hoping that it's his inexperience and naivite that's causing his actions here, and not some crazy pony-chasing economic strategies--or worse.

                    I think at first, he just wanted to get in their and get his feet wet and figure out what the hell was going on, but what he found out was that the crisis was so huge, was so earth shattering, and I think he probably 'felt trapped' by the power of the Federal Reserve, the Corporations, the MIC, and the entire structure, that he just 'had been treading water' trying to keep from drowning.  

                    My other feeling is that as a man, I don't think President Obama invites or rather he evades 'confrontation'.  That is not to say I think he lacks the ability to deal with confrontation, I just think that he in over his head, because of the monumental mess that Bush/Cheney left us in...I mean those two really fucked the entire world up so badly, that it is almost impossible to 'change the status quo' now, because they took us to the edge of the cliff, and that is where Obama is standing now.  I don't fault him, but I can see that this is such a complicated situation, that it would take a complete shut down of our entire system and time to revamp our entire financial structure to 'fix' the problem....which we do not have the luxury of doing. People must have jobs and money to live on, and right now, with two wars going on, and the Taliban ready to get their hands on the nukes, there is just too much shit going down to deal with this entire fucking mess.  Reminds me again of how much I despise George Fucking Bush.

                    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

                    by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:32:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If this is over his head (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Badabing

                      And his preferred way of dealing with it is to basically punt, then why on earth did he run for president? I'm willing to allow that his actions may be due more to inexperience and being in over his head. But that doesn't excuse them.

                      Nor do I buy the explanation that he has no choice. There are other ways to deal with this crisis--and others--that aren't such complete giveaways to the very people who caused them. Politically and personally tougher? Definitely. But that's what being president is about, taking on the problems that no one else can or wants to and doing so in a tough, smart and principled manner, no matter the costs to oneself.

                      Ultimately, all great leaders are martyrs, obviously and hopefully not physically, but certainly personally, emotionally and professionally. If they can't make the grade, then they shouldn't have run for the job.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:46:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  His actions are (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Badabing

                        And his preferred way of dealing with it is to basically punt, then why on earth did he run for president? I'm willing to allow that his actions may be due more to inexperience and being in over his head. But that doesn't excuse them.

                        Stop trying to make a straw man so that your can express your bitter attacks in disguise. He wants to help/repair the banks. Nationalizations or failures allowed.Full stop. If you want his views on the bailout/banks watch his Goerge town speech.

                        He is also helping the middle class. His 3.5 TRILLION budget and 800 billion stimulus shovels WAY WAY more capital than he has ever spent on the banks so far (second half of tarp).

                        BTW FED (independent entity) guarantees don't count as money spent. if you think so you are an idiot. FDIC guarantees TRILLIONS every year in bank assets and deposits whether in a recession or normal times. That doesn't mean they spend trillions every year.

                        •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

                          Nationalizations or failures are not allowed.

                          Lehman put that baby to rest.

                          •  But nationalization or not (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Earth Ling

                            Lehman was ALLOWED to fail. Not by Obama, of course, although Geithner was head of the NY Fed at the time, so he played a role in it. But nationalization DOES NOT mean failure. NO ONE is calling for permanent nationalization of banks, but rather temporary receivorship to fix what's wrong and then sell them off, hopefully without much loss, or even at a profit, RTC-like, instead of throwing money at them without oversight and saying "Now be good, people!", even though they're the same people who caused this meltdown. If you're going to pontificate, at least know what you're talking about.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:00:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nationlization (0+ / 0-)

                            Would destroy the confidence in the whole banking system and the stock market. Also it would cost WAY more to the government than the second half of the bailout. even "nationalize everything" paul krugman admits it costs way more capital than we had at the time. You want more bail outs passed?

                            That's why nationalization is not happening. because it is confidence destroying and costs way more. Again go watch Obama's George town address's the same points.

                          •  That's a silly talking point (0+ / 0-)

                            We've been taking over, cleaning up and selling off (or closing, as need be) banks for decades, and it not only hasn't caused the banking system to tank, it's helped it, and been done at a profit sometimes. Cleaning out toxic elements in the banking system by temporarily taking it over--as opposed to letting it clean itself by throwing money at it and hoping for the best--would "destroy the confidence in the whole banking system and the stock market"? Dude, where have you been this past half year? The banking system and the stock market itself has done this already. This is a time-tested method of undoing as much damage as possible, cleaning up the mess, getting the system working again, and restoring this confidence. You're not making any sense here.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:24:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You fail (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you understand size? na you have no freaking clue.

                            Plus it will cost a lot more to do it. even your dear leader Krugman admitted it will need ~1 trillion more from congress to stabilize the banks in a receivership. Krugman will be a big failure in his predictions this year.

                          •  Words, empty words (0+ / 0-)

                            We might as well be arguing over the earth's flatness. You literally make no sense, throwing out talking points and other random nonsense.

                            The earth is flat! Why? Because I say so!

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:41:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  1 trillion is far less than we've pledged so far (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kovie, Badabing

                            all to no avail.  No not to no avail, worse - to our great detriment.  

                            We've wasted trillions that could have gone towards jump starting our economy on a path of real sustainability.

                            Even now, $1 trillion more would be a bargain. Every day we delay putting the banks into receivership costs us money and lost opportunity.

                            Plus when we put them into receivership, we'll open up the books and we can start prosecuting the criminals who've been running the banks / NY Fed.  And we'll claw back some portion of the money that's been stolen so far.

                        •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Earth Ling

                          Bushies are constantly arguing the exact same line as you--but he meant well, so anyone who criticizes him is clearly a bitter hater!

                          And go after me with ad hom bullshit again, and you get HRed.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:56:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  he needs us to exert greater pressure on him (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Badabing

                      than the banks exert on him.

                      It's that simple.

                      Unlike Bush, I think Obama will respond in the right way to the pressure we put on him, provided it's huge pressure.

                      We've got to educate ourselves, friends, coworkers and family as to the power of the banks.

                      Email this diary, email the article it's based on. Email snippets or articles that Illargi posts on the Automatic Earth.

                      Let's follow Kos' lead at Taking On the System.  

                      The banks are the "building" block of the system.  Kos probably didn't know it when he started out, not many did.  I didn't.

                      Our pressure must be greater.

                  •  Oh Stop (0+ / 0-)

                    You non sense. Obama's programs are already working. you will get a recovery this year whether you like it or not.

                    Jobless numbers droped 200k this month. And that is the last staw of bad news that wasn't improving in the last two months. It sucks to be wrong I know.. the likes of krugman/roubini have to eat their crow and claw their way back to credibility in years ahead after the smashingly wrong predictions they have had so far this year.

                    They hoped for failure. Looks like they are the ones failing.

                    •  It's a shell game (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      Trillions of dollars have been lost. This "revovery" is a bubble. We're going to pay for those losses one way or another. You're actually arguing with the finest economists in the world, despite not being one yourself? What next, the earth really IS flat!

                      I dare you to cite ONE credible economist who doesn't work for Obama or has a major personal or professional stake in this "bailout" who agrees with you.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:51:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Warren bufftet agree's with Obama's programs (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Weaselina

                        He is 10 times worth some freaking pundit Hillary supporter named krugman.

                        BTW Roubini supports the PPIP too. calls it major step in the right direction. what you got to say to that?

                        Nice hedge though, you know the recovery is  coming so you are moving to "it will happen again in the future!" talking points. Trillion is being spent to fill in the vacuum that the private secure has created. once it is filled(already being filled, private sector is lining up to recapitalize the bank shortfalls after the stress tests) we will get almost all of it back. The only money we will not be getting back so far is from UAW and Chrysler. since they are the only company we loaned money too that is being forgiven. banks are already lining up to pay back the tarp. you suck in your analysis.

                        P.S. The second half of the bail out is the only money obama has spent so far in banks and homeowners/car makers. the rest are fed guaranteed and debt buy back.

                        •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

                          Your comments are so weightless, it's really not worth my time.

                          Nobel Prize winners = freaking pundits. How impressive.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:38:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I wish you were right FistJab, but you're not (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Badabing

                          From yesterday's entry at The Automatic Earth:

                          " ... an overwhelming portion of some $8 trillion in mortgage debt (or 80% of the total) is teetering on the edge of, or in some state of, negative equity."

                          ...And while, thanks to "the transfer of toxic assets to taxpayers" and the magic of accounting legerdemain, the scarred financials to some significant extent may be spared further pain, the same, alas, can't be said for the nonfinancial sector. Little recognized, she insists, is how much the extraordinary gains in domestic nonfinancial profits from the low in 2001 to the peak in 2006 -- a stunning rise of 388% -- owed to the housing bubble. "Who in his right mind," she asks, "would believe that explosion in profits during the housing-bubble stretch a mere coincidence and, therefore, in no way subject to the same inexorable decline?"

                    •  Of course they did (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Badabing, polar bear

                      When you borrow multiple trillion dollars, of course the economy looks good, just like when I go to Las Vegas with my American Express I can live like a king, too.

                      Paying this debt back, or defaulting it, will destroy the economy.

                      •  wow (0+ / 0-)

                        You sound like a repug here. tell me how was the deficits under boooosh? do you understand that we have got to spend trillions in a great recession to avoid a depression? heard of Keynesianism?

                        •  This depression... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...will put the stake through Keynesianism's heart permanently. You can't spend your way out of a debt crisis. Sure, Keynesian stimulus helps... until you stop "stimulating". Then all the fun multiplier effects and economic benefits go in reverse.

                          Why haven't we been able to stop deficit spending for the last 30 years? It's not because it's fun to stop.

                          If the economy gets to be good, and we have zero trade and government deficits, I'll agree with you. But it will never be this way.

                          •  I am glade (0+ / 0-)

                            I outed you.You don't need to be wasting your time here,I am sure your "fiscally responsible in rethorice only" repugs could use more members. They are down to 21%.

                            Obama is cutting the budget in half in 4years. that's only if we spend out way out of this recession. if we don't nothing else matters as tax revenue will drop like a rock. deficits are meaningless in a great recession.

                          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Earth Ling

                            I outed you.You don't need to be wasting your time here,I am sure your "fiscally responsible in rethorice only" repugs could use more members. They are down to 21%.

                            I have a four-digit UID and have been around here for years and years saying similar things. It's kinda hard to "out" someone who has been loudly proclaiming the same stuff for years.

                            Whether Keynesian economics "works" or not is a matter of empirical evidence, not a political position. I was pissed at Bush, too. Name one time other than the Great Depression (which ended with a world war that flattened the rest of the globe and killed sixty million people), that Keynesian stimulus helped the economy, in any nation.

                            Re: your other points, many others think as you do. You are all wrong. It's common sense. When you have no money, you cut spending, not increase it.

                          •  in WW2 (0+ / 0-)

                            We spent over 100% of dept in GDP and the country prosperous afterwards. Right now we are spending 40% dept to GDP(60% after Obama's budget passes). you do the math. Instead of listening to repug scare tactic talking points.

                            BTW how many recessions we have had like this in the last 70 years? non. Only close example is 1930's where full kenynism was an smashing success in WW2. 100% dpet to GDP spending brought about a full recovery then.

                            We don't have to spent as much right now because we are not in a depression yet. Thank god we had the elections just in time unlike the great depression (FDR took office 3 years after stock market crash, Obama took office 4 months after the sept crash). You can thank Obama when the recovery happens later this year.

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            We spent over 100% of dept in GDP and the country prosperous afterwards.

                            In WWII we were easily able to pay the debt back because (a) it was mostly owed to Americans and (b) the rest of the world was smoldering rubble while we all had nice factories humming along.

                            You can thank Obama when the recovery happens later this year.

                            Like I said, a recovery based on deficit spending is meaningless; it's like me being unemployed but going on living on my American Express. I'm rich, right? Any recovery based on excessive government spending is going to be simply another bubble.

                          •  it's tragic that this is called a credit crisis (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, Badabing

                            It shows how confused (or worse) our leaders are.

                            To call it a credit crisis when in fact it is a debt crisis as you point out, is to get people facing in exactly the wrong direction.  Confuses them perfectly.

                            And yeah, it's kinda hard to see how we're going to borrow our way out of a debt crisis.

                            Sorta like drinking your way out of alcoholism - statistically more likely to end in death than health eh?

                        •  Fail! (0+ / 0-)

                          You are completely confusing necessary Keynesian spending, in the form of the stim bill and budget on the actual economy--which I like, as do Krugman et al--with unnecessary spending on the fake economy that is Wall St.--and which they don't like, because it stimulates NOTHING (except maybe these bankers' libido). You are confusing good fiscal policy with bad monetary policy.

                          At least TRY to know what you're talking about.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:30:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  I might add (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm hoping that it's his inexperience and naivite that's causing his actions here, and not some crazy pony-chasing economic strategies--or worse.

                    Nice talking points there. you might as well be a puma here.

                    btw American people disagree with your Hillary/Mccain inexperience cards.
                    http://pewresearch.org/...

                    if anyone is Naive it is you for betting against Obama again and again and loosing. You never learned from your failures.

                    •  I supported Obama before he annonced (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      I never supported Hillary, can't stand McCain, never voted for Nader, Paul, Kucinich, etc. You are so out of line here, it hurts. But, unlike you, I can actually think critically, and don't see the world in a either/or way.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:53:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I voted for Obama as well... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kovie

                        ...in the primary and the general, and I'm equally disappointed.

                        •  I'm only disappointed in some of his policies (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, Badabing

                          Mainly the Wall St. bailout and some of his legal policies regarding states secrets and investigating Bushies. Others I'm either very supportive of, somewhat supportive of, or somewhat disappointed in. I'm looking at and judging the whole agenda, not bits and pieces. Some great, some good, some so-so, some pretty bad--IMO.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:11:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well sure (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kovie, Earth Ling

                            The problem to me is that this banking thing and the economy in general is so much bigger than anything else that the other stuff which is good doesn't mean much.

                            I mean, our entire economy completely craters, millions of lives are ruined, but we get some stem cell research out of the deal?

                          •  you fool (0+ / 0-)

                            the entire economy is FAR FAR away from cratering. Thanks to Obama.

                            I am sure you don't follow facts or the news though. All you care about is deficits; so do the part of NO (apparently after years of drunk spending in times of relative stability compared to now).

                          •  You're an economist, I assume? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:36:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            But i closely follow the news on the economy. The facts and the pattern are clearly breaking in the last 2 months that usually end up leading up to a recovery from past recessions.

                            The fact that we are pumping billions into it makes me confidant that if another shoe drops in the next 6 months/year it will be easily mitigated. not that it has to happen. we caught this baby early so it will be much easier to control.

                          •  It's an illusion (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            polar bear, Earth Ling

                            The money being pumped into this doesn't actually exist right now. It's all loans based on the hope and belief that it'll pay off in the long run. Done right, that might have been the case--I'm not against any bailout, just the one that we're seeing here--but with this bailout, it's just going to the very people who caused this meltdown, to be squirreled away and never paid back. Just about every credible economist is basically saying this. We're throwing an immense amount of money that doesn't even exist, after bad money that's already been lost, and will have a shell of an economy and financial system in the end. And the crooks are getting away with billions.

                            There is no oversight or transparency. Forget Krugman since you seem to be obsessed with him. What about Stieglitz, Reich, Baker, Kuttner, Warren, Barofsky? Are they all Obama-hating Hillary shill pundits too? Are you not seeing the disconnect here?

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:52:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They hate banks (0+ / 0-)

                            Their arguments are almost always about morality and social justice. They have political axes to grind. not economics.

                            BTW the right wing economists are against obama too. They too are always talking about "free markets"  "Anti socialist/Regulation" theories. again political axe grinding.

                            Just shows Obama is threading the middle perfectly.Roubini (Supports PPIP,the biggest giethner policy so far) and Warren buffet both support Obama's policies. Just 2 big credible examples.

                          •  The RW "economists" are crazies and shills (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            polar bear, Earth Ling

                            and part of the problem in having pushed for massive deregulation for years. They're only trying to pin it on Obama to clear their own asses. I would not even begin to put them in the same class as Krugman & Stieglitz.

                            And your first sentence is utterly without basis and idle speculation. Can you prove it?

                            It's interesting how I can't cast doubt on Obama based entirely on his actions, but you have no problem doing it with his critics on matters having entirely to do with what's in their heads. I can't judge his actions, but you can judge their thoughts?

                            Jeebus. That sure takes the cake.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:09:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  rec'd for "the worship zone" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kovie

                    omg.  zing

          •  Looking forward to (0+ / 0-)

            the Hank Paulsen perp walk.

            Do the best you can in the place where you are, and be kind. -- Scott Nearing

            by Mnemosyne on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:02:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  OK, but in that case (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, kovie, Rick in Oz

          I think that I have to leave mine up; I'm not sure they start with a polite request before deleting.  Good luck.

          They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

          by Seneca Doane on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:21:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, keep it up (5+ / 0-)

            It doesn't bother me, especially since you clearly didn't know about mine when you posted. I never understood the call to delete similar diaries. Just having the comments up seems worth it. What, are we running short on hard disk space?

            :-)

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:38:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  amen, and as bob swern said - we could (0+ / 0-)

              fucking use a couple of rec list diaries on this subject.

              Every thing else we do is superficial compared to this.  If we don't get control of banking away from banksters and reformed to be a utility service for the public good - then everything else will sputter and fail no matter how noble and well conceived.

    •  Oh, and (3) (15+ / 0-)

      it's worth linking to his letter of resignation; you'll find the link in mine.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

      by Seneca Doane on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:49:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Insider Trading (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, gmb, 3goldens, greenearth, JVolvo

      definitely.

      •  Yeah, and here is how it happened: (13+ / 0-)

           

        The $850 million Dollar Question

           by Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge
           "(1) Includes one day on which the firm incurred negative trading net revenues of $859 million, principally reflecting a writedown of approximately $850 million related to the bridge and bank loan facilities held in LyondellBasell Finance Company."

           Now, two questions emerge:i) the digital jump in value on this loan from something likely reflecting par to a value indicative of zero or just above, raising questions about just what the mark-to-market or otherwise methodology at Goldman is, especially since the underlying bonds in Lyondell did not demonstrate anywhere near to a comparable corresponding plunge.ii) why did Goldman take the charge in December, when LyondelBasell did not file for bankruptcy until January 6, 2009? Just how did Goldman know to remark their position a week in advance of one of the biggest bankruptcies for 2009? As has been speculated elsewhere, the orphan month of December was used by Goldman as a garbage bag in to mark down all its underpeforming positions (and in some cases undermark existing assets especially in the commodities book). As such, it seems Lyondell was merely yet another symptom of this rampant remarking malaise, although what is not clear is what prompted the bank to remark when it did. Obviously a near $1 billion writedown in Q1 (where it belongs), would not have been quite as palatable to shareholders who were thrilled to see the bank obliterate earnings expectations, just like all the other banks in the US.

        Didn't Stephen Friedman, Goldman Director, and NY Fed Chairman buy quite a few shares of Goldman Sachs stock in December, like 37,000 shares? Guess the timing worked out pretty darn well for him.

        http://www.goldmansachs666.com/

        Goldman Sucks 'owns' the FED, the sooner we get rid of the entire Federal Reserve system the better. Who ever controls the money, control everything.  Just ask Alan Greenspan who moved the interest rates 18 times so the real estate bubble would keep going.  When will we ever learn?

        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

        by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:15:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My question is (11+ / 0-)

      What will his bonus be?

      "Calling torture 'harsh interrogation' is like calling rape 'surprise sex.'" Brandon Friedman

      by MadAsHellMaddie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:03:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't anyone forget (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, Mnemosyne, Badabing, polar bear

      Martha went to jail for picking up the phone!!! An old white woman!

  •  Jesus. (38+ / 0-)

    In the real world, we call that "insider trading."  It's generally considered a big no-no.

    One would think someone who's smart enough to rise to the head of the most powerful Fed branch would be smart enough to avoid that sort of thing, but common sense ain't in big supply on Wall Street these days.

  •  How soon before the crap starts hitting the fan? (8+ / 0-)
  •  TARP was (and is) just a last minute raid (20+ / 0-)

    on the treasury by the neo-cons.  Are we still surprised by illegal and unethical dealings on Wall Street?

    For serious?

    "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

    by The Rational Hatter on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:40:36 PM PDT

  •  It will be interesting to see what DOJ has to say (16+ / 0-)

    in the next few days or so. The limited information indicates at least a conflict of interest, if not actual intent to mislead, or insider trading issues.

    For now...glad to see part of the old economic regime gone sooner rather than later.

    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by SallyCat on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:41:27 PM PDT

  •  Is this a 24 hour news site? (0+ / 0-)

    Do we need to race to be the first announce breaking news?

    Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

    by Toon on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:41:36 PM PDT

    •  Newbie... (16+ / 0-)

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:42:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry oh Great 65471. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Ann T Bush

        Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

        by Toon on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:48:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Typical... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Toon, I love OCD

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:53:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if you're asking what amount to (5+ / 0-)

          "cultural" questions, you might be wise to consider wieghting more heavily the answers of those who have been members of that culture for a lot longer than you have.

          Or not.

          But to answer your questions...

          1. To the extent that DailKos is a "news site" at all, it is, by virtue of the fact that it is active at all times throughout any given 24 hour period, a "24 hour news site".
          1. No, we do not need to race to be the first to announce breaking news. But then, we do not, any of us, need to be here at all. "Need" is a very poor criterion for judging anything, and the human animal's needs are pretty limited. Food, air, water, and enough sex to ensure replacement of the species... that's about it for needs, and the last is obviously not a need for any individual... not getting any won't kill you. But, and this is important, being the first to announce breaking news is something that this culture does. Needed or not, it is a feature of this community, and one that does no harm.

          More genereally, there is not a fixed quantity of "DailyKosness" that we're all competing for. We put stuff out there, and, by a ruthless meritocracy (where "merit" is defined precisely as "ability to attract attention from the community"), what we put out either survives, or it goes away.

          Here endeth the lesson.

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:31:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

            In the future I will express my disappointment in lack of analysis only in the most respectful tones and will never combine apologies with humor again.
            I have this bad habit of not checking UIDs.

            Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

            by Toon on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:51:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Humor only works if it's funny. (0+ / 0-)

              And if it's not, that's 100% on the humorist.

              If nobody laughs, it's always the comedians fault.

              --Shannon

              "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
              "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

              by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:53:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since the apology was directed to kovie (0+ / 0-)

                and since I took his 'newbie' to be a minor chastisement, I thought I would answer light-heartedly. Is 'newbie' meant to be a terrible curse and a warning to always be on my best behavior until I too have a UID that is a quarter the size of the newest member?

                Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

                by Toon on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:15:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, of course not. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polar bear, SoCalHobbit

                  Even Kos was a newbie once.

                  But there is a certain "mind your elders" thing that goes on here... as it does, and should, in any culture. Those who have been around longer are more qualified to rule on matters of cultural norms than newcomers. That's just an inherent property of any culture. The fact that this particular culture doesn't physically exist (except in a highly abstract way that most of its members couldn't even describe) doesn't change the fact that it is subject to the constraints of any other human culture.

                  I wouldn't say "be on your best behavior", although even that wouldn't be bad advice... just mroe stringent than I'm comfortable with. But "tread lightly until you are sure of your ground" is always good advice, and I recommend you take it to heart.

                  Oh, and when you get flamed to the far side of well-done, as you (and everyone else) will inevitably be, don't take it too personally. We've all been there... which is why we take such delight in doing it to you.

                  This isn't a "nice" place. It's a great place, but not a nice one.

                  --Shannon

                  "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                  "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                  by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:53:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Interesting critique of human nature (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    polar bear, Toon

                    even for a bunch of relative liberals competition is a big factor. :)

                    Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                    by SoCalHobbit on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:11:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's because, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SoCalHobbit

                      deep down, we all suck.

                      Even liberals.

                      There's a reason that I'm not a humanist.

                      It's because we're just not that fucking cool.

                      --Shannon

                      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                      by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:26:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And what of empathy? nt (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Toon

                        Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                        by SoCalHobbit on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:29:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I have empathy... (0+ / 0-)

                          I can feel that the extent to which any random person I meet sucks is likely to be similar to the extent to which I suck.

                          It's not un-empathetic to assert that pretty much everyone sucks.

                          --Shannon

                          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                          by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:29:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Toon

                            There's:

                            The survival instinct - primordial, requires little or no higher cognition, that which "makes us suck", put our needs ahead of others, "me first".

                            Then there's:

                            Empathy - a more recent development, requires higher cognition, one's own survival instinct is applied to another person through the recognition of the self in the other. Group members help each other, a group survival adaptation.

                            Mother nature doesn't create from whole cloth, she adapts. Fins to hands. Survival to empathy.

                            So we have both survival and empathy and they come into conflict. "Do I kill a man for the spoils or love him as a reflection of myself?"

                            We are a very confused animal at the very least. And I agree, too many let their primitive side call the shots. It may help to think of us in small groups in scattered villages, that's where our genes have been selected for a very long time.

                            - Cheers

                            Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                            by SoCalHobbit on Thu May 07, 2009 at 08:28:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But group selection, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SoCalHobbit

                            at least as defined as "a feature of an individual organism that is bad for the individual but good for a group of individuals" is a fallacy. It doesn't happen. Only to the extent that cooperation enhances any particular cooperator's odds of reproduction (technically, the odds of the genes coding for that behavior increasing their frequency in the population of alleles) will superficially cooperative behavior be selected for.

                            But it is only individuals that breed, or die. That is a crucial, but easily overlooked, distinction.

                            Beware of the alluring fallacy of a directional arrow to natural selection. There isn't one. Evolution makes no predictions, strives toward nothing. On the scale of any individual organism, it's as simple as "live" vs "die". Everything we see, all of the beautiful diversity of life, is a consequence of that simple distinction.

                            --Shannon

                            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                            by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:11:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  group selection (0+ / 0-)

                            There seems to be a lack of consensus on group selection. Leaving that aside, you don't seem too keen on natural selection. I'm not trying to peddle anything.

                            - Cheers

                            Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                            by SoCalHobbit on Thu May 07, 2009 at 11:13:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Uh, at no point did you (0+ / 0-)

              express your "disappointment in the lack of analysis". And now you're just being crabby. Don't hijack the diary.

              John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

              by Bob Love on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:13:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry for being unclear. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kovie

                When I saw the diary I was disappointed by what had been a few questions and a NY Times article. Thank you, kovie, for expanding your diary.

                Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

                by Toon on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:51:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You're fine, Toon. :O) nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Toon
            •  It's not about longer-term members (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              polar bear

              having special "privileges" here, but rather about their understanding, simply due to their having been here a while and knowing how this site works, that some diaries--i.e. "Breaking" ones--are by their nature more news flashes, to alert the community to something important that's just happened, than deep if any analysis.

              In fact, given that they cover breaking stories about which not much is usually known initially, too much analysis might actually be counterproductive and unwarranted, since it would be based more on conjecture than fact (not that it kept me from offering my own quick dimestore "analysis", heh). The analysis comes later, when more is known.

              They're a tradition here, like pootie, meta and snark diaries. Now you know. :-)

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:55:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, often the keenest analyses are to be (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane, polar bear

              found in this very section - the readers comments....

              •  and that is why things are put out into (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                the Kososphere as soon as the info is available, so that we can chew on it and share insight, and perhaps even bring ourselves to understand what we, ourselves, think about a given issue by being forced by other members to defend our positions. By the time the subject comes up in polite converstaion, we are already experts :-)

        •  I know that, it's from "Rent" right? (0+ / 0-)

          (tee hee)

          HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

          by kck on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:08:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Friedman can afford to resign... (25+ / 0-)

    His retirement investments did rose $1.7 million in 6 months.

    The rest of us suckers, we're still bailing out Friedman's friends on Wall Street.

  •  Sure, he resigned because he... (17+ / 0-)

    "did not violate any Federal Reserve statute, rule or policy"

    People are always resigning because they did everything right.

    ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
    -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

    by davewill on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:46:24 PM PDT

  •  Good (5+ / 0-)

    Get them all out.  Stop leaving the people responsible for this mess in charge of anything.

    "They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -Steve Gilliard.

    by demkat620 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:56:19 PM PDT

  •  He didn't do anything wrong (10+ / 0-)

    He just wants to spend more time with his family.

    I wonder if he's related to Bernie?

  •  I would recommend, but you've (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Jim P

    copied the entire Times article.

    •  It's all of 6 short paragraphs (0+ / 0-)

      Size-wise, it's no longer than 3-4 standard-length paragraphs.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:08:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you've no ability to select the most (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, mike101, Rick in Oz

        important paragraph and describe the rest of the story in your own words?  You're stealing.  Just so you know...

        •  Oh please (0+ / 0-)

          Take it elsewhere. This is done all the time and if FPers have a problem, they'll tell me.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:12:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, you're out of line. (0+ / 0-)

            Copying entire articles, even short ones, is not done here. Unless they are press releases, or other content obviously meant by the creator to be distributed in their entirety.

            You break this rule at your, and Markos', peril. And note that there is not a specific length criterion for the rule.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:34:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Which, rationally, means you've (5+ / 0-)

        taken their entire, copyrighted, profit-generating piece.

        It could easily be edited to 3 sentences, with some ellipses between and would take about 2 minutes to do it. Any particular reason you have to expose the site to legal troubles?

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:18:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There (0+ / 0-)

          I just saved the site from imminent and possibly fatal legal action.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:28:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The law's the law. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hester, Susipsych

            Why gamble, especially when it's someone else's asset, and not yours, you're gambling?

            Thanks for doing the right thing.

            Now back to widespread corruption on Wall Street, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and Congress...

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:38:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eh (0+ / 0-)

              I'm guessing that papers get more viewers even from such links than they lose. This is not why the paper biz is dying. And given how long DKos has been around and how much content has been "borrowed" in it, I'd think that if it had posed serious legal problems, the site would have been put out of business by now.

              But I got tired of responding to the comments, so I formally complied...

              ;-)

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:47:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. Like it or not there are laws governing these (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                things.

                Taking someone's entire copyrighted piece opens--not you, but Kos--to legal trouble. Whether you feel lucky, or whether there's a "bigger" perspective--none of that changes the way things are vis-a-vis copyright law.

                I suggest you check out the faqs on fair use. The reason the site hasn't been put out of business by now is because most people feel themselves obligated to do the right thing, and those few who refuse find their diaries pulled and themselves banned.

                It's just about the way things are, and right and wrong, not how anyone feels.

                Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                by Jim P on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:33:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are laws governing jaywalking too... (0+ / 0-)

                  The "damage" that I theoretically caused here--which I've since rectified, mind you--is so miniscule as to invisible. And yet you continue to obsess over that which has already been fixed, and which happens all the time here and elsewhere.

                  Sorry, our society has vastly worse things to deal with right now, and your indignation, especially in contrast to what this issue's about, is way out of proportion.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:14:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, and sometimes people get ticketed (0+ / 0-)

                    for jaywalking. So your point is "Yes, this can happen"?

                    I'm merely pointing out that you aren't an exception to the rules everybody else works by.

                    And frankly, your change didn't really strike me as much of a change. It looked more like an expression of sarcasm than a change. You went from 6 to 5 paragraphs or something?

                    Seriously, Markos himself was making a big deal of the issue a few years ago, and because other sites had been hurt. You're in his house, what's the cost to you of a little respect and consideration?

                    Especially since you could have given the link and summarized the story in your own words with almost no work at all.

                    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                    by Jim P on Thu May 07, 2009 at 08:31:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I've done and seen this done many times before (0+ / 0-)

                      and NEVER been called on it, or seen others called on it, to my recollection, so long as we're not talking VERY long excerpts (which mine wasn't, unless you're talking %). Thus my incredulous reaction. I mean, check out this current FP diary by one of the site's most respected members, that has an excerpt way longer than mine, from a copywritten news source. I see this all the time. So do you. So does everyone. So I'm not sure why you're harping on my now rectified (6 down to 4) minor infraction. Hell, Kos does this--today! Are you going to complain to him too?

                      I'm not going to claim literal "innocence" since this is clearly technically in violation of site policy and common usage standards. But given that it's done here all the time from Kos on down, I'm seriously not sure why you, and a few others, are singling me out on this, unless it's about something else. Is it? I noticed a little indirect animus obviously directed my way on the other rec'd diary on this topic (which I thought was fine and have no problem staying up even though, technically, it too is in violation of site rules), so I'm just wondering if that's what's going on here.

                      Is this some sort of indirect payback for that little flame war a few weeks back? If it's not, then why are you fixating on my diary, considering how common this is?

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:03:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Sometimes, people who are too close (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mnemosyne, inclusiveheart

            to a situation can't see that it is wrong.
            Like insider trading among friends, it just seems so simple, natural, easy.

            -- We are just regular people informed on issues

            by mike101 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:48:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have no idea whether you believe in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mnemosyne

            people being paid for their work or if you even give a damn about people who write or create original content for a living, but your attitude here certainly doesn't indicate that you do.

            I am no fan of the Times anymore, but they employ reporters who write for a living - those people have families, bills and lives that they have to pay for just like the rest of us.  Fair use allows you to cite the gist of the article and to send the audience to their original content.

            •  Are you still arguing (0+ / 0-)

              with a diary in which I've now complied with the FUD? I assume that you don't do this selectively, and make sure to point it out to EVERY FPers, diarist and commenter that you come across who cites more than 3-4 paragraphs of original content?

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:21:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nice try. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mnemosyne, aliasalias

                First of all, I didn't start this discussion with any bias other than to simply say that I couldn't recommend because you stole the entire article intentionally.  Second, I am not shy about making the same declaration to any and all diarists that I happen to come across that do the same thing as you have done.  My subsequent commentary was all generated in response to your confrontational attitude claiming that you had some sort of special "right" to break the rules because according to you "it happens all the time" and that those of us who have respect for working folks should "take it elsewhwere".

                There are poems that are shorter than that article is and the poets who wrote them have every right to their due. But I get the sense that you don't get that at all.  You think you're entitled.  It is obvious by virtue of your offensive/defensive response to my simple statement at the outset of this exchange.

                I know you were "first" in breaking this news, but you were wrong and, well, it is true that cheaters DO prosper. but some of us won't simply go with the flow no matter how bullying you are towards us.

                It would have been so easy.  A change to the original, refraining from telling me to take a hike regardless of the fact that I am on the right side of the issue, but you couldn't do that.  You had to insult and argue with everyone who called you on your copy wright infringement.  Way. To. Go. Well done.  Carry on.

                •  In light of the truly egregious behavior (0+ / 0-)

                  referred to by this article and my diary, and my attempt to get it out there, your excessive emphasis on this matter seems, well, excessive. Diarists, commenters and even FPers do this all the time, and yet you choose to focus on this one instance.

                  But I patiently await your articulated outrage at the actual actions referred to here.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:58:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The thievery was so egregious that you (0+ / 0-)

                    felt that you had the right to engage in similar behaviour?  LOL

                    "Everybody does it" right?

                    Most people are smart enough to at least figure out that uou can't get away with saying that out loud past first or second grade.  The rest don't.

                    •  Take it up with Kos & Co... (0+ / 0-)

                      Whether or not one says it, it's what's done. I jaywalk too, thereby endangering others. Clearly, I'm a horrible person who must be called out!

                      Egregious thievery. You'd think that I'd just singlehandedly destroyed the NY Times!

                      You really do enjoy this side-issue self-righteousness moralist kick, don't you?

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:54:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  This may be a dumb question, but is the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Pluto

    Federal Reserve Board different than the Federal Reserve Bank?

  •  Oh this is a body being tossed over the wall (9+ / 0-)

    to keep the rest of the fleecers safe for a while longer.

    The Victorian novel is right. Possessiveness, controlling others and not listening to your own heart always goes badly. - MKKendrick

    by cskendrick on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:05:35 PM PDT

  •  Bernanke is not his boss (12+ / 0-)

    He's one of Bernanke's bosses.  The regional federal reserve banks control the Federal Reserve System.  Actually, it's a little more complex than that, but it is a decentralized system.

  •  Well, when you think you can trade in (4+ / 0-)

    a stock you regulate...you should expect to have to do more than resign...

    I am sure Government Sachs will make him whole ;-P

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." - President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009

    by justmy2 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:11:48 PM PDT

  •  What, no stay in rehab coming up? (6+ / 0-)

    When I worked there the Pres of the NY Fed fell and knocked over a podium he was so trashed.... no repurcussions on HIS career....

    I expect an upcoming admission that he has an alcohol problem (hell, a good number of those in the NY financial industries DO) and he'll excplain that he was in a alcoholic haze when he acted.... all will be forgiven and he'll be hired to a top position on Wall Street for even MORE money within 6 months.

    •  Well, if you work on Wall Street, (0+ / 0-)

      and if you have a shred of human decency, you're either going to put a glass of single malt in your mouth...

      or a shotgun.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:36:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gmb, Yamara, polar bear

        I once worked on Wall Street--for several firms, in fact--and not everyone there's a crook. At the top, it does seem like at, even though even there I doubt it, but among the rank and file working stiffs, not so much.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:42:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But, given that to move up, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gmb

          you pretty much have to be a crook, as you will be competing with crooks, would it be fair to say that a majority of your former coworkers aspired to be crooks, and would be if they were in a position to?

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:51:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I worked in IT (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Badabing, Dirtandiron, polar bear

            So perhaps we worked for crooks--in fact in at least one instance it turned out that a project that I was working on was commissioned by one such crook (many levels above me as I was just a grunt doing QA), who ended up going to jail--but I don't think that anyone that I worked with was a crook, at least not in their official capacities (who knows what they did in their off time with the knowledge they had from work).

            One could argue, I suppose, that anyone knowingly working for a lawbreaking company is in effect themselves a lawbreaker. But I don't buy that argument so long as the lawbreaking and lawbreakers are dealt with properly and one wasn't oneself knowingly engaging in such lawbreaking. An awful lot of otherwise innocent people would be considered to be criminals in such a view.

            Not everybody who works on Wall St. is or aspires to be a crook, in my experience. One might question their ethics and morals in working for some of these companies (even the ones not breaking the law, but engaging in shady business practices like raiding healthy companies or busting unions through aggressive takeovers), but that doesn't make them actual or aspiring criminals.

            Myself, I never liked working on Wall St., or felt comfortable with the culture and many of the people who worked in it. It's about making money, pure and simple, not making the world a better place, and the culture and people generally reflected it. But that doesn't make it criminal in most cases.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:01:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry... (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't know you were in IT. I'm an engineer, and I've worked for clients that were scumbags... I get it.

              I was referring to the people who are actually doing what Wall Street does, rather than the support people. And those guys (and they're almost all guys) are pretty much either crooks... or former Wall Street guys.

              --Shannon

              "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
              "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

              by Leftie Gunner on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:55:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Still not fully true (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polar bear

                What Wall St. does, broadly, is absolutely essential to the kind of economy that we have, and until fairly recently--the mid 80's--most of what it and its employees did was fairly aboveboard and  justifiable. E.g. financing, and advising on, economic activity, such as IPO's, expansions, acquisitions, mergers, etc.--the sorts of things that a capitalist economy needs to succeed, and really exist. It also provided a necessary secondary market, in the form of sales and trading activities. In either case, it was mostly on behalf of clients, not itself. It was only when the bulk of its business--and "profits"--started coming from activities conducted on its own account, with its own or, more and more often, borrowed money (itself done so unethically if not illegally), that things started really getting out of hand, and the crooks started taking over Wall St. But I'm guessing that even now, there are more honest bankers on Wall St., at least in its core, legacy business lines that we'll always need, than dishonest ones. Greedy, maybe, even ones pushing ethical limits sometimes. But crooked? Not so sure.

                There has clearly always been a corrupt and dishonest element in finance--as there is in every business, including technology--but it's only in recent decades that it's taken it over, to devastating effect. And it was enabled by modern politicians, in both parties.

                I'm just saying don't lump them all in together. The guy (or gal!) who helps finance a new green energy startup is not in the same league as the guy (or gal) who helped Goldman loot the treasury and Fed. They might technically do the same thing, but in very, very different ways--and to very, very different effect.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:08:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Uh... the upper management (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polar bear

                  is - shall we say - 'ethically challenged'

                  I worked on Wall Street too...

                  The firm I worked for was the worst run place I've ever seen....I was brought in to help try and clean up back office operations - which were a disaster.   Most upper management were VERY good at 'politics' and scheming but little else.  

                  The good ones saw the mess around them and bailed out for elsewhere when they could.  The rest were focused on holding on to what they had - and getting more (pure preservation and expansion of 'turf' - downright feudal).  They had managed to get a position that paid them far more than they'd make ANYWHERE else and they knew it. They would do ANYTHING to hold onto what they had - and to get more.

                  I was $20,000 a year clerks screwed out of $2000 a year bonuses so EVP's could keep MILLIONS - they weren't going to see a reduction in what they brought home.....  

                  The 'ethical shortcomings' were rampant - kick-back deals in purchasing shared up the management ladder, an astounding amount of sex traded for advancement and more.  But then this company regularly topped the list for brokers sanctioned.....

                  But competence - in ANYTHING - was in short supply.   The EVP of operatiosn actually despised people smarter than he (and there were plenty).  He never did get a new broker software system up and running - the smoke and mirrors he tried to fist on management was exposed for what it was - and he was in effest demoted.... coundn't get out in time - though he did end up CEO of another company - and did a good job of making a mess there as well.

                  The irony is that the Chairman always managed to avoid the implosion that was due - he sold a stake to the Japanese when they were close to the brink and then sold out to the Swiss.....

                  figure out what firm yet?

                  Only difference between that mess and Goldman and the other top firms is that the top forms paid for talent and managed to make money - albeit in ways that might not be considered the most ethical or useful to society at large.... no matter - making money is all that matters - not how you do it.

                  The serfs on Wall Street - back office and IT (wait - THAT is all in India now) - DO act ethically.  If any of THEM tried anything, they'd be crucified.  Fudge $10 on an expense report and they'd be fired AND prosecuted.

                  •  I've worked for some of the biggies (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    polar bear

                    The IT and lower-level types that I worked with didn't strike me as corrupt. I didn't particularly bond with the higher-ups that I occasionally had to work with, but that didn't make them corrupt, either. Not legally, at least, as one can always debate the ethics of what many of them do even if it's fully legal--I supported some of the IBers who helped loot the economies of Latin American countries in the early 90's, not fully realizing what it was all about at the time (and my work was mostly in administrative software, not at the deal level). And not that it wasn't going on then--Milkin, Levine, Boesky, etc.--but it didn't start to become the norm until the late 90's and early 00's.

                    Anyway, my point is that these days, and for the past 10-15 years, there's less and less good that can be said about Wall St. execs, especially at the larger firms, not just ethically, but in many cases legally. But the lower and even mid-level types shouldn't be lumped in with them. They're mostly just paid wage slaves trying to make a living. Which of course is what you're saying here.

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:46:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Scheer's article at The Nation (11+ / 0-)

    Cashing in on 'Government' Sachs

    This is yesterday's article.  I wonder if this helped force Friedman's hand?

  •  How did Tim G get to be head of the NY Fed? (5+ / 0-)

    Who chose him?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:25:20 PM PDT

    •  He speaks Chinese, and worked for Henry Kissinger (7+ / 0-)

      and Timmie has long standing ties to Goldman Sachs.

      ‘Government Sachs’ Is Back
      Who's designing Geithner's rescue plan? Goldman guys, of course.
      by Michael Hirsh

      As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end: Goldman Sachs will be there.

      Back in the '90s and through the mid-'00s, major figures from Goldman Sachs such as Robert Rubin, Gary Gensler and Hank Paulson stood fast against derivatives regulation (Rubin and Gensler) and lobbied successfully for higher leverage ratios so they could bet more of their capital on the market boom (Paulson). When those policies came to grief and Wall Street imploded, and the Feds scrambled to rescue stricken insurance giant AIG, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein was reportedly the only bank executive invited to an emergency meeting at the New York Federal Reserve (convened by then-Fed president Tim Geithner).

      Now Treasury Secretary Geithner—a Rubin protégé, of course—has assigned two more ex-Goldman men to fix the vast mess their colleagues helped to create.

      http://www.goldmansachs666.com/...

      Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

      by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:46:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Expect the DOW to shoot up 500 pts tomorrow! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, 3goldens, Badabing, mechboots

    Anything to keep the distract the populus!

    God told me he's never spoken to Miss California about hatin' teh gay... the bleach must've gotten to her opposite brain.

    by Dems 2008 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:26:32 PM PDT

  •  Least of his conflicts (7+ / 0-)

    The NY Fed created the Maiden Lane vehicles to swallow BSC's crap (ML I) and AIG's crap (ML II and ML III).  This was a massive giveaway of taxpayer dollars to the remaining broker dealers (GS, MS, MER, and LEH at the time of BSC, only GS and MS at the end), who were spared both downward pressure on their marks and given the ability to unload assets.  This cost billions of dollars of taxpayer money and debased decades of Fed independence.

    Friedman decides he wants to buy a lousy 37,000 shares of a bank he regulates (remember, GS became a bank holding company after the LEH/AIG debacle), before the public knows what steps the Fed is going to take, during the month that is the black hole in GS's financials (old fiscal year end 11/30, new fiscal year end 12/31, no financial statement released for December 2008), and for this people are up in arms?

    Reminds me of the lynch mob that formed when AIG paid a few contractually obligated bonuses, after no one noticed the tens of billions of dollars they had been transferring to their counterparties at par...

  •  Dual relationships: ethical quagmires (8+ / 0-)

    what an incestuous group!  Consistent with Bush policy of no healthy awareness of the appearance of conflicts of interest, never mind actual conflicts of interest.

    Clearly there is NO ethical supervision.  Shit, for my paltry 32.00 per hour, I have to document everything and a code of ethics forbids dual relationships.

    Un-EFFING-believable: but sadly consistent with the low level of ethics or accountability among the priviledged in our nation.

    When I think of all the truly honest, hardworking, deserving folks who scruple to be careful about taking unfair advantage of others all I can say is that you have to be some sort of bottom dwelling scum sucker to get to the top.  Culture of narcissism and character disorders indeed.

  •  This Is about Increasing Discomfort (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, PsychoSavannah, kovie

    in the face of (also) increasing transparency.  Mr. Friedman had received a waiver for the shares he owned in Goldman-Sachs that was effective til the end of the year.

    However, the Fed is reviewing (listen carefully to Bernanke's speech today -- that probably did the most to affect Mr. Friedman's decision making)

    what to do about directors who found themselves in the position of holding shares in firms that are now bank holding companies.  CNBC

    "Give me but one firm spot to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes

    by Limelite on Thu May 07, 2009 at 04:58:03 PM PDT

    •  He didn't just hold previously-purchased shares (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, polar bear

      He bought a bunch of them in DECEMBER '08, after TARP was approved and underway (albeit run by Treasury, not the Fed), the Fed was throwing billions at banks like Goldman (but without disclosing who got what), and he himself approved of allowing them to turn into a holding company. This is simply beyond surreal.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:16:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aw for crying out loud (8+ / 0-)

    Will it never stop?

    Who ARE THESE PEOPLE???????And what hole did they crawl out of????

    •  they are the crooks and liars who are taking all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShempLugosi

      our money, and they came crawling out of our asses when we were electing the Congress people who are being paid off by said 'crooks and liars'.  

      Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

      by Badabing on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:16:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK, some of this is above me---but does Geithner (0+ / 0-)

    have any dirty hands in this mess; leftover from his time only several months ago at NY Fed??

  •  The Sopranos with ties to the White HOuse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing, polar bear

    All these compromised east coast elites with ties to the White House (especially Treasury) is the Achilles heel that gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  

    This may bring down Obama.  He plays too much footsie with these assholes.  Geitner is just the tip of the iceberg.  

  •  DoJ - Investigate Goldman Sachs - NY Fed cnxn (5+ / 0-)

    If I could say this without upsetting anyone or seeming to, you know, freak out, I politely and respectfully say to President Obama's DoJ - you must initiate an investigation into the incestuous relationship between Goldman Sachs and the NY Fed.

    Maybe it was true that as "Goldman sucks we swallow" Americans can't possibly sit silently and swallow this any longer.

    Investigate.

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:22:57 PM PDT

  •  SEC coming after him for insider trading, too? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, 3goldens

    I mean, how much more "inside" can you get than Fed Chair?


    We need to get back to bedrock American values like torture and secession. - Josh Marshall

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:34:19 PM PDT

  •  Recc'd because you were first. (nt) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, Nulwee
    •  Weird thing is that I just lost my TU status (0+ / 0-)

      despite not getting any HR's all day (or for several weeks, although I got a Fed-load of them last month for, well, oh never mind...), while getting plenty of rec's.

      Does Mr. Friedman own this site now too?

      Should I check my bank account ASAP?

      ;-)

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conflict of Interest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    To the tune of Billions and Billions of dollars.

    Ecosystems empowerment for the rural poor.

    by 1Eco on Thu May 07, 2009 at 06:00:49 PM PDT

C S McCrum, JekyllnHyde, Terri, raboof, LeislerNYC, harveythechainsaw, Mogolori, Chi, ferg, Timaeus, tikkun, angrycalifornian, mattman, Bob Love, meg, lysias, eeff, Mnemosyne, TX Unmuzzled, sersan, RFK Lives, SallyCat, object16, MarkInSanFran, mataliandy, Arthur Dent, Creosote, Morgana, eyeswideopen, bronte17, mftalbot, phillies, mkfarkus, buckhorn okie, JuliaAnn, PeteZerria, marysz, gmb, alizard, Democratic Hawk, ybruti, randallt, KayCeSF, jcrit, demkat620, Gowrie Gal, Simian, radarlady, 3goldens, Alice Marshall, PsychoSavannah, KnotIookin, clammyc, dewtx, stitchmd, Brooke In Seattle, Laurence Lewis, Bouwerie Boy, boofdah, jorndorff, Wufacta, Skid, chasewho, Uncle Ben, FightTheFuture, neroden, kerplunk, Pluto, Detroit Mark, Land of Enchantment, xaxnar, martini, Shirl In Idaho, BachFan, MissInformation, Nightprowlkitty, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, BlueInARedState, quotemstr, Yellow Canary, koNko, kck, greenearth, StrayCat, Tanya, 4Freedom, bubbanomics, Bob Sackamento, JVolvo, NewAmericanLeft, bleeding heart, doingbusinessas, PhilW, kurious, Picot verde, Johnathan Ivan, dochackenbush, Hedwig, louise the dog, andrewj54, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, ammasdarling, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, lightfoot, Loudoun County Dem, jeanette0605, Jimdotz, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, bnasley, Kyle the Mainer, Aunt Martha, chicago jeff, bobswern, JML9999, Predictor, Terra Mystica, TomP, Empower Ink, skohayes, VA gentlewoman, beltane, Jake Williams, noddem, Horsefeathers, luckylizard, revelwoodie, cameoanne, ReallyEvilCanine, Tomsank, litoralis, banjolele, Gwen12, Blue Revolution, Partisan Progressive, h bridges, Mangala, zackamac, Mercuriousss, ancblu, followyourbliss, obscuresportsquarterly, deutschluz, Dragon5616, Larsstephens, sulthernao, ladygreenslippers, angelesmartian, TFinSF, robertacker13, jethrock, kjoftherock, That Anonymous Guy, Crabby Abbey, wvmom, polar bear, dissonantharmony, SoCalHobbit, Earth Ling, Weaselina, washunate, JerichoJ8, BrowniesAreGood, moondance, nicethugbert, wahine, page394, zukesgirl64, sjr1, Sark Svemes, The Rational Hatter, Atilla the Honey Bunny

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site