Naked Capitalism on the TARP Special Inspector General’s Report

SIGTARP: HAMP Servicing Abuses Led to Unwarranted Foreclosures
The latest SIGTARP (Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program) report is, if such a thing is possible, even more damning than its previous quarterly reports. It slams the Treasury for abject failure to meet the program’s own objectives, its lack of proper control and metrics, its “Mission Accomplished” declarations, its phony accounting, particularly with regard to AIG, and its abject failure on loan modifications (note one of TARP goals was to preserve homeownership. The Economic Populist has a good summary of the report. (more…)

The Revolving Villains – Obama and the Democrats Will Eliminate Social Security Part III

By Jonathryn

That Was a Yes or No Question, Mr. President.

This is part II of a multipart series to demonstrate how everyone in Washington—and one-term President Barack Obama in particular—are telegraphing the fact that they will be gearing up for a major campaign to steal money from Senior Citizens by making drastic changes to “fix” the Social Security program. Part I can be read here. Part II can be read here. (Image)

Today at the top of Atrios’ (Duncan Black’s) website, he writes the question he asked about at a recent blogger conference with one-term President Barak Obama:

Q:   Mine is an easy question. Will you rule out raising the retirement age to 70?

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Bait and Switch – Banks as the Scourge of Capitalism

By Numerian posted by Michael Collins

“This breakdown in the debtor-creditor relationship has been entirely of the banks’ making and has been encouraged by powerful interests, including the Federal Reserve, the main regulator of the big banks.”  Numerian

Joe Nocera, financial columnist for The New York Times, had an interesting conclusion to his recent article on Bank of America:

I admit it: I want to see the banks feel some pain. Most people do, I think. Banks did terrible things during the subprime bubble, and they still haven’t paid any real price. I find myself rooting for judges to rule against banks in foreclosure cases. I would love to see these big investors put the serious hurt on Bank of America, which will encourage other investors to pile on. I know this colors my thinking. I can’t help it.

Yet I also know the flip side. If the foreclosure lawyers start winning a lot of cases, if judges halt foreclosures on a widespread basis, if investors start to extract billions upon billions of dollars from the banks — and if banks become seriously weakened as a result — we’ll be right back where we were two years ago. The banks will need to be saved for the good of the economy. The taxpayers will have to come to the rescue. That’s an appalling prospect too.

Banks: We can’t live with them, and we can’t live without them. It stinks, doesn’t it?

This brief flourish of disgust for the banking industry received a lot of attention, almost all of it favorable.  Millions of Americans want to see “serious hurt” put upon the banks, especially the big banks that are in the Too Big To Fail category.  Why do we hate the banks so?
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California KOs Corporate Takeover – Heathens Hold the Line

Michael Collins

First published in The Agonist

The corporate takeover of California is on hold according to the latest polls out of the nation’s largest state.  Just nine days before the election, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California poll shows a nearly impossible uphill battle for the big business ticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

Among likely voters in the governor’s race, Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%.  In the race for United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead.  The leads by Democrats come from a brand new constituency, those who “never” go to church.  More on that later.
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Predictions


Dave Leip’s US Atlas of Presidential Elections

Here’s my prediction for the Senate races.  I see the Democrats holding on to a 54 seat majority.   If this happens, the thing to watch are  the rules for the new Senate.  Will Reid keep to that 60 vote requirement that he’s used to kill any progressive legislation?  Duh, of course he will! 

My predictions don’t matter that much but the Presidential Atlas site is a gem.  You can get data, review past elections, and participate in a forum.  It’s an excellent resource.  The site is without any bias whatsoever.  Dave Liep collects the data and you get real election results., unlike those provided on election night.   A good deal of voting results come in up to a month after the election.    Membership is free, right column. (more…)