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Deja vu

Boy oh boy, they’re gonna fall for this all over again, aren’t they?

Why is it that Elizabeth Warren is the only politician with the balls to say this? Good for her!

Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts candidate for U.S. Senate, called for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon to resign his position as a director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Dimon, who disclosed a $2 billion trading loss by his bank last week, shouldn’t stay on the board of the New York Fed because “he advises the Federal Reserve on the oversight of the financial industry,” she said in an e-mail release.

Warren, a Democrat, has served in the Office of the President and as chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“After the biggest financial crisis in generations, the American people are frustrated that Wall Street has still not been held accountable and does not appear to consider itself responsible,” she said. “Dimon should resign from his post at the New York Fed to send a signal to the American people that Wall Street bankers get it and to show that they understand the need for responsibility and accountability.”

Kaboom!

Business Insider columnist Henry Blodget says what we now we know is the truth: Wall Street is just a bunch of kids playing with dynamite. And where does the buck stop? Not with CEO Jamie Dimon! It stops somewhere over there, with some other people – who will no doubt collect a golden parachute and get a better job at a hedge fund:

Wall Street can’t be trusted to manage—or even correctly assess—its own risks.This is in part because, time and again, Wall Street has demonstrated that it doesn’t even KNOW what risks it is taking. In short, Wall Street bankers are just a bunch of kids playing with dynamite.

There are two reasons for this, neither of which boil down to the “stupidity” that most people generally assume is involved. The bankers who place these bets are anything but stupid.

  • The first reason is that the gambling instruments the banks now use are mind-bogglingly complicated. Warren Buffett once described derivatives as “weapons of mass destruction.” And those weapons have gotten a lot more complex in the past few years.
  • The second reason is that Wall Street’s incentive structure is fundamentally flawed: Bankers get all of the upside for winning bets, and someone else—the government or shareholders—covers the downside.

The second reason is particularly insidious. The worst thing that can happen to a trader who blows a huge bet and demolishes his firm—literally the worst thing—is that he will get fired. Then he will immediately go get a job at a hedge fund and make more than he was making before he blew up the firm. Meanwhile, if the trader’s bet works—and the bigger the better—he’ll look like a hero and collect an absolutely massive bonus. If you had those incentives, you would do exactly the same thing that Wall Street traders do: Bet the company, day after day. (It’s not your company, after all, so who the heck cares?)

So, what’s the solution? It’s very simple. Congress needs to:

  • Radically increase bank capital requirements, so even massive bets can’t threaten the system
  • Once again, separate “banking” from Wall Street gambling. Glass Steagall worked very well for 70 years—let’s bring it back.
  • Lay out a plan, in advance, to manage the failure of even the largest financial institutions—by stepping in, seizing the bank, firing management, zeroing out shareholders, haircutting bondholders, and then injecting new SENIOR capital (fully protected) and re-floating or selling off the firm. This will allow the entity to keep operating, and it will stick the losses where they belong—with the idiots who bought the bank’s stock or loaned it money. Meanwhile, the systemic threat will be eliminated.

That’s the answer. And now that JP Morgan has proven that even “the best” banks haven’t the faintest idea what they’re doing (or don’t care), it’s time for Congress to finally make it happen.That nothing changed after the financial crisis is outrageous. But if nothing happens now, our entire government should resign in shame.

Boy, did he pick the wrong band

There are still musicians who take their politics seriously, and the members of Boston’s Dropkick Murphys are at the top of that list. (They even wrote a tune for the SEIU.) When they got word that one of their songs was being used to introduce Wisconsin state Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald, the band released this statement on their Facebook page:

We just got word that Wisconsin State Rep and Speaker of the State Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald used “Shipping Up To Boston” as his walk-on song yesterday at the Wisconsin GOP Convention in Green Bay.

The stupidity and irony of this is laughable. A Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate – and crony of anti-Union Governor Scott Walker – using a Dropkick Murphys song as an intro is like a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap!

Fitzgerald: if you and your staff can’t even figure out your music you might wanna give up on the politics!!!!!

We stand beside our Union and Labor brothers and sisters and their families in Wisconsin and all over the U.S!

–DKM

Jeff Fitzgerald is the brother of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who are the sons of State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald. What a cozy little situation that is, all of them working together for the same anti-worker, anti-union objectives!

Here’s DKMs singing “Tomorrow’s Industry”:

Lullaby (Goodnight my angel)

Billy Joel:

Unemployment Statistics….

I hear all kinds of numbers when the unemployment figures for the U.S.A. are discussed. To listen to someone that has never studied statistics explain to me an unemployment rate, how a statistic is calculated and all about the “shell game” involved and all nefarious conspiracies that go along with the unemployment figures can be a bit frustrating, but, then I just see the entertainment value I am getting in a bad situation.

In any statistical analysis, method, variables and other “messy” stuff come into play. Jim Stratton at the Orlando Sentinel had a reader that wasn’t buying into the drop in unemployment in Florida…..

“The government has manipulated how they count the unemployed,” he wrote in an email. “Since I don’t currently receive unemployment checks, I’m not counted. There are plenty of others like me.”

Jim retorted:

To determine the statewide jobless rate, officials do not simply report the number of people receiving unemployment. That would understate the problem because fewer than 35 percent of those out of work qualify for jobless benefits.

Instead, officials combine state data with the findings of a national monthly survey of about 60,000 households. The federal survey asks who has a job, who is out of work and who is looking for work.

Method or madness? Maybe both. Scandal or conspiracy? Naw. Just folks trying to persuade.

But, then we have people using all kinds of numbers when it is convenient. Apparently, Joe Biden and the President will use different numbers according to the Washington Post.  There seems to be a bit of confusion about “overall” job growth and private sector job growth. Private sector growth seems to be pretty OK,  sad to say the “overall” job growth is tepid, mostly due to public sector losses. Public Sector mean firemen, teachers, folks like that.

Let’s check in with the numbers by the folks a little “Right of the Dial”. According to biased sources the web site Shadow Government Statistics webmaster, John Williams, is a self proclaimed statistician that he said he spread his sage advice and observations to the New York Times and Business Investor’s Weekly. No articles written by him have been found in either publication. But, just for giggles here is his latest statistics. John Williams says it is around 23%. That is pretty close to the Depression of the 30’s, which was around 25% at peak. He didn’t explain his method.

OK.

Well, there are several ways the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment figures. It’s a scale system adding in more factors, starting with “U3” to “U6.” Moving up the scale factors are added like, available to work, working part time instead of full time, and the category of “marginally attached.”

My conclusion: The job market still sucks. Spruill County is at 10.5% (not seasonally adjusted.) Seasonally adjusted. Another variable. My cousins in Whitfield County are at 12.5% . I can make it anecdotal. I am still looking for a job. Thank heavens, Daddylonglegs and I saw the crash coming.

I look at all these austerity measures in place in Europe and the results of austerity in Britain as double dip recession in Britain and I have to think, why the heck would that work here? I mean, for real?

Mama said

The Shirelles:

Tsk

Finally, voters are connecting the dots:

(Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany’s most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.


The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.


She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party’s defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.

A
ccording to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.

Mama tried

Grateful Dead:

Sweet baby James

James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks:

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