This very well could be the most important Slabbed post of the year…

And it has nothing to do with Jefferson Parish Political Corruption.

For literally years our good friend Mr CLS has been methodically hammering away at the complexities surrounding insurance securitization and the implications of such for each and every one of us, especially those of us on the coast being price gouged for wind coverage. So suppose you’re a reporter with insurance beat responsibilities like Becky Mowbray, Anita Lee, Jeff Amy, Paige St John, Beatrice Garcia or a national outfit like Bloomberg that has done some quality coverage on insurance issues that is ready to kick it up a notch in terms of understanding.  What is now coming to light with Bank of America’s alleged forced placed insurance fraud is a must read as more turds float to the surface in the global insurance finance cesspool.

Some of the very same problems could very well exist in other facets of the securitized insurance market; problems the folks at U Penn Wharton School no doubt did not conceive of when they were pioneering insurance linked securities such at Catastrophe Bonds not long ago as the reasons for the lack of market transparency in the global insurance markets come into sharper focus.

Don’t look for the political shoe shine boys for big insurance such as the coast’s own Steven Palazzo or Commish Mike Chaney to say much on this.  Both men, despite paying lots of lip service to the topic of insurance, remain firmly, purposely ignorant of the any fraud perpetrated by their big business buddies on Wall Street.


Oh hell yeah!!! Wikileaks founder says a major banking scandal is next.

In an exclusive interview, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes that his whistleblower site will release tens of thousands of documents from a major U.S. financial firm in early 2011. Assange said the documents could “take down a bank or two.”

Didn’t I read someplace that the Republicans have repealing the recently passed financial re-regulation legislation as a priority for next year? ‘Tis a silly world when economic theory becomes a religion eh folks….

Also Dr William Black at the U of Missou, well-known and liked here in the Slabbed Nation opines that the Treasury Secretary, along with the Chairman of the Fed are crooked sacks of shit.  I tend to agree.  (H/T Mr CLS)


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:


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.”

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 “”

Last post of the old year before we ring in the new: Giving thanks, various news, a poem and a Slabbed musical repeat

We’re supposed to be thankful at Thanksgiving and though I was, I didn’t post Thanksgiving wishes. So before we ring out the old year let me start by saying thanks to Nowdy for sticking around for our second year online into our third. She is truly an angel to the people of the Gulf Coast. I’d also like to thank our commenters especially all our regulars and Sup who I’m certain at times just wants to pull his hair out trying to “reason” with us but who remains incredibly kind to us in spite of that. Next up are the lawyers that make sure we keep our I’s dotted and T’s crossed.  The dedication of the trial bar to seeing justice done for ordinary people is truly inspiring. I’d also like to express our gratitude to Congressman Gene Taylor and his staff, especially Brian, Ana Maria and Stephen who are our tireless advocates for the coast, both here and in DC. Without Gene holding the insurance industry’s feet to the fire, what happened here after Katrina would certainly have been swept under the carpet.

I’d also like to think the journalists that read us along with the folks at WLOX.  I don’t cut poor ol’ Dave Vincent much slack but whenever I’ve been in the mood to kick a member of the media in the kiester Dave has always been most accommodating offering up his hiney with a big target on it. (Sponsored by the Mississippi Coast State Farm agents no less!)

I thank our many readers that literally hail from across the world for coming back again and again reading our posts, even Amy and Robert Bullstroke.

I’d also like to thank Editilla over at the Ladder who always gives us too much credit. Brother, folks like you are the reason we do this. Finally I’d like to thank former Louisiana Insurance Commission Jim Brown for his support and encouragement in this endeavor called Slabbed.  Jim gives us his column to publish weekly and does many things behind the scenes such making sure we had an evalutaion copy of the now sold out Edwin Edwards Biography.  Jim is strictly first class.  Now for some news stories I’ve accumulated over the past few days for your enjoyment. Continue reading “Last post of the old year before we ring in the new: Giving thanks, various news, a poem and a Slabbed musical repeat”

Moral Hazard? Slabbed wipes our a$$ with Moral Hazard (Part 1)

Friday afternoon I decided to take on the broad topic of Moral Hazard, the concept for which this blog is unpinned. I collected links and research and then promptly experienced writers block for which even my gratuitous bashing of Rossie could not break. Then as per normal (and in true Talebesque fashion) Russell serendipitously emails me a link that ties things together. This becomes part 1 because there is no way I can tackle the topic in one post and do it justice. The bonus is I get to indulge a personal interest in Game Theory and of course poke some fun at what one observer calls moral hazard lite which represents the intersection of politics with the calamity that has shaken our banking system to its core. Let’s start with a quick definition of Moral Hazard:

Moral hazard is the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not bear the full consequences of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to bear some responsibility for the consequences of those actions.

How does this “different behavior” that results from having no ri$k play out in the financial markets? We have a case study in progress commonly known as the bailout that provides some clues. Russell knows me as an intuitive trader when it comes to individual issues and I’ve been casually telling people this current rally in the financial services sector is an illusion in respects. We’ll have to retest our lows and that could happen as many as three times between now and Q4. Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge gives us a 2009 example to the old Wall Street saying, “Sell in May and go away” as he details why banks as a whole were surprisingly profitable the past two months. Hopefully this will stick with us when the bank execs collect their bonuses from these “results” down the road. Here are some snippets from the Zero Hedge exclusive: AIG was responsible for the bank’s January and February profitability:

Zero Hedge is rarely speechless, but after receiving this email from a correlation desk trader, we simply had to hold a moment of silence for the phenomenal scam that continues unabated in the financial markets, and now has the full oversight and blessing of the U.S. government, which in turns keeps on duping U.S. taxpayers into believing everything is good. Continue reading “Moral Hazard? Slabbed wipes our a$$ with Moral Hazard (Part 1)”

Change in order to survive, survive in order to change – Change is coming

Change is indeed coming – and not just the change of command taking place in front of the nation’s Capitol today.

Companies like AIG must change in order to survive and survive in order to change.  The company’s survival got a boost when the recent “Miracle on the Hudson” called positive attention to AIG’s aircraft leasing unit.

Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., TPG Inc. and Greenbriar Equity Group LLC are bidding for American International Group Inc.’s plane-leasing business, according to people familiar with the situation.

The firms may eventually take part in a group to buy Los Angeles-based International Lease Finance Corp., said the people, who declined to be identified because the offers aren’t public. Steven Udvar-Hazy, ILFC’s founder and chief executive officer, said in November he may join with investors in a buyout of the unit, which he suggested was worth about $10 billion.

The way Treasury deals with banks is going to change.  After Congress required that commitment to release the balance of bail-out funds; but, the Obama administration was waiting for the change of power with plans for change in mind. Continue reading “Change in order to survive, survive in order to change – Change is coming”

At AIG the Party on the Taxpayer Dime Continues…..

Thanks to El Forresto I was moved to report the latest AIG gathering here on slabbed. This latest junket was also evidently a secret per Brian Ross at ABC news:

Even as the company was pleading the federal government for another $40 billion dollars in loans, AIG sent top executives to a secret gathering at a luxury resort in Phoenix last week.

Reporters for (KNXV) caught the AIG executives on hidden cameras poolside and leaving the spa at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, despite apparent efforts by the company to disguise its involvement.

“AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property,” KNXV reported.

A hotel employee told KNXV reporter Josh Bernstein, “We can’t even say the word [AIG].” Continue reading “At AIG the Party on the Taxpayer Dime Continues…..”