"Our Children and Grandchildren are not merely statistics towards which we can be indifferent" JFK

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tim Geithner twisting the facts on TARP Returns

By Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private investors.

"The government is consciously forfeiting future tax revenues. It's another form of assistance, maybe not as obvious as direct assistance but certainly another form," said Robert Willens, an expert on tax accounting who runs a firm of the same name. "I've been doing taxes for almost 40 years, and I've never seen anything like this, where the IRS and Treasury acted unilaterally on so many fronts."

At the end of the third quarter, Citigroup said that the value of its past losses was about $38 billion, allowing it to avoid taxes on its next $38 billion in profits. Under normal IRS rules, a change in control would sharply reduce the amount of profits that Citigroup could shelter from taxes in any given year, making it much more difficult for Citigroup to realize the entire benefit before the tax breaks expired.

The precise value of the IRS ruling depends on Citigroup's future profitability and other factors, but two accounting experts said it was fair to estimate that Citigroup would save at least several billion dollars as a result.

Treasury acknowledged that the tax break was significant, but a senior official said the benefit was unavoidable. Either the government changed the rules and parted ways with Citigroup or the company kept the government as a shareholder and kept the tax break anyway.

Link to Full Article

Tim Geithner Interview with Maria Bartiromo/CNBC 3/29/10

BARTIROMO: I want to ask you more about how financial reform will play out, because it is important and we are going to see substantial change. Let me come back to that, because you are making the final preparations right now to sell the government’s stake in Citigroup, and that 27% stake and why now?

GEITHNER: Well, again, it points out how far we have come. I mean we have had $175 billion of the taxpayers’ investments come back to the Treasury because before, we forced these institutions to go out and raise private capital to replace the public’s investments and we have earned about $20 billion in profits on the investments. This is the next stage of us moving to make sure we are getting out of the financial system as quickly as we can, because we don’t want to be in the business of owning a share in a private company a day longer than necessary, and it is a sign of how much progress we have made already.

Grandpa: Mr. Geithner, you are completely misrepresenting the alleged return to us taxpayers. Also, cease with the government speak as we did not request you to “invest” in any Wall Street bank. What comes in the front door does not reflect what you have authorized to sprint out Treasury’s back door.

* Citigroup has the potential of a $38 billion tax break
* JP Morgan reported the potential of a $1.4 billion tax refund
* Wells and Fargo benefited from a $4.1 billion tax gain in 2009
   as a result of Wachovia losses
*Bank of America $500 million tax savings during the first 5 years
  of Countrywide Mortgage ownership.

Do you think we citizens do not read Mr. Geithner?

Fannie Mae Serious Delinquencies 5.52% in January 2010 A RECORD

Fannie Mae continues to set records. Their serious delinqeuncies (single family conventional mortgages) for the month of January 2010 hit 5.52%. This is up from 5.38% for December 2009 and a double from January 2009 (2.77%). Their delinquencies continue to rise and yet Turbo Tax Timmy will spend every last cent to keep the sinking ship afloat.

Tim Geithner on Fannie and Freddie (CNBC 3-30-10):



When will you give our children and grandchildren a break Tim??????

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting different results

ADP Payroll Report…. Loss of 23,000, SWING AND A MISS!

The consensus Wall Street pundits forecast an increase of 40,000 private sector jobs for the month of March. Don’t worry about the equity market, as this is a jobless recovery! The Quant robot traders refuse to let fundamental economic data get in the way of an orchestrated upward trajectory. PLUS, it is the end of the quarter; it is imperative to end on an up note so fund managers are assured their bonus and receive the happy hour invitation.

Remember America, this is not about you. The equity market is best left to the few, the proud, the manipulators.

Non-farm Private Employment Highlights
Total employment: -23,000
Small businesses* -12,000
Medium businesses** -4,000
Large businesses*** -7,000
Goods-producing sector: -51,000
Service-providing sector: +28,000
Manufacturing industry: -9,000

“The economic recovery has not been long enough or strong enough along the way yet to produce the kind of rapid employment that people are hoping for,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the figures with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters after the report.

“Today’s figure does not incorporate a weather-related rebound that could be present in this month’s” report from the Labor Department, Prakken said in a statement. “It is reasonable to expect” that the government’s report will be “stronger” than the ADP estimate”.


ADP Report

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Responsibility: the forgotten noun

In this era of rewarding irresponsible actions and behavior while spurning and penalizing the responsible, grandpa thought it only fitting to check out who might be turning over in their grave given their perspective on “responsibility”.

Tim Geithner on AIG Disclosures: "I had no role in making decisions regarding what to disclose about the specific financial terms of Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III, and payments to AIGs counterparties."

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by
evading it today." Abraham Lincoln

 Ben Bernanke (5/17/07): “The sub prime mess is grave but largely contained. Given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the sub prime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited”.

"Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense
of responsibility". George Orwell

Nancy Pelosi December 2009: “I believe that the TARP funds would be a good source of pay-for for this,” Pelosi said. “Let me just put that in perspective for a moment. What we have to do is grow the economy. We must create jobs in order to do that, and the more jobs we create, the more money comes in to the public till and therefore reduces the deficit, so I don’t see a competition between ‘Do you reduce the deficit?’ or ‘Do you create jobs?’”

“In times like these men should utter nothing for which they would
not be willingly responsible through time and in eternity.”
Abraham Lincoln

Obama signed into law the bill passed by congress increasing the public debt ceiling from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion

George Washington sent a letter to James Madison in 1789
and included the following in his correspondence:
“no generation has a right to contract debts greater than
can be paid off during the course of its own existence”.

Dear Grandchildren:
Fortunately, Joan is still with us and grandpa continues his crusade on your behalf.

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is
the source from which self-respect springs.” Joan Didion

Monday, March 29, 2010

Geithner: Commercial real estate loans still a problem for the country

Associated Press/WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says mounting losses from commercial real estate loans will continue to be a problem for the U.S. and especially smaller banks, but that it can be managed.

"Commercial real estate's still going to be a problem for the country," Geithner said Monday in an interview with CNBC. "But we can manage through this process."

Geithner also said the Treasury Department's announcement that it will begin selling the stake it owns in Citigroup Inc., which could net about $7.5 billion to the government, shows "how far we've come" in exiting from the financial bailout program.

Grandpa: Can we assume Mr. Geithner that "managing" is synonymous with issuing more debt via yet another bailout program. As Zero Hedge coined, you simply extend and pretend. You chose to describe the commercial market as "mounting losses" and then without a breath, "it can be managed". Hey Timmy, do you ever toss and turn at night knowing you continue to dump billions on our grandchildren? You will one day be the Grinch that stole our youngsters' Christmas. Sleep well...

Another $600 million for housing courtesy of the Treasury Money Tree

Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer, On Monday March 29, 2010, 1:06 pm EDT

The Obama administration unveiled Monday $600 million in financial aid for five more states with high unemployment that have been slammed by the housing bust.

The funding is for North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina and Rhode Island.

It comes on top of the $1.5 billion in funding announced last month by the Obama administration for Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada, which all have deeply depressed home prices.

After that announcement, lawmakers in other states pressed Obama officials for additional aid. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who was among those pushing for more help, called the funding "a smart investment that will help Rhode Island and other states that have been hit hardest by the recession."

The new money is going to housing finance agencies in states with the most people in counties with unemployment rates above 12 percent. The agencies will design programs that need to be approved by the Treasury Department.

Ohio got the largest share of funding, at $172 million, followed by North Carolina at $159 million and South Carolina at $138 million.

Oregon and Rhode Island are due to receive $88 million and $43 million respectively.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the announcement "a victory for Ohio communities."

It's the latest tactical chance for the Obama administration, which has been under pressure to do more to tackle the foreclosure crisis after its original plan fell flat. On Friday, the administration launched a plan to reduce the amount some troubled borrowers owe on their home loans and give jobless homeowners a temporary break.

Administration officials cautioned that the plan won't stop all foreclosures or help all troubled homeowners. Instead, officials said their goal is to meet their original target, announced last year, of helping 3 million to 4 million borrowers avoid foreclosure.

Associated Press Writer Michelle R. Smith contributed to this report from Providence, R.I.

Grandpa: No wonder the 3 year freeze was pushed out until 2011, as the administration has yet to pluck off all the money tree leaves.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Comics

Sarah Palin's Twitter message:
"Don't retreat, instead RELOAD"

The administration will annouce their THEFT Program Sunday afternoon.
(Tree House Equity Fatigue Terminator program)
Treasury Dept. will terminate all eligible tree house mortgages,
pay off the balance and issue $1,500 to each THEFT recipient
for loss of use of said tree house.
Eligibility: must not be a primary residence, prove that all
prior equity was spent on non-performing-depreciating assets.

Alan Greenspan during a Bloomberg Interview explaining
the Federal Reserve's inability to see bubbles.

Nancy Pelosi securing the final votes required
for passing the Healthcare Reform Bill

Geithner's response on how to fix Fannie and Freddie

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Diana Olick and FHA Commissioner David Stevens (blah blah blah)

Diana Olick interviews FHA Commissioner David Stevens and as usual, Diana knows her stuff and FHA continues to spew their recycled position and how this program is different. Wake up America, this has been and continues to be about the banks. The U.S. government offers to double payments to lenders who modify 2nd mortgages and the FHA proudly states they are using $14 billion of TARP funds. Let’s continue to recycle debt in lieu of paying it down.

David notes negative home equity due to price declines. Mr. FHA makes it sound like negative equity is solely due to price declines which are beyond the control of the homeowner. Grandpa says BUNK! What about those that financed 100% of the purchase price (a.k.a. no skin in the game)? What about those that financed 97% to 100% of the purchase price, pulled equity from the house during the "bubble", spent the money and are now upside down?

Why should our children and grandchildren be placed in fiscal harms way because of another generation’s irresponsibility and greed? Does anyone remember the days when our parents, grandparents and great grandparents made sacrifices in order to keep a roof over one's head and food on the table?

Remind me again the merits of leading by example!

Corporations announcing charge offs due to new healthcare bill

A number of publically traded companies announced this week that they would be taking a charge due to the new healthcare reform bill. Given the fact that the bill was just signed, one can expect additional charge off announcements during the coming weeks.

WSJ: AT&T Inc. said it would take a $1 billion charge against earnings tied to the federal health-care overhaul, joining a number of other companies in reporting an impact from the bill signed into law this week.The charges relate to prescription-drug benefits for retirees. Companies that provide this benefit, as AT&T does, receive a federal subsidy, plus they can deduct the value of this subsidy from their taxes. The health overhaul cancels the deductibility of the subsidy.

CNN: Manufacturer John Deere announced Thursday that it expected the company's expenses to be about $150 million higher than last year. That came a day after Caterpillar predicted a new cost of $100 million, and two days after AK Steel predicted a charge of $31 million.

Most of the new costs will come in a reduction in subsidies that about 1,400 companies receive for providing drug coverage to their retirees. In an effort to raise several billion dollars for implementing the health care package, the law makes those subsidies taxable, just like income.

The subsidies began in 2003, when a prescription drug benefit was added to Medicare. To prevent companies that provided retirees with private drug benefits from dumping them into the new Medicare program, the government began providing an incentive. Giving companies a subsidy to continue their private coverage of retirees costs the government around half as much as covering those same retirees directly with Medicare's drug plan.

The subsidy averages $665 per retiree, according to Roland McDevitt, who has studied the issue for human resources consultant Towers Watson. The new tax would lower that by $233 per retiree. Because each company will have to make up the difference up front for the duration of each retiree's retirement, McDevitt estimates the change will cost companies $2,800 per retiree this year.

"That's a pretty big impact it will have on them," McDevitt said. "Having an additional cost like this is not great timing," Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan said.

3M Co Press Release: will record a one-time non-cash charge of up to $90 million, or 12 cents a share, in the first quarter as a result of the U.S. health reform signed into law this week, the company said on Friday.

FDIC Shuts Down 4 More Banks

Yet another busy day for Sheila Bair and the FDIC as they shuttered 4 more banks Friday, March 26th. The FDIC estimates a collective hit to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) of $320.3 million for the week.

Arizona and Florida each had one bank closing while Georgia incurred two closings. Year to date the FDIC has closed 41 banks.

The State of Georgia is currently in contention for the gold as 7 banks have been shuttered in the Peachtree state. The Sunshine State (FL) remains a solid medal contender with 6 bank closings in 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Funnies on the week that was...

Another Monday morning programming session for the
Quant Traders. It's simple really, fundamentals do not matter....
and the government would never release misleading or
inaccurate data; they simply massage and adjust it
for the next 5+ years.

On March 18th, Cramer stated the single biggest impediment to
the market going higher is ObamaCare and if it passes
get ready for a sell off.
Result: Dow closed up 108 points this week.

When you are done here Joe, I need you in my office
and bring a glass of water; I have the bar of soap...

"When pigs fly Chris....when pigs fly..."

Initial response to Sunday night's House vote on 
Healthcare Reform 

This week's bond auctions...are they any other bids?

Obama completes arms control deal with Russia

February 2010 New Home Sales

GM to make another payment to the U.S. Government next week as
the cars a flying off the lot.


Today, March 26th Nancy Pelosi turns 70. Grandpa has been fielding calls from well wishers all morning. Happy birthday Nancy...This Is Your Life

Birthday wishes from the gang at your high school.
In your honor, tonight's opening is
"Pan Pelosi Night"

Happy birthday Nancy and where does the time go,
our memories of Trinity College seem like only yesterday.
Okay, they changed the name to Trinity Washington University but
we know what happened at Trinity stayed at Trinity.
Love you like a sorority sister!
Your favorite Health and Human Services Secretary,
Kathleen Sebelius

Feliz cumpleaƱos
From the gang in the vineyard.

Best wishes on your bery very special day.
You really are a spunky rascal. I want to thank
you again for taking that impeachment thing off the table.
Hugs and kisses and yippee,  I remembered this year!

Happy Happy Birthday Nancy from all your
auto industry friends. You were there for us in our time
of need and you rock!
You go girl!!

Wishing you a record birthday season Nancy.
You were there for us when we looked into the abyss.
Your support means billions to us and one day
we will return the favor.

Grandpa is teaching us to be polite and respect our elders so,
Happy Birthday Ms. Pelosi. Have a nice day and don't eat too
much cake. Oh, one more thing, IT IS SO UNFAIR THAT YOU

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another Government Home Mortgage Program Coming to a theatre near you!

By Renae Merle and Dina Elboghdady
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 25, 2010; 6:01 PM

The Obama administration plans to overhaul how it's tackling the foreclosure crisis, in part by requiring lenders to temporarily slash or eliminate monthly mortgage payments for many borrowers who are unemployed, senior officials said Thursday.

Banks and other lenders would have to reduce the payments to no more than 31 percent of a borrower's income, which would typically be their unemployment insurance, for up to six months. In some cases, administration officials said, a lender could allow a borrower to make no payments at all.

The new push, which the White House is scheduled to announce Friday, takes direct aim at the major cause of the current wave of foreclosures: the spike in unemployment. While the initial mortgage crisis that erupted three years ago resulted from millions of risky home loans that went bad, more recent defaults reflect the country's economic downturn and the inability of jobless borrowers to keep paying.

For one, the government will for the first time provide financial incentives to lenders that cut the balance of a borrower's mortgage. Banks and other lenders will be asked to reduce the principal owed on a loan if it this amount is 15 percent more than their home is worth. The reduced amount would be set aside and forgiven by the lender over three years as long as the homeowner remains current on the loan.

Until recently, administration officials had been reluctant to encourage lenders to cut homeowner's principal balance, worrying this would encourage borrowers to become delinquent. But as federal regulators have struggled to make an impact on the foreclosure crisis, those qualms have weakened.

Second, government will double the amount it pays to lenders that help modify second mortgages, such as piggyback mortgages, which enabled home buyers to put little or no money down, home equity lines of credits. These second mortgages are an added burden on struggling homeowners, especially when their total debt, as a result, is greater than their home value.

Federal officials have estimated that about half of all troubled homeowners have a second mortgage and last year launched a program to encourage lenders to restructure them, but has struggled to get the effort off the ground.

Third, the administration is increasingly turning to the Federal Housing Administration to help underwater borrowers who are still keeping up their payments. The aim is to help these borrowers refinance into a more affordable loan.

Link to Washington Post Article
Come on down to contestants row!

Serious Motgage Delingencies JUMP in Q4 (you mean it is not all good in the hood?)

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)
Performance on home mortgages serviced by the largest national banks and federally regulated thrifts declined for the seventh consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2009, though home foreclosures slowed and new home retention actions continued strong, according to a report released today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The OCC and OTS Mortgage Metrics Report for the Fourth Quarter 2009 showed the overall percentage of current and performing mortgages fell to 86.4 percent at the end of 2009, driven by an increase in mortgages that were 90 or more days past due. Prime mortgages, which make up two-thirds of the mortgages in the portfolio, continued to have the greatest increases in delinquency. The decline was attributable to a 21.1 percent jump in mortgages 90 or more days past due, to 4.7 percent of all mortgages in the portfolio at the end of 2009.

The increase in seriously delinquent mortgages was most pronounced among prime borrowers, with an increase of 16.5 percent in seriously delinquent mortgages during the fourth quarter.

Recent vintages of modifications that emphasized sustainability through lower monthly payments performed better at three and six months after modification than older vintages. However, re-default rates remained high overall, with more than half of all modifications falling 60 or more days past due by nine months after modification.

Newly initiated foreclosures fell by more than 15 percent in the fourth quarter and foreclosures in process were stable, as mortgages remained delinquent for longer periods before entering the foreclosure process and the servicers evaluated more borrowers for loss mitigation and foreclosure prevention programs.

However, servicers report that they expect new foreclosure actions to increase in upcoming quarters as alternatives to prevent foreclosure are exhausted and a larger number of seriously delinquent mortgages slip into foreclosure.

Link to press release

March 9, 2010
Christina Romer: Consumer spending has been slower to recover, although it has shown some signs of modest improvement in the first few weeks of 2010. It took additional measures such as the "cash for clunkers" auto sales incentives and the $8,000 credit for home buyers to spur demand.

You go girl! Let's make sure we spur home buying while existing mortgage delinquencies are on the rise.

March 25, 2010
Ben Bernanke: Record-low interest rates are still needed to rev up the economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Thursday.

Dear Ben, record low interest rates are not dealing with the core problems facing this country! My folks paid a greater interest rate in the early 1960's. Your interest rate suppression is doing wonders for your banking buddies however our parents' fixed income accounts do not keep up with inflation (that we do not have).

Mr. Bernanke, might I suggest taking a peek at your health insurance renewal premium, college tuition, gasoline and the never increasing taxes and fees tagged on to everything from one's phone bill to natural gas. Then, tell us there is no inflation! When was the last time you did the grocery shopping or bought disposal diapers?

Bernanke says low rates to stay even though he sees green shoots

Record-low interest rates are still needed to rev up the economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee earlier today.

Ben repeated the rationale behind the Fed's decision last week to hold rates near zero. He cited still-fragile economic conditions, and noted that inflation is low, which gives the Fed leeway to keep rates at rock-bottom levels. WHAT ABOUT THE GREEN SHOOTS BEN?

When asked about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, Ben stated that would need to happen when the "expansion matures."

Bernanke said the term "extended period" isn't a fixed number of months. Rather, it is tied to how economic conditions evolve. If the economy were to rebound more strongly than anticipated, then the Fed would "respond appropriately" and start raising rates.

Bernanke said the housing market is "still quite weak."

Ben you included the following in your press release after your 3/16/2010 FOMC meeting: Economy and Labor Market: Economic activity has continued to strengthen and that the labor market is stabilizing.

What exactly are you saying Ben? Our still-fragile economic conditions continue to strengthen albeit the housing market is still quite weak however you are waiting for the stabilizing labor market to further expand in a mature manner?

Grandpa thinks you are telling white lies again...maybe you are waiting until your Wall Street buddies are able to make a few more billion as a result of borrowing 0% funds from your drive thru window??

I'll take the smirk as grandpa is on to something...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bank of America's New Forgivness Plan

As reported by Diana Olick, Bank of America is changing their game plan on delinquent mortgages. The existing client must owe at least 120% of the current home value and be delinquent for 60+ days. Bank of America will forgive up to 30% of the principal as they target subprime, pay option and prime 2 year ARM's.

Bank of America has over 1 million delinquent loans and the estimated hit to their balance sheet will likely come in around $3 billion as they will need to write down the value of their existing mortgage book.

Anticipated program revisions for those who put down 10 to 20%, did not yank equity to purchase the boat and other play toys, and are current on the mortgage (even though the payment is coming from the savings account): NADDA, ZIPPO, NOTHING, ZILCH!

This is the New World Order….rewarding responsible behavior is so old school!

Welcome to America’s SEPTIC Program (Someone Else Pays Till I Can).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tim Geithner’s solution to fixing Fannie and Freddie…I dunno

Grandpa’s refresher: The government took control of Fannie and Freddie through conservatorship 18 months ago. The taxpayer courtesy of our elected officials and Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner have injected $127 billion to keep the companies afloat and Timmy pledged unlimited bailout aid over the next three years.

Timmy testified before the House Financial Services Committee today and the following is a recap of some of the more poignant comments from our “friend of Wall Street” Treasury Secretary.

The administration doesn't have any concrete plans, the current model of private shareholders supported by an implicit or explicit taxpayer guarantee is unsustainable and likely to be changed, the question is when and how much”.

"Without the continued activity of the GSEs and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in the current environment, mortgage rates would be higher and homeowners would have a significantly harder time obtaining credit,"

"The housing market is still overwhelmingly dependent on the government”.

"Housing finance plays such a large role in our economy, and we are so vulnerable in it”.

“The idea of shareholder-owned government-backed companies is clearly flawed”.

We will do everything necessary to ensure these institutions have the capital they need to meet their commitments".

“Taxpayers are likely to face "very substantial" losses on the government's takeover of Fannie and Freddie”.

"The housing-finance system cannot continue to operate as it has in the past".

Grandpa: implicit or explicit taxpayer guarantee is unsustainable however the housing market is still overwhelmingly dependent on the government and the idea is flawed, but we will do everything to ensure these institutions have capital and the taxpayers are likely to face very substantial losses however the system cannot continue to operate as it has in the past...

Wow Timmy, the grandchildren and I will sleep well tonight.

I already told you...I dunno
(great, next thing will be that blogging vigilant grandpa
working the grandchildren angle...)

Alice Cooper's Premonition about Dick Fuld??

Is it possible that Alice Cooper had a premonition about the fate of Dick Fuld in 1973?

In 1973, Dick Fuld was in his 4th year at Lehman Brothers. While Dick was doing what all Richards do at Lehman Brothers, Alice Cooper cut his Billion Dollar Babies album which included the hit song, “No More Mister Nice Guy”. Grandpa could be onto something here....

Maybe Grandpa needs new reading glasses, however....

I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me
I opened doors for little old ladies
I helped the blind to see
I got no friends 'cause they read the papers
They can't be seen with me
And I'm gettin' real shot down
And I'm feelin' mean

No more Mister Nice Guy
No more Mister Clean
No more Mister Nice Guy
They say he's sick, he's obscene

I got no friends 'cause they read the papers
They can't be seen with me
And I'm feelin' real shot down
And I'm gettin' mean

No more Mister Nice Guy
No more Mister Clean
No more Mister Nice Guy
They say he's sick, he's obscene
My dog bit me on the leg today
My cat clawed my eye
Mom's been thrown out of the social circles
And dad has to hide
I went to church incognito
When everybody rose the Reverend Smithy
He recognized me and punched me in the nose

He said, no more Mister Nice Guy
No more Mister Clean
No more Mister Nice Guy
He said you're sick, you're obscene

We are still at war America!

This country is overdue for a re-focus. News of the day is predominantly focused on the babbling, ineffective congressional leaders fighting among themselves as if bipartisan politics was equivalent to having cocktails with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a quant Tehran bistro.

Get your act together congress, you sent our men and women overseas and while you are relishing in the Washington D.C. lifestyle, our military is sucking dirt and fighting for their lives.

While the House of Representatives (50.9% of them) are basking in the glory from their $938 billion health reform bill, let grandpa update you of the following:
4,386 U.S. military personnel died in Iraq-Operation Iraqi Freedom
1,025 U.S. military have died in Afghanistan-Operation Enduring Freedom

18 months have passed and the two primary political parties have yet to agree on financial reform that will make a difference for our next generation. Maybe a month in the foothills of Afghanistan wearing a 70 pound backpack and dodging bullets will influence your priorities. Assuming a safe return, you might consider dodging lobbyists for a month and focus on what is best for children and grandchildren versus your self centered mid-term election.

Hey Congress:
Operation Grandchildren Freedom!!!

Existing home sales for February 2010, down 0.6%

Diana Olick recaps today's report. Unfortunately, one has to tolerate Erin and Bob during the segment and Erin can't focus on anything but cash buyers. Of course Bob has to spew his vast experience with economic data. Wow Bob, we need more jobs and home sales in an effort to show the economy is expanding. Time for your nap Bob.

Existing home sales for February down 0.6%.
35% of sales are "distressed" and first time homebuyers represent 42%.
77% of total sales are distressed or first time home buyers.
Yes, Erin, 27% of sales were cash buyers.

Health Care Reform: In pictures

President Obama is scheduled to sign the Health Care Reform Bill this morning.

Sorry Benjamin, Nancy Pelosi was very specific about
dependent care eligibility. She specified that it is up to age 26
and one needs to start at zero. Your claim is denied.

Pre-existing conditions are waived in 2014, might I suggest
rescheduling your enrollment until...

"Please step away from the file cabinet ma'am, we are here
to audit your employee benefits files".

I am sorry son, your parents received countless notices from
Health and Human Services regarding their lack of coverage.
Please verify the 2% household income penalty and initial.

10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons after 7/1/2010

MN Governor Tim Pawlenty; "Obama's nanny nation
approach" to government.

Medical Device manufacturers purging inventory prior to the
2013 implementation of 2.9% excise tax

Drug companies repackaging program to
reduce the impact of the 2011 imposed annual fee

Monday, March 22, 2010

Federal Reserve holding junk as though it was a fine bottle of wine

Ryan Grim of Huffington Post
As Lehman Brothers careened toward bankruptcy in 2008, the New York Federal Reserve Bank came to its rescue, sopping up junk loans that the investment bank couldn't sell in the market, according to a report from court-appointed examiner Anton R. Valukas.

The New York Fed, under the direction of now-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, knowingly allowed itself to be used as a "warehouse" for junk loans, the report says, even though Fed guidelines say it can only accept investment grade bonds.

Meanwhile, the Fed and Geithner both strongly oppose a congressional measure to authorize an independent audit of the central bank and its lending facilities. The provision passed the House but is under attack in the Senate, where Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) says he hopes to stop it.

Without an audit, the Fed is able to conceal the specifics of what it holds on its balance sheet. If the Lehman deal is any indication, the Fed is hiding billions of dollars in toxic loans on its books.
Federal Reserve warehousing junk

DOES ANYONE REALLY WONDER WHY BEN DOES NOT WANT TRANSPARENCY? This is a disgrace and our grandchildren deserve better than this!

This past Saturday: Chairman Ben S. Bernanke articulated that message Saturday morning in a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America in which he argued that the Fed is better able to monitor the U.S. economy because of its role overseeing 5,000 bank holding companies and 850 state-chartered banks around the country.

Change We Can Believe In! Only if you believe in Ben and Timmy making sure their Wall Street cronies are made whole at the expense of our children and grandchildren!!!
Remind me again how Bernake and Geithner's
Ponzi scheme is different.....?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday Comics

What grandpa sees when he looks through the crack
in the door to the Senate Chamber

Senators' amendments to Dodd's financial reform bill
(399 amendments to be precise)

Ben Bernanke wants to keep the Federal Reserve as the
watchdog of small banks

Nancy Pelosi with a little help from her friends
before Sunday's Health Care Reform Vote

Ex Lehman CEO Dick Fuld and the Ernst and Young Auditor
unwinding after yet another successful quarter

Dear America, regarding the National Commission
on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform...

Barney Frank's leadership suggestions
for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Representative Charles Rangel Action Figure
Fits easily into any corporate lobbyist sponsored luggage
Doubles as a night light (batteries not included)

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA)
just completed their marketing brochure for the new short sale
program commencing in March...really, just sell short and we will
give you $1,500 for relocation assistance...really, it's true...

Friday, March 19, 2010

FDIC and Sheila Bair 7 banks closed

The week of setting clocks ahead one hour and the FDIC springs ahead and shutters 7 banks. According to the FDIC, the collective estimated hit is $1.282 billion.

37 banks have been shuttered year to date and the gold medal contenders are WA, MN, GA and FL each with 4 closed banks. UT and FL are vying for silver with 3 closed banks each. 140 banks were shut down in 2009 (average of 2.7 banks per week).

It appears that 2010 with an average of 3.36 banks per week could very well knock last year out of contention. At this run rate, we could witness 175 banks knocked to their knees in 2010.

Maybe closings will slow down when we fall back and set the clocks back an hour in November.

Friday Funnies...the end of another week (for many, but not all)

Maria Bartiromo on Meet the Press sharing her
most recent fishing story. Maria...it was how big??

"You're all going to be lobbyists today," House Minority Leader
John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), told the crowd. "I know that's a dirty word,
but that's what you're doing." He told the bankers not to be afraid
to stand up to members of Congress or "these little punk staffers".

Ben Bernanke, moments before the Court of Appeals ruled that
he has to disclose bank bailout records

Ernst and Young's Audit Program for Lehman Brothers

Let's get this done," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada,
the majority leader. "This bill should go to the president tomorrow
 so people can start being hired the day after tomorrow."

End of another week trading stocks when one's trades
are based on fundamentals