and the Band Played On

31tPpCW2qRL._SL500_AA250_So the so-called conservatives are having their so-called freedom event with so-called commentators and news anchors from so-called news stations. It’s all a side show to the real problems of the country. It’s easy to misplace anger in an environment where misinformants rule the airwaves.

So, let me show you where the real theft is happening, in case you may have missed it.

First, the FDIC released yet another move towards creating a financial banking cartel. Another one bites the dust.

Corus Bank, National Association, Chicago, Illinois, was closed today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with MB Financial Bank, National Association, Chicago, Illinois, to assume all of the deposits of Corus Bank, N.A.

But you know there’s really nothing to see here at the NY Times: A Year After a Cataclysm, Little Change on Wall St. Much more important to focus on creeping socialism and taking our government back from imagined enemies.

One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the surprise is not how much has changed in the financial industry, but how little.

Backstopped by huge federal guarantees, the biggest banks have restructured only around the edges. Employment in the industry has fallen just 8 percent since last September. Only a handful of big hedge funds have closed. Pay is already returning to precrash levels, topped by the 30,000 employees of Goldman Sachs, who are on track to earn an average of $700,000 this year. Nor are major pay cuts likely, according to a report last week from J.P. Morgan Securities. Executives at most big banks have kept their jobs. Financial stocks have soared since their winter lows.

No nothing to see here. Wait, a minute. Maybe we should listen to people with some expertise instead of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh who couldn’t even get one college degree or a freshman’s worth of credits between them . Maybe we shouldn’t focus on sycophants like Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann who just want to hear themselves talk and hump each others legs until they tingle.

In fact, though, regulators and lawmakers have spent most of the last year trying to save the financial industry, rather than transform it. In the short run, their efforts have succeeded. Citigroup and other wounded banks have avoided bankruptcy, and the economy has sidestepped a depression. But the same investors and economists who predicted, and in some cases profited from, the collapse last fall say the rescue has come at an extraordinary cost. They warn that if the industry’s systemic risks are not addressed, they could cause an even bigger crisis — in years, not decades. Next time, they say, the credit of the United States government may be at risk.

Yup, what have we been talking about here for month after month after month, while we get named called every imaginable insult from one end of the political spectrum to another. I must defy definition if one day I can be called a racist republican ratfucker then be called a greenie and a leftie the next.

Oh, meanwhile …

Simon Johnson, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said that the seeds of another collapse had already sprouted. If major banks are allowed to keep making bets that are ultimately backed by taxpayer guarantees, they will return to the practices that led them to underwrite trillions of dollars in bad loans, Professor Johnson said.

“They will run up big risks, they will fail again, they will hit us for a big check,” he predicted.

Meanwhile, what if they gave a huge friggin’ loud rally and the only thing that happened based in reality was every single participant was pick pocketed?

But even some senior Wall Street executives acknowledge the lack of change surprises them, given how poorly the industry performed last fall and the degree of government support necessary to keep it from collapsing.

“There was a general feeling that an enormous amount of additional regulation should be put in place to prevent what happened that weekend from happening again,” said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services and the former chief investment strategist for Morgan Stanley and Pequot Capital. “So far, we haven’t seen a lot of action.”

Robert J. Shiller, the Yale University economics professor who predicted the dot-com crash and the housing bust, said the window for change may be closing. “People will accept change at a time of crisis, but we haven’t managed to do much, and maybe complacency is coming back,” Professor Shiller said. “We seem to be losing momentum.”

I’m not sure we’re so much losing momentum as the establishment class of media, politicians and corporations are doing every thing in their power to make us look the other way. Look, it’s a Bolshevik in the white house! Look some right wing extremist Republican Congressman shouted “Liar!” during a POTUS speechification!

Kenneth C. Griffin, founder and chief executive of the Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago-based hedge fund that manages $13 billion, said that regulators and lawmakers needed to impose rules so failing banks could be shut, rather than allowed to operate indefinitely with taxpayer support.

“We’ve taken a lot of steps for the worse, and not for the better, in terms of the structural underpinnings of our capital markets,” Mr. Griffin said. “We have to change the rules and correct the fundamental flaws in the financial system.”

You do realize these are the folks that hold and manage your retirement funds, your assets, and the valuation and keys to your home right? But hey, illegal aliens may take that job you want mowing some one’s lawn and it’s all Dubya’s fault!

Critics of the industry argue that the pullback in risk will be only temporary without deep regulatory changes. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a statistician, trader, and author, has argued for years that financial firms chronically underestimate their risks and must be managed much more cautiously. Universa Investments, a $5 billion fund in which he is a principal, made more than 100 percent profit last year betting on the possibility of a collapse.

Mr. Taleb warns that the system has grown riskier since last fall. The extensive government support that began after Lehman collapsed will lead investors to assume that governments will always preventmajor banks from collapsing, he said.

So investors will lend money to the financial industry on easy terms. In turn, financial institutions will use that cheap money to make risky loans and trades. The banks will keep the profits when their bets pay off, while taxpayers will swallow the losses when the bets go bad and threaten the system.

Economists call the phenomenon moral hazard. Bankers have a different term: I.B.G. The phrase implies that by the time a deal goes sour, “I’ll be gone,” after having received a sizable bonus.

Despite the predictions last year about pay cuts, those bonuses appear secure.

Hey, market discipline may be a thing of the past, but some silly republican congressman bragging about his sexual exploits has been served! Moral hazard and mispriced risk may still rule the financial world but we now how important it is to enshrine Teddy Kennedy’s name onto the biggest hand out to insurance companies and big Pharma we’ve evah seen while wistfully hoping that’s still a call for a public option.

For now, legislation to force derivatives trading onto exchanges has stalled, and banks are still writing contracts with limited regulatory oversight.

“The off-exchange derivatives market is still the Wild West,” Ms. Bair said.

[note: That’s FDIC’s Sheila Bair]

Have a nice day and a pleasant tomorrow! Oh, and Wake the FUCK UP PEOPLE!!! It’s the pickpockets you need to worry about, not the loose women!!!!

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