From the Cerebral Wing of the Slabbed Nation: President Obama, The Peter Principle, Crooks and Liars.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich has encapsulated literally years of posts here on Slabbed regarding the financial crash of 2008 and explains why Team Obama is regarded as an utter failure by the American public.  As a reader commented via email to me with the link, (this column is) “Something that you could have authorship of.”  Rich lays out the case both against Team Obama and Team GOP.  The bottom line is Wall Street owns the GOP 100% and the Dems about 85%. What a great choice we have as the wealthy elites continue to drain the treasury dry and run the country further in debt. Here are a few snippets:

The reasons for his failure to reap credit for any economic accomplishments are a catechism by now: the dark cloud cast by undiminished unemployment, the relentless disinformation campaign of his political opponents, and the White House’s surprising ineptitude at selling its own achievements. But the most relentless drag on a chief executive who promised change we can believe in is even more ominous. It’s the country’s fatalistic sense that the stacked economic order that gave us the Great Recession remains not just in place but more entrenched and powerful than ever.

No matter how much Obama talks about his “tough” new financial regulatory reforms or offers rote condemnations of Wall Street greed, few believe there’s been real change. That’s not just because so many have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes. It’s also because so many know that the loftiest perpetrators of this national devastation got get-out-of-jail-free cards, that too-big-to-fail banks have grown bigger and that the rich are still the only Americans getting richer.

This intractable status quo is being rubbed in our faces daily during the pre-election sprint by revelations of the latest banking industry outrage, its disregard for the rule of law as it cut every corner to process an avalanche of foreclosures. Clearly, these financial institutions have learned nothing in the few years since their contempt for fiscal and legal niceties led them to peddle these predatory mortgages (and the reckless financial “products” concocted from them) in the first place. And why should they have learned anything? They’ve often been rewarded, not punished, for bad behavior. Continue reading “From the Cerebral Wing of the Slabbed Nation: President Obama, The Peter Principle, Crooks and Liars.”

I feel the need to examine the topic of mortgage fraud and other quick programming notes.

I’ll be making sure the Daily Bail makes it into our financial links when I get a chance to add to our links. Mr CLS has been linking it for quite some time on the Allstate board and it is indeed very good. For our newer readers I’ll add covering financial topics is not unusual for us, in fact we trace our root to the financial topic of insurance, which in turn cuts across a wide variety of subjects including espionage.

Let’s begin with this CNN report:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF_vU7WZpUE]

US Representative Marcy Kaptur knows her shit folks and not because she is Carnac the Magnificent, rather because she knew almost 2 years ahead of time exactly what a true clusterf*ck the subprime mortgage market had become. Continue reading “I feel the need to examine the topic of mortgage fraud and other quick programming notes.”

Thank God for Arizona Part 3: Blaming the surge in drug violence on the Mexicans. God damn the pusher man (and his U.S. banker).

But now we live in debased times,
Sans punishment to fit our crimes
Our moral compass has got lost,
Or on the rubbish heap been tossed.
As in this cautionary tale of bankers,
Who came to look like social cankers.

You will all know the basic story,
In all its venal details, gory.
Of how a bunch of peerless clowns
Despite degrees – from Yale to Brown –
Behaved like schoolboys in the lab,
When teacher’s gone to smoke a fag……..

Their attitudes were so repulsive
The public backlash grew convulsive,
And dimly seeing that their wages
Just might be threatened by these rages,
Self-interest prompted some to say
“We’re sorry” – in a muted way. Continue reading “Thank God for Arizona Part 3: Blaming the surge in drug violence on the Mexicans. God damn the pusher man (and his U.S. banker).”

Neil Barofsky sat down with Bloomberg reporter Richard Teitelbaum recently giving a wide-ranging interview on his time as the Special Inspector General (SIG) over what has become the $700 billion “hydra-headed beast encompassing 13 financial aid plans” known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP for short. The piece gives a good bit of insight into Barofsky’s past as a federal prosecutor including his time as a one time kidnap target of the FARC, a Columbian NARCO terrorist organization we previously explored in connection with the politically connected ownership of Republic Insurance in the Lindner family. Here are a few excerpts of the article where we also find out Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is now in the crosshairs beginning with Barofsky’s office space at Treasury:

The space assigned to him as head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or SIGTARP, was shoehorned into the basement, three floors below U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s offices.

“They eventually discovered a broken sewer main beneath the floor,” says Barofsky, 40, adding that he doesn’t think any slight was intended by relegating him to the malodorous quarters. Still, he says with a smile, “I wasn’t given the prime real estate in Treasury.” Continue reading “”

Slabbed news miscellany: AROD remanded without bond. Backlash against government subsidized property and casualty insurers. UPDATED with scoop from the Ladder – Dr. Van Heerden filing suit against LSU!

We have so much going on here at Slabbed right now we could literally spend all our waking moments authoring posts on the various topics we’re covering but since Nowdy, Bam Bam and I all have day jobs that won’t happen. In order to save a bit of time I’m combining today’s other news in one post thus the title. Nowdy will be along later to chip in her two cents.

We start with a reader tip on Ashton O’Dwyer, a troubled man who now is in deep trouble. He has been remanded to federal custody without bond. Hopefully he is also being pumped full of meds and receiving some badly needed counseling.

Next up and certainly in keeping with today’s theme of folks that are delusional, here is a story from the National Underwriter on that Property Casualty Insurers Association of America meeting held last month in San Antonio which we began profiling yesterday. This report, written by my main man Sam Friedman, covered the remarks of David Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. Here are some excerpts:

Property and casualty insurers could easily be trapped in the “wave of political populism” sweeping the country in the wake of the nation’s economic and leadership crises, an insurer association leader warned.

“Many may believe that because people are so focused on bashing the bankers and Wall Street that the public and politicians will leave insurers alone, but I am not so sanguine,” said David Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Of course Mr Sampson is not so sanguine as he certainly is aware the public is paying attention even though his script is not based in any sort of reality as we continue: Continue reading “Slabbed news miscellany: AROD remanded without bond. Backlash against government subsidized property and casualty insurers. UPDATED with scoop from the Ladder – Dr. Van Heerden filing suit against LSU!”

No ch

McClatchy DC’s Greg Gordon has done a bang up job dissecting Goldman Sachs’ huge profits after the bailout.  This topic represents the intersection of TARP, the Wall Street investment banks and the offshore reinsurance industry. With subprime mortgages stuffed inside insurance linked securities that were peddled both domestically and overseas, the securitized reinsurance contained a derivative based financial guarantee which was likely made good by TARP (my posts on Allstate’s Willow Re, which was not bailed out can be found here in general with my “bell cow post” here. With a tip of the hat to our good friend Mr CLS I can short cut the exhaustive written series of articles by Greg Gordon that focuses on bailed out Goldman Sachs with a recent Youtube interview he gave.

As an aside I continue to believe the collapse of this glorified pyramid scheme explains more on the recent volatility of the costs of RE than anything you’ll hear from the paid shills at their tradegroups (Ol’ Eli is so proud of his work there his Bio is access restricted). I think after a fair read of the information open-minded folks would tend to agree. Or put another way the tail risk associated with Hurricanes does change over time but not overnight. And those that could game the system made out like bandits. The Youtube embed is below the fold. Continue reading “No ch”

Wall Street paternalism and disconnect at it’s finest and on display. A Skadden partner writes about shareholder ignorance and displays plenty in the process.

I’ve written a series of posts on the disconnect from reality between the Wall Street fantasy land and Main Street, which has made modern day Wall Street possible. The problem is systemic in my opinion, from trade publications like the National Underwriter whose editor in chief believes spending yet more money on public relations is the answer to bad faith insurer claims handling, to their trade groups and shills like Robert Hartwig that try to convince the fleeced taxpaying public that insurers really didn’t screw people here after Katrina. As is his custom, however, it was Mr CLS who gives us almost more googling to do than time but in this instance a post of his on Yahoo Allstate provided me the catalyst to author this post which will illustrate again the disconnect of which I speak and it is there we begin:

sop, check out the “Winners” of the 4th Annual U.S. Securitization Awards…….

Don’t know what happened to the 5th Annual U.S. Securitization Awards, guess they cancelled and took “the 5th”.

The links he gave listing the winners was 404, no doubt broken on account of the financial crisis but undaunted I did a quick search and found them. This of course resulted in one of those patented Ah Ha moments for me but before I connect the paternalistic dots lets examine some of those that Wall Street honored back in April 2008 at the 4th annual U.S. Securitization Awards:

Deal of the Year: IHOP Corp./ Applebee’s International Securitization. Underwriter: Lehman Brothers

Deal of the Year – CMBS: Equity Office Properties Securitization Financing. Underwriters: Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America

Deal of the Year – CDO: Genesis CLO 2007-1 and Genesis CLO 2007-2. Underwriters: Genesis 2007-1: CDO manager: Ore Hill Partners, Underwriter: Deutsche Bank. Genesis 2007-2: CDO manager: Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, Underwriter: Deutsche Bank

ABS Firm of the Year: Goldman Sachs

Outstanding Contribution Award: The American Securitization Forum / Dept. of the Treasury

As if these ironies aren’t delicious enough the final one is over the top.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: C. Thomas Kunz, Retired Head of Structured Finance, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

We are well familiar with State Farm’s main US based law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from their great work revising the history of the Katrina litigation planting falsehoods such as the oft repeated meme that Jim Hood used his criminal investigation of State Farm to assist Dickie Scruggs in cramming the first big settlement down State Farm’s throat (with help of ignorant bloggers such as Mississippi’s own Tom Freeland  who still repeats such propaganda on occasion despite reams of contemporaneous press reports to the contrary). Our readers will also no doubt recall I once lamented the impact of layoffs at Skadden on our daily readership earlier this year.

While reading the award winners and the Skadden connection to the toxic paper industry (makes one wonder how much work the boys at Skadden did on State Farm’s Merna Re) a recent post on Greenbackd came to mind that featured the work of Skadden partner John Carney who evidently is in charge of shilling for the firm and it is to the Greenbackd post we go next: Continue reading “Wall Street paternalism and disconnect at it’s finest and on display. A Skadden partner writes about shareholder ignorance and displays plenty in the process.”

Breaking: SEC Charges Subprime King Angelo Mozilo with Civil Fraud

This post is a personal indulgence. Though the Yahoo board is long gone and $30 puts a distant memory I’ll never forget “Quislingman”, Pete Frampton Live, Subprime Usury Scam, and the rest of the gang. I sometimes wonder what ever happened to the bean counter from Jersey who was recommending CFC to his brokerage clients. The difference between Benjamin Graham and that fellow was that Ben could actually spot an undervalued stock. Yahoo! Finance has the A/P story:

The government is charging Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., and two other company executives with civil fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s case also accuses Mozilo of illegal insider trading, an agency spokesman said Thursday. Continue reading “Breaking: SEC Charges Subprime King Angelo Mozilo with Civil Fraud”

The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost in the Sunshine State: A Sup guest post

We’re always happy to feature Sup here at Slabbed whenever he gets the urge to author a post. Unlike many in the insurance industry Sup isn’t afraid to engage us and we’re very happy to have his perspective. (Note I’ve “blogified” the text minimally to add the links inline)- sop

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Two articles published last week at the New York Times and Tampa Tribune indicate the folks in charge in Florida may have gotten their heads out of the sand. Governor Crist and the Legislature seem to have come to the realization that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is broke.

What does this mean to the citizens of the state of Florida? It means they will be paying higher insurance premiums and they all must pray the state escapes hurricanes for a few years. “Citizens’ life expectancy in a storm: ‘a few short hours’ “ is stated in the New York Times article. It is clear the politicians and regulators were playing politics with this issue and it has now backfired. What these folks have done is criminal and if they were a private organization they would be prosecuted for the sham.

The second article reflects the Feds are not going to help. This article states by state law the Cat fund should be able to cover up to $29 billion, but state officials say the fund could only cover about $11 billion. Continue reading “The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost in the Sunshine State: A Sup guest post”