When Bankers Collide

Published on Dissident Voice, by Bill Annett, June 13, 2015.

Tim Geithner is seated at Charlie Rose’s exclusive Table Ronde, his fashionable curly locks carefully askew on his lofty forehead, his hands expressively illustrating his financial competence. He has published a book destined for stardom, Stress Test, he confronts Charlie who loves to flog best sellers before they are. Tim has been here before – annually, on average – but tonight we are treated to the official word, the inside story on what we’ve accomplished since TARP, how much better the banking system is now, largely because of the astuteness of Tim Geithner himself, former Treasury Secretary.  

From the Department of The Treasury it’s a short arabesque to his personal treasure; he has now been pastured out to a leading private equity firm, following the fine White House tradition of advise, consent and be pieced out by a grateful Administration and its cohort Wall Street, achieving his just reward in the distinguished wake of such former White House luminaries as Robert Rubin, Hank Paulson and Larry Summers.

Geithner and Charlie touch all the familiar bases: why Lehman as allowed to fold, how the good guys — Goldman, Sachs and JPMorgan Chase — weren’t, the shortcomings of monetary policy since, and all the improvements we’ve made.

Never once – not once – is mention made of the fall-out from TARP, or later Ben Bernanke’s helicopter drop of Quantitative Easing: the deluge of FED money rained on Wall Street supposedly to remove the toxic assets (crap mortgage-backed securities bundled into saleable bite-sized chunks and sold as prime merchandise by financial houses on the Street that call themselves banks). This, Bernanke’s dream child, was intended to expand loans to small and medium business, but in fact it only eventuated in the topless towers of Wall Street’s using the dough to play the market, and screw small business over. Large business, not so much, in fact driving the Dow to an all-time high … //

But all the rage these days, at least with the sulky sector of financial dissidents, is the notion of creating public banks, central and otherwise, where State and perhaps Federal governments would own the thing (rather than it’s being a fiscal agency of the government) and thereby save zillions in interest and fees. A small dedicated group of financial writers, public finance experts, and former bankers have formed a Public Bank Institute, led by its President, Ellen Brown, a Los Angeles attorney who writes more common sense about money and banking than anybody in sight, including the above litany of experts. The Institute is holding a conference as we speak in San Rafael, California. Featured are Matt Taibbi, Gar Alperowitz, an import — significantly, Brigitte Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic parliament — and Ellen Brown herself.

The prime and only example of a public bank in America is the Bank of North Dakota which – wait for it – sounds a bit like socialism, enough for Wall Street to hate it. In addition to the fact that it’s more profitable. This in a state noted for its ruby red political complexion redolent of all those sunburned farmers. But it works … //

… (full text).

(Bill Annett writes four newsletters: The Canadian Shield, American Logo, Beating the Street, and The Oyster World. He can be reached at: hoople84@gmail.com. Read other articles by Bill).

Related Links:

on en.wikipedia:

Troubled Asset Relief Program TARP is a program of the United States government to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen its financial sector that was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008. It was a component of the government’s measures in 2008 to address the subprime mortgage crisis …;

The Subprime Mortgage Crisis was a nationwide banking emergency that coincided with the U.S. recession of December 2007 – June 2009.[1] It was triggered by a large decline in home prices, leading to ed mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures and the devaluation of housing-related securities. Declines in residential investment preceded the recession and were followlarger housing price declines …;

Mortgage-backed security MBS is a type of asset-backed security that is secured by a mortgage, or more commonly a collection (”pool”) of sometimes hundreds of mortgages. The mortgages are sold to a group of individuals (a government agency or investment bank) that “securitizes“, or packages, the loans together into a security that can be sold to investors. The mortgages of an MBS may be residential or commercial, depending on whether it is an Agency MBS or a Non-Agency MBS; in the United States they may be issued by structures set up by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or they can be “private-label”, issued by structures set up by investment banks. The structure of the MBS may be known as “pass-through”, where the interest and principal payments from the borrower or homebuyer pass through it to the MBS holder, or it may be more complex, made up of a pool of other MBSs. Other types of MBS include collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs, often structured as real estate mortgage investment conduits) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) …;

Mortgage loan also referred to as a mortgage (UPDATE: another RELATED LINK see on 508FINANCE), is used by purchasers of real property to raise money to buy the property to be purchased or by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose. The loan is “secured” on the borrower’s property. This means that a legal mechanism is put in place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property (”foreclosure” or “repossession”) to pay off the loan in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms …;

Real property: in English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it have been made by human efforts: buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, etc. Real property and personal property are the two main subunits of property in English Common Law. In countries with personal ownership of real property, civil law protects the status of real property in real-estate markets, where estate agents work in the market of buying and selling real estate. Scottish civil law calls real property “heritable property”, and in French-based law, it is called immobilier …;

Ellen Brown: Ellen Hodgson Brown is an American author, political candidate, attorney, public speaker, and advocate of alternative medicine and financial reform, most prominently public banking. Brown is the founder[1] and president[2] of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to the creation of publicly run banks. She is also the president of Third Millennium Press,[3] and is the author of twelve books, including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution, as well as over 200 published articles. She has appeared on cable and network television, radio, and internet podcasts,[4] including a discussion on the Fox Business  Network concerning student loan debt with the Cato Institute’s Neil McCluskey,[5] a feature story on derivatives and debt on the Russian network RT,[6] and the Thom Hartmann Show’s “Conversations with Great Minds.”[7] Ellen Brown is running for California Treasurer in the California June 2014 Statewide Primary election[8] …;

Gar_Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative. He has been the Lionel R. Bauman Professor … // … He also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute.[1][2] As of April 2015, he serves on the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States as “New Economy Advisor to the President” …;

Shadow Cabinet is a feature of the Westminster system of government. It comprises a senior group of opposition spokespeople who, under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, form an alternative cabinet to that of the government, and whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the Cabinet.[1] Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet’s responsibility to criticize the policies and actions of the government, as well as offering an alternative program. In most countries, a member of the shadow cabinet is referred to as a Shadow Minister. In Canada, however, the term Opposition Critic is more usual. In the United Kingdom’s House of Lords and in New Zealand, the term “spokesperson” is used instead of “shadow” …;

Birgitta Jónsdóttir (born 17 April 1967) is a politician (poetician) and an activist member of the Althing, the Icelandic parliament, formerly representing the Citizens’ Movement whom she co-founded in the wake of the Icelandic financial crisis and The Movement, but now representing the Pirate Party (Icelandic parliamentary election, 2013).[1][2] …;

Charles Hampden-Turner (29 September 1934 London, England) is a British management philosopher, and Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 1990. He is the creator of Dilemma Theory, and co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group, in Amsterdam …;

Dilemma Theory and Our Current Crisis, 13 pdf-pages, by Dr. Charles Hampden-Turner, on Bussiness Model HUB/forum, Oct 2011; Dilemma Theory on Google Web-search;

Other Links:

Hands, on Dissident Voice, by Trevor Scott Barton, June 12, 2015: The journalist interviewed an ancient miner, a man who was used as a tool in the depths of the darkness of mines his entire life. The color of his skin, the sound of his breath, the sadness in his eyes — these human characteristics were the characteristics of the mine itself, as if the inhumanity of the mine had overcome the humanity of the person …;

Egypt: Madame magistrates, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Reem Leila, June 11, 2015: Women will soon pound the gavel as they preside over first degree courts for the first time;

Commentary: Towards a mutual friendship, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Khaled Okasha, June 11, 2015: Naval cooperation was given priority in Russian military manoeuvres with Egypt, indicating the Mediterranean is headed for a wave of intense tension;

Egypt: 26th Dynasty tombs uncovered in Aswan, on Al-Ahram weekly online, June 11, 2015.

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