Sunday, February 21, 2010

More on Banksters

The Big Picture: Securitization Concentrated Financial Risks:
"Recall the basic idea behind securitization structured finance: It is supposed to distribute risk by aggregating various debt instruments into a large pool, which is then sliced and diced into various tranches of different risk quality (and yield). Risk is supposed to be spread amongst investors, who purchase the tranches they desire based on the degree of risk (relative to return) they want to undertake.

This assumes, however, that there is an honest attempt to structure these securities in order to spread the risk. It is quite possible to create a structure that willfully aims at more nefarious goals.

But that is precisely what occurred during the run up to the financial collapse: Securitization was used to accomplish the opposite goal — namely, to concentrate (rather than disperse) risk. These structures did so by lowering capital requirements."
Try to contain your shock.

fish cakes

fish cakes via Mental Meanderings
"Here’s the basic idea. You’re going to take a bunch of crackers or dried bread (say, about half a standard package of saltines or club crackers) that you’ve coarsely crushed – not dust, just small pieces – and put these in a bowl. You’re going to take a bit of fish (say, a 5 ounce can of tuna). You’re going to drain it, break it up into flakes, and stir this into the crumbs. Stir in a bit of aromatic flavoring (a tablespoon or two of chopped onion), then a slightly beaten egg to bind it. You’ll make four loose (ie, don’t mash them into dense lumps) patties out of this which you’ll fry for 2-3 minutes in a dry to lightly oiled medium hot skillet."
And again I get hungry

Wall Street's Bailout Hustle : Rolling Stone

Wall Street's Bailout Hustle : Rolling Stone:
Goldman wasn't alone. The nation's six largest banks — all committed to this balls-out, I drink your milkshake! strategy of flagrantly gorging themselves as America goes hungry — set aside a whopping $140 billion for executive compensation last year, a sum only slightly less than the $164 billion they paid themselves in the pre-crash year of 2007. In a gesture of self-sacrifice, Blankfein himself took a humiliatingly low bonus of $9 million, less than the 2009 pay of elephantine New York Knicks washout Eddy Curry. But in reality, not much had changed. 'What is the state of our moral being when Lloyd Blankfein taking a $9 million bonus is viewed as this great act of contrition, when every penny of it was a direct transfer from the taxpayer?' asks Eliot Spitzer, who tried to hold Wall Street accountable during his own ill-fated stint as governor of New York.

With thanks to Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture

Miami Burgers

Miami Burgers - From
'These are like a burger play on the AMAZING Cuban sandwiches you get in South Florida! Juicy, Messy, and FANTASTIC!! My husband doesn't even like cheeseburgers and he Loved these!!'
Yummy. Might have to crank up the stove

Now I get it

I just gathered up $7.55 in change from my washing machine. I think that it must be partial payment for all of those lost socks.

Implicit Associations

Via Yves Smith comes this interesting site regarding implicit associations. Being less than svelte myself, I took the demo test about how I related to fat vs thin people.

I was surprised at the result. I probably shouldn't have been.

Why is the Administration Tolerating AIG Feather-Bedding and Intransigence? � naked capitalism

Why is the Administration Tolerating AIG Feather-Bedding and Intransigence? � naked capitalism:
The latest AIG stunt is that it is refusing to sell its derivatives business. Remember that AIG owes the taxpayers a mind-numbingly large amount of money, but intransigent CEO Robert Benmosche has refused to execute on the agreed-upon plan, and instead is off on his own mission.

And why might that be? This is yet another, classic management favoring “heads I win, tails you lose” bet that is given more respectful treatment than it deserves by the Financial Times:

AIG has shelved plans to sell the whole of its derivatives portfolio, which nearly destroyed the insurer in 2008. It believes that keeping up to $500bn worth of complex positions could help it to survive as an independent entity and repay US taxpayers….

Yves here. Having AIG survive as an independent entity was NEVER an objective of this exercise, never. The fact that that management/company flattering notion is given any credence at all is appalling. Many storied companies are dead or very much diminished due to poor management decisions: A&P, Woolworths, Polaroid, U.S. Steel, Pan Am, TWA. AIG has no God-given right to exist.
If a person can die, why can't a company? Just asking the question.

Please explain (insert complex thing here)

From Ask Tom
You Asked

Dear Sir,
Have you started using Oracle 10g?If so,Could you please explain
'SQL Model clause' with a simple example?Expecting your reply
Yours sincerely,
{name removed}

and we said...

that is sort of like asking one to summarize 'war and peace' in a sentence.

And from Sideways Station we get
“Look, listen, love – and try not to get run over by history.”

My 1000'th Post

I wrote my first blog post here on July 17, 2007. Who would have thought that I would have so much to say. Yeah, you are right. Anyone that knows me.

I would like to point out that the cats are still my most avid readers and harshest critics.

Deep Thought

If cats are going to barf in the bathroom shouldn't they at least have the decency to do it in the toilet?