Showing posts with label crony capitalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crony capitalism. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pass the Kerosene

Update: Check out Mish's continuing coverage of this story - especially the letter from a former Berskire shareholder to Mr. Buffett.

The economic elites are feeling sassy these days. So much so that the big-time Crony Capitalists are feeling free to speak their minds about how they really feel about the economic dislocations of the past few years.

Hear it firsthand from Charles Munger, described by the shiny young man who introduces him in this video as "one of the most principled leaders in American business." Here, this "principled" man (as long as the government largesse is helping protect or build up his principal), who actually does have a lot of intelligent things to say, shows how disconnected the wealthy elites are from the anger that is building across the country.

Charles Munger's speech at the University of Michigan

Choice quotes:

“You should thank God” for bank bailouts
“Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies.”
“There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be'”

Wow, the political and economic elites truly seem hell-bent on building the bonfires upon which to burn down the entire structure of the economy and Mr. Munger has just poured a tanker truck worth of kerosene on the whole thing. I kept waiting for Charlie to suggest that they all trade in their Gucci loafers for some leather riding boots and ride through Ann Arbor on horseback, whomping the peasants.

When the show trials start, you may rest assured clips of this video will be part of the prosecution's portfolio.

h/t Bloomberg and Mish

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Say It Out Loud

Say it out loud with me: "British Petroleum, a foreign corporation, responsible for a massive disaster, is hiring mercenaries to serve on U.S. soil to prevent exercise of the First Amendment by local news agencies."

Now I think I have a shred of emotional understanding of what helps fuel MEND.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More on Anger and Health Care

John Robb has an outstanding post up over at GlobalGuerrillas with his take on the anger that is permeating the U.S. social and political system. Well worth your time.

by John Robb at GlobalGuerrillas
...The final and most damning step in this process was how that even after this theft had become public knowledge (on the front page of every newspaper from here to Timbuktu), the governmental system we expected to punish malfeasance didn't work. Not only didn't it work by failing to punish these traitors (as those who damage a nation in the worst possible way are termed) for their acts, it actually rewarded them. It made them rich with hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts and tens of trillions in public guarantees (to protect them against losses on their future thefts), in effect extending them a golden invitation to pillage our future again.

As the event dwindled into history, the anger didn't. It became diffuse and festered. Some of it eventually found a home, directed (or redirected, if you think the public is easily manipulated) against the government and the prevailing party, particularly as it pushed forward changes in the health care system. For many the connection was that this is yet another theft, either by the health industry that wrote the bill or a government that wants to redistribute wealth via expansion of coverage...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Us, Them, Corruption, Anger and Goldman Sachs

Stock up on popcorn now. I suggest the old school stuff that you pop on the stove-top in case there are electricity shortages, then dust off your AM radio (as a backup in case you don't have TV by then) for when the show trials begin and the Plutocrats are dragged before the courts or committees of justice or whatever veneer of due process will be smeared over the populist outrage that these MBA-toting idiots are helping foster by their obtuse, rapacious crony capitalism on steroids that has been pimped out across the globe over the last several decades. The tides of anger and vengeance mapped out by socionomic theory will be especially unkind to whiz kids of Goldman Sachs, in my opinion.

Matt Taibbi skewers them in Rolling Stone, leading off with fire, anger and gusto: "The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it is everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money..."

Goldman Sachs

I haven't bought a Rolling Stone in years, but I'll be picking up this one after work.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Crony Capitalism

When the populist backlash kicks into truly high gear, I imagine they'll grill Bill Gross of PimpCo in prime time:

Geithner’s Non-Recourse Gift That Keeps on Giving to Bill Gross
By Jody Shenn
April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s plan to rid banks and markets of devalued assets may be a boon for Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross.

The plan may reward investors with 20 percent annual returns on “really toxic” mortgages bought at 45 cents on the dollar by allowing them to borrow six times their money with “non-recourse” government-backed debt, New York-based Credit Suisse Group AG analysts Carl Lantz and Dominic Konstam wrote in a March 27 report. That loan would be worth 15 cents to an investor seeking the same return who can’t use borrowed money...

...“This is perhaps the first win/win/win policy to be put on the table,” Gross, co-chief investment officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pimco, said in an e-mailed statement last week...

...Nobel prize-winning economists Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, and Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at the Business School of Columbia University in New York, blasted Geithner’s plan for putting the taxpayer on the hook for losses with what they say is little likelihood of success.

“The Geithner plan works only if and when the taxpayer loses big time,” Stiglitz wrote in the New York Times this week. “With the government absorbing the losses, the market doesn’t care if the banks are ‘cheating’ them by selling their lousiest assets, because the government bears the cost.”

Krugman wrote in the Times last month that “Obama is squandering his credibility” with the plan...

...Unlike Geithner’s plan for loans, the public-private funds for securities will be limited initially to only five managers, such as Pimco and BlackRock, already overseeing $10 billion of the assets targeted. That program will buy securities from holders of toxic assets other than banks.

“There it’s probably going to work -- for five people,” said Dan Castro, chief risk officer at hedge fund Huxley Capital Management in New York. “You’re selecting a very small group of large guys and giving them all the advantages...”

I recall back in 1998 and there-abouts that the U.S. envoys shuttling over to Asia to lecture those countries on the economic crisis that blew up always complained of Crony Capitalism and how governments steered resources and big money to a select few and how that helped contribute to the imbalances that hammered Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, et al.

Ten years later we enshrine it as policy.


h/t Mish