Economic Recovery? No Spinning These Numbers – August 2010 Lenders Foreclose More Homes Than At Any Time Since Mortage Crisis Began

US homes lost to foreclosure up 25 pct on year

LOS ANGELES — Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis.

The increase in home repossessions came even as the number of properties entering the foreclosure process slowed for the seventh month in a row, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009, RealtyTrac said.

August makes the ninth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis. The previous high was in May.

Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans with an eye on eventually placing the foreclosed properties on the market, but they can’t afford to simply dump the properties on the market.

Concerns are growing that the housing market recovery could stumble amid stubbornly high unemployment, a sluggish economy and faltering consumer confidence. U.S. home sales have collapsed since federal homebuyer tax credits expired in April.

That’s one reason fewer than one-third of homes repossessed by lenders are on the market, said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

[The reason only 1/3 of the foreclosed homes are  “on the market” is that the banks are tryoing to protect the value of their inventory of foreclosed homes, by limiting the number on the market thay are artificialy propping up the value of the “foreclosed home market”. The Government tax credit did not create “new housing demand” it simply shifted sales forward … Google: Federal Home Trac Credit Fraud – to read about the mismanagement of that program by the Federal Government – or Google: Mortgage Fraud Continues]

“These (properties) are going to come to market, but very slowly because nobody wants to overwhelm a soft buyer’s market with too much distressed inventory for fear of what it would do for house prices,” he said.

As a result, lenders are putting off initiating the foreclosure process on homeowners who have missed payments, letting borrowers stay in their homes longer.

The number of properties receiving an initial default notice – the first step in the foreclosure process – slipped 1 percent last month from July, but was down 30 percent versus August last year, RealtyTrac said.

Initial defaults have fallen on an annual basis the past seven months. They peaked in April 2009.

Barney Frank - Chairman House Banking Committee - The Man In Charge Of Watching Over Fannie

Still, the number of homes scheduled to be sold at auction for the first time increased 9 percent from July and rose 2 percent from August last year. If they don’t sell at auction, these homes typically end up going back to the lender.

More than 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession began in December 2007, according to RealtyTrac. The firm estimates more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

[Realty Tracs number are way off, that or the AP is not reporting them correctly – At least 8 million homes have been foreclosed – 2.3 million homes have been foreclosed and placed on the market for sale. More than 2.3 million homes have been foreclosed in the States of Michigan and Nevada alone]

In all, 338,836 properties received a foreclosure-related warning in August, up 4 percent from July, but down 5 percent from the same month last year, RealtyTrac said. That translates to one in 381 U.S. homes.

The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions – warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.

Among states, Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate last month, with one in every 84 households receiving a foreclosure notice. That’s 4.5 times the national average.

Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rate in August were: Florida, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Hawaii.

Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are now the main catalysts for foreclosures.

Lenders are offering a variety of programs to help homeowners modify their loans, but their success rates vary. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners can’t qualify or fall back into default.

The Obama administration has rolled out numerous attempts to tackle the foreclosure crisis but has made only a small dent in the problem. Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration’s flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out.

The program, known as Making Home Affordable, has provided permanent help to about 390,000 homeowners since March 2009.

[A program that was touted by Obama as something that would help 9,000,000 home owners at a cost of nearly $700 billion dollars has in fact helped only 300,000 and tens of thousands leave the program every month as their homes sink futher “under water”]

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/09/16/general-us-foreclosure-rates_7933661.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

 

GM Fudges Numbers In Advance of IPO – UAW Jobs Continue Exodus To Red China

GM posts $1.33 billion profit, a sign of strength?

General Motors Co. said Thursday it made $1.33 billion in the second quarter, a sign it’s getting healthier as it prepares to sell stock to the public.

It was the second straight quarterly profit for GM, which made $865 million in the first quarter.

CEO Ed Whitacre said last week that the company is eager to sell shares in an initial public offering so it can end its dependence on the government and pay off $43.3 billion in bailout funds that were converted into a majority stake in the company. [The GM finance arm, previously known as GMAC, now rebranded as ALLY Bank, owes $17 billion in bailout funds for a total of $60 billion owed to U.S. taxpayers – the Federal Governments “official” TARP website reports a total of $57.6 billion owed,with the U.S. government investing a total of US$57.6 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program]

Whitacre said the company plans to file paperwork in the near future for the IPO. But it’s unclear if the recent record of profits – $2.2 billion for the first half of 2010 – is enough to convince investors. GM lost $88 billion in the five years before it filed for bankruptcy protection last June. [GM lost far more than $88 billion – GM wrote off 100’s of billions in debt in Bankruptcy – at present GM has $40 billion in unfunded pension and medical liabilities] 

GM’s second-quarter revenue totaled $33.2 billion, up 5.3 percent from the first quarter on growing sales in every region except Europe. In the U.S., GM saw strong sales of new and redesigned models like the Chevrolet Equinox wagon and Buick LaCrosse sedan.

GM said it earned $2.55 per share for the quarter. [Per share of what? GM has no stock – this article is about the upcoming IPO – Initial Public Offering – remember – projecting per share value when there are no outstandng shares – the writer should be fired]  GM didn’t report second-quarter results last year because it spent part of the quarter in bankruptcy protection, but on Thursday, GM said it lost $12.9 billion in the second quarter of 2009, or $21.12 per share.

So far, GM’s results are a reversal of fortune from 2009, when it lost $4.3 billion from July 10, the day it exited bankruptcy court, through Dec. 31. Before the first-quarter results, GM hadn’t reported a profit since the second quarter of 2007.

GM said it ended the quarter with $32.5 billion in cash, down from $36 billion in the first quarter.

Read the full article here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700056092/GM-posts-133-billion-profit-a-sign-of-strength.html

McAuleys World Commments:

I’ve never read more blatant BS in my life… GM’s entire “alleged” profit came from its increased sales in Communist China… GM sold 1.8 million cars in 2009 in Red China compared to 1.9 million cars in the US. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/04/gm-china-sales-up-67-perc_n_410252.html  GM’s sales increase in Red China was nearly an 70% increase. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-02/gm-s-first-half-china-sales-surge-past-the-u-s-.html

GM hasn’t brought its overdue payments to the UAW Health and Welfare Fund current since bankruptcy … (The UAW Welfare Fund owns 12% of GM)… GM has not kept current with it’s obligations to fund its retiree pensions either – GM’s underfunded pension and medical payments have grown from $20 billion to $40 billion since bankruptcy …. a $20 billion dollar increase in just over 1 year … despite the rapid growth in Red China.

Meanwhile GM is moving operations out of the US.  This from July, 19, 2010, “Reflecting China’s importance to GM, the company has relocated its international headquarters to Shanghai, where it has a joint venture with Chinese automaker SAIC.”  http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100719/bs_afp/chinausautoresearchgm . http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/motoring/21874-change-china-and-chevrolet

Meanwhile GM also announced the building of a 3rd “Advance Research Facility” in Communist China at an expense of $250 million dollars … this 3rd research facility in Red China will open in 2011. GM has moved Advanced RD to China also. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/gm-moves-advanced-rd-to-china/

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100719/bs_afp/chinausautoresearchgm

The first “Research Facility” was built at a cost of 2.5 billion dollars and resulted in the transfer of at least 2500 high paying RD jobs to Red China. (September 16, 2008 – GM Working on Chinese Tech Center). You remember September 2008 – two months later GM was in Washington with their hand out getting the $60 billion dollar bailout – the first $2.5 billion of the bailout went to build the Red China Tech Center. http://www.chinacartimes.com/2008/09/16/gm-working-on-chinese-tech-center/

While GM received $60 billion from American taxpayers – GM has invested $30 billion in its Red China operations. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-06/08/content_337473.htm , http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/299829/uaw_furious_over_new_gm_plant_in_china.html , http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2008/103668.htm ,

The Government of Communist China has also announced a joint venture with GM to build and sell cars in India. (July 2010) – GM’s initial cost $1 billion… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/04/gm-china-sales-up-67-perc_n_410252.html , I reference this cite below.

GM is projecting that it will manufacture and sell more cars in Red China (over 2 million) than it will manufacture and sell in the US in 2010. http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/07/gm-china-sales-surpass-u-s-for-first-time/

UPDATE: Yesterday I posted a comment on the net and stated that GM is a failed business model and that “fudging” the US numbers can’t hide that fact. In the post I mistakenly credited GM with having 70,000 American employees and 180,000 American retirees to support with the 70,000 active employees. As it turns out, GM doesn’t have 70K US employees – not 60K, not 50K, GM now employs approximately 48,000 US employees and must support 180,000 retirees on the production of 48,000 US workers. 3.75 US retirees for every active US worker…

GM hasn’t paid a penny of its bailout debt back yet…

However, in January 2010, GM borrowed an additional $13.5 billion to build 3 new assembly plants in Thailand … http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/166905/thai-gm-signs-b13-5bn-loan-deal 

The Obama Administration has “run” GM for 2 years now and under the Obama Administration GM’s investment and the transfer of assets and production capabilities to Red China has escalated …

The UAW membership had better wake up and smell the coffee – the Membership needs new leadership – NOW!

See this article by liberal Clinton Administration Advisor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, where he claims that GM now employs 52,000 American Workers and 39,000 in Red China. (My sources indicate 48,000 in the US and  46,000 in China – which means the Chinese would be “more productive” than their Americans counterparts as they are making more vehilces with fewer workers – if the American work force is more productive than the Chinese then GM must be employing more workers in China as they manufacture and sell more vehicles in Red China than in the US.  If Reich’s numbers are correct, GM’s Chinese workers are making 30% more autos with a 25% smaller work force. For those who are interested, GM employed, roughly 470,000 U.S. workers in 1970. http://www.laprogressive.com/economic-equality/decoupling-corporate-profits/ 

Reich specifically addressed the bogus claim frequently made by the “deniers” that US Taxpayer money was being spent on Chinese expansion when he noted the following, “You and I and other American taxpayers still own over 60 percent of GM. We bought GM to save GM jobs, remember? GM officials say no American taxpayer money is being used to expand in China. But money is fungible. Because of our generosity, GM can now use the dollars it doesn’t have to spend in the United States meeting its American payrolls and repaying its creditors, for new investments in China.” Reich went on to note, “So with all this money and profit, they’ll start hiring again, right? Wrong … First, lots of their profits are coming from their overseas operations. So that’s where they’re investing and expanding production…” http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/31/INV91EKOIV.DTL#ixzz0wQeWBPHP

“First-quarter global vehicle sales rose 23 percent to nearly 2 million units, led by China where sales doubled. U.S. sales were up 17 percent from a year earlier.” http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64G3LA20100517
Remember when Ed Whitacre said this on January 11, 2010, “GM CEO says taxpayers will profit, as China becomes world’s largest auto market”. Specifically Whitacre said, “GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre made a bold statement today, telling reporters at the Detroit auto show that he expected American taxpayers to profit from the $6.7 billion emergency Treasury loans.” http://business2press.com/2010/01/11/gm-ceo-says-taxpayers-will-profit-china-becomes-worlds-largest-auto-market/
Good ole Ed, never did acknowledge the second and third loans or the full $60 billion dollar debt GM owed to the U.S. Taxpayer. Strange thing though, it the China business was such a good deal for the Taxpayer, why did Ed give up control of GM China to the Communist Chinese Government two months later? He actually paid $985 miilion dollars of U.S. Taxpayer cash to have the Red Chinese take over majority control  of GM’s top money maker… what a negotiator … (until that day GM China was a 50/50 joint venture)    
 
March 08, 2010
“The year of 2009 was very successful for GM in the China market. We forecast further growth in 2010 as we are confident in the Chinese government’s active moves to support the local economy in such a global slowdown,” said Tim Lee, president of Shanghai-based GM International Operations, which directs GM’s operations in all markets outside North America.
He continued: “GM will continue to invest business here, not only bringing more products but also adding capacity for every joint venture.”

In addition to expanding its capacity through adding production shifts and developing its existing assembly lines to meet robust market demand, Lee said that GM was still considering building a new plant in China in the near future to accommodate strong growth in the world’s largest auto market.

“We have enough capacity to build the cars we need to sell this year and we need to continue to look for ways of increasing our capacity. That will mean we will have to add a new plant some time in the near future,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China.

For the first two months of 2010, GM’s sales in China rose 73.6 percent from a year earlier to a record 393,498 units.

In December, GM announced a plan to cede control of its key Chinese joint venture Shanghai GM Corp to local partner SAIC. In return for the move, GM will partner SAIC to push into India and other emerging markets. [Cede control to the Chinese Communist Government – and also pony up $1 billion in cash – GM had to kick in $1 billion into the joint venture in India – I’ve cited an article above in the Huffington Post for confirmation]

According to the plan, SAIC would pay about $85 million for the added 1 percent share, boosting its total stake in Shanghai GM to 51 percent, enabling it to consolidate the venture’s accounts on to its balance sheet. [Note: this is the first time in the history of the world that any Company ceded control of its largest money maker for the purpose of letting someone else do the books – as the US taxpayer owned 61% of GM why did the Obama Administration allow this to happen? GM actually paid the Chinese Communist Government to take over majority control of GM’s top money maker – do the math – GM received $85 million (85,000.000) for the 1%  but had to pony up $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) for the joint venture, a net payout by GM of $915 million dollars (915,000,000)] 

Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act – SEC Claims Immunity From Freedom Of Information Act

So much for transparency.

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

That argument comes despite the President saying that one of the cornerstones of the sweeping new legislation was more transparent financial markets. Indeed, in touting the new law, Obama specifically said it would “increase transparency in financial dealings.”

The SEC cited the new law Tuesday in a FOIA action brought by FOX Business Network. Steven Mintz, founding partner of law firm Mintz & Gold LLC in New York, lamented what he described as “the backroom deal that was cut between Congress and the SEC to keep the  SEC’s failures secret. The only losers here are the American public.”

If  the SEC’s interpretation stands, Mintz, who represents FOX Business Network, predicted “the next time there is a Bernie Madoff failure the American public will not be able to obtain the SEC documents that describe the failure,” referring to the shamed broker whose Ponzi scheme cost investors billions.

“The new provision applies to information obtained through examinations or derived from that information,” said SEC spokesman John Nester. “We are expanding our examination program’s surveillance and risk assessment efforts in order to provide more sophisticated and effective Wall Street oversight. The success of these efforts depends on our ability to obtain documents and other information from brokers, investment advisers and other registrants. The new legislation makes certain that we can obtain documents from registrants for risk assessment and surveillance under similar conditions that already exist by law for our examinations. Because registrants insist on confidential treatment of their documents, this new provision also removes an opportunity for brokers, investment advisers and other registrants to refuse to cooperate with our examination document requests.”

Criticism of the provision has been swift. “It allows the SEC to block the public’s access to virtually all SEC records,” said Gary Aguirre, a former SEC staff attorney-turned-whistleblower who had accused the agency of thwarting an investigation into hedge fund Pequot Asset Management in 2005. “It permits the SEC to promulgate its own rules and regulations regarding the disclosure of records without getting the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which typically applies to all federal agencies.”

Aguirre used FOIA requests in his own lawsuit against the SEC, which the SEC settled this year by paying him $755,000. Aguirre, who was fired in September 2005, argued that supervisors at the SEC stymied an investigation of Pequot – a charge that prompted an investigation by the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees.

The SEC closed the case in 2006, but would re-open it three years later. This year, Pequot and its founder, Arthur Samberg, were forced to pay $28 million to settle insider-trading charges related to shares of Microsoft (MSFT: 26.00 ,-0.16 ,-0.63%). The settlement with Aguirre came shortly later.

“From November 2008 through January 2009, I relied heavily on records obtained from the SEC through FOIA in communications to the FBI, Senate investigators, and the SEC in arguing the SEC had botched its initial investigation of Pequot’s trading in Microsoft securities and thus the SEC should reopen it, which it did,” Aguirre said. “The new legislation closes access to such records, even when the investigation is closed.

“It is hard to imagine how the bill could be more counterproductive,” Aguirre added.

FOX Business Network sued the SEC in March 2009 over its failure to produce documents related to its failed investigations into alleged investment frauds being perpetrated by Madoff and R. Allen Stanford. Following the Madoff and Stanford arrests it, was revealed that the SEC conducted investigations into both men prior to their arrests but failed to uncover their alleged frauds.

FOX Business made its initial request to the SEC in February 2009 seeking any information related to the agency’s response to complaints, tips and inquiries or any potential violations of the securities law or wrongdoing by Stanford.

FOX Business has also filed lawsuits against the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve over their failure to respond to FOIA requests regarding use of the bailout funds and the Fed’s extended loan facilities. In February, the Federal Court in New York sided with FOX Business and ordered the Treasury to comply with its requests.

Last year, the network won a legal victory to force the release of documents related to New York University’s lawsuit against Madoff feeder Ezra Merkin.

FOX Business’ FOIA requests have so far led the SEC to release several important and damaging documents:

•FOX Business used the FOIA to obtain a 2005 survey that the SEC in Fort Worth was sending to Stanford investors. The survey showed that the SEC had suspicions about Stanford several years prior to the collapse of his $7 billion empire.

•FOX Business used the FOIA to obtain copies of emails between Federal Reserve lawyers, AIG and staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in which it was revealed the Fed staffers knew that bailing out AIG would result in bonuses being paid.

Recently, TARP Congressional Oversight Panel chair Elizabeth Warren told FOX Business that the network’s Freedom of Information Act efforts played a “very important part” of the panel’s investigation into AIG.

Warren told the network the government “crossed a line” with the AIG bailout.

“FOX News and the congressional oversight panel has pushed, pushed, pushed, for transparency, give us the documents, let us look at everything. Your Freedom of Information Act suit, which ultimately produced 250,000 pages of documentation, was a very important part of our report. We were able to rely on the documents that you pried out for a significant part of our being able to put this report together,” Warren said.

The SEC first made its intention to block further FOIA requests known on Tuesday. FOX Business was preparing for another round of “skirmishes” with the SEC, according to Mintz, when the agency called and said it intended to use Section 929I of the 2000-page legislation to refuse FBN’s ongoing requests for information.

Mintz said the network will challenge the SEC’s interpretation of the law.

“I believe this is subject to challenge,” he said. “The contours will have to be figured out by a court.”

SEC Financial Regulatory Law H.R. 4173

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/07/28/sec-says-new-finreg-law-exempts-public-disclosure/

McAuleys World Comments: Freedom Of Information requests are administered by the Departnent of Justice … Attorney General Eric Holder strikes agian …

TAKE THE TIME TODAY TO CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU THINK:

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

If you have an extra moment let Senators Scott Brown (R, Mass.), Susan Collins (R, Maine) and Olympis Snow (R, Maine) know how you feel.  

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Studies Derivatives – Is Government Owned AIG Selling CDS?

McAuleys World Comments Bolded Blue

WASHINGTON – The complex instruments at the heart of the financial meltdown, and the way two giant companies were wrapped around them and entwined with each other, are being examined by the special panel investigating the origins of the economic crisis.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is turning its focus to derivatives at two days of hearings starting Wednesday. On the hot seat will be former executives of American International Group Inc., the insurance conglomerate saved from collapse by a $182 billion taxpayer bailout, and current officials of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the finance powerhouse that has been one of Wall Street’s biggest derivatives dealers.

Traded in an opaque global market valued at around $600 trillion, derivatives have caught a big part of the blame for the financial crisis that ignited in late 2008. The value of derivatives hinges on an underlying investment or commodity — such as currency rates, oil futures or interest rates. The derivative is designed to reduce the risk of loss from the underlying asset.

[This is true, but only part of the story. CDS were also bought and sold on a “naked” basis just like the commodities and foreign Governmental debt the CDS “secured”. Individuals who did not own the underlying investment, whether it be “securitized mortgages”, “currency” or “oil”, simply bought CDS, making a “bet” on which way the “investment” would move in price, they made a “bet” by purchasing a CDS without owning the the underlying investment. 100’s of billions of dollars were bet that the U.S. mortgage market would collapse by individuals who never purchased a single “collateralized” “toxic mortgage”, billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to “pay off” these “bets”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_short_selling ] 

After the subprime mortgage bubble burst in 2007, derivatives called credit default swaps, which insured against default of securities tied to the mortgages, collapsed. That brought the downfall of Lehman Brothers and pushed AIG to the brink. New York-based AIG got an initial $85 billion infusion from the government in September 2008.

[AIG eventually received $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer support. There has not been a recent accounting of the total sums paid to AIG.]

Goldman Sachs profited from its bets against the housing market before the crisis, and continued to ring up huge profits after accepting federal bailout money and other government subsidies. The firm’s dealings in another type of derivative, known as collateralized debt obligations, have brought it harsh scrutiny by a Senate panel and in the case of one $2 billion CDO, civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A CDO is a pool of securities, tied to mortgages or other types of debt, that Wall Street firms packaged and sold to investors at the height of the housing boom. Buyers of CDOs, mostly banks, pension funds and other big investors, made money off the investments if the underlying debt was paid off. But as U.S. homeowners started falling behind on their mortgages and defaulted in droves in 2007, CDO buyers lost billions.

In early June, the congressionally chartered crisis inquiry panel issued a subpoena for documents from Goldman Sachs, accusing the firm of stonewalling its investigation. Goldman said it had cooperated.

The panel is looking at the relationship between the two financial giants.

“They had very substantial dealings with each other,” commission chairman Phil Angelides said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Much of the federal rescue money for AIG went to meet the company’s obligations to its Wall Street trading partners on credit default swaps. The biggest beneficiary of the AIG money was Goldman, which received $12.9 billion.

Among the executives expected to testify: two former CEOs of AIG, Joseph Cassano and Martin Sullivan; and Gary Cohn, Goldman’s president and chief operating officer.

When AIG posted a loss for the fourth quarter of 2007, it pinned the blame on an $11 billion writedown related to the credit default

Goldman Sachs Center

swaps held by its Financial Products unit. If AIG couldn’t make good on its promise to pay off the contracts, regulators feared the consequences would pose a threat to the whole U.S. financial system.

Cassano left AIG in 2008, shortly after the $11 billion loss was reported.

He was interviewed by the inquiry panel staff for five hours.

“He was at the center of this,” Angelides said Tuesday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100630/ap_on_bi_ge/us_meltdown_investigation

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geitner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars

Neil Borofsky

 supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

Tim Geithner

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Read the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

[Is Goldman Sachs betting that Greece will default on its debt? Is AIG taking the bet? Will the U.S. Taxpayer be the one to “payoff” on the bet? Is the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission even asking these questions? Another “Act” in Washington’s ongoing political theatre. Washington exercising “hindsight”, looking in the rearview mirror and “rehashing” the last crisis over and over, not exercising “oversight” by watching out for and preventing the next crisis before it happens.]

Greek Bailout Failing! Is AIG Selling Credit Default Swaps To Greece? Will American Taxpayers Be “On The Hook” Again?

First: The Financial Bailout of Greece is failing.

The bailout is “failing” by this measurement – Greece has been buying Credit Default Swaps or CDS to “insure” its national debt. The cost for Greece to purchase the “insurance” or CDS is skyrocketing ……..

THE RETURN OF THE CDS – WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED

Remember, Credit Default Swaps or CDS, were one of the culprits behind the “toxic mortgage scam” that brought down the US economy.

At the behest of their Democratic political masters Fannie and Freddie “provided” mortgages to millions who could not pay. Then Fannie and Freddie sold the “toxic mortgages” as investment securities with the help of the likes of Goldman Sachs. Finally, AIG “insured” the “securities” by selling Credit Default Swaps to back up the worthless mortgages and put the US taxpayer on the hook for paying off the “toxic debt”. While most of the parties made billions – the US taxpayer got stuck with bill. 

Fannie & Freddie Toxic Mortgages Toxic Mortgage Securities 

Credit Default Swaps  Collapse  Bailout

Fast Forward To Greece

Is AIG creating a Greek Debt Bubble – just like the “housing bubble” AIG helped create?

Greece, which is broke, obtained an international “bailout”. More on that “bailout” below.

Greece is purchasing Credit Default Swaps (CDS) to insure its national debt.

If the ‘Greek Bailout” was working – the cost to buy the “insurance” that the CDS provides should be going down …. it is not …. the cost to insure the Greek debt is skyrocketing ….. http://www.businessinsider.com/europe-bailout-fail-2010-5

“Credit-default swaps pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, and prices decline as perceptions of creditworthiness improve. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

“Soberness is returning quicker than most market participants had expected as investors start to evaluate the long-term consequences of the bailout measures,” Stefan Kolek, a credit strategist at UniCredit SpA in Munich, wrote in a client note. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

Credit swaps on Greece dropped 44 basis points to 541, after tumbling 329.5 basis points yesterday, the biggest decline since March 2005, according to CMA. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/bank-swaps-libor-show-doubts-on-europe-bailout-credit-markets.html

“Thus markets aren’t quite buying the latest bailout, since they price-in a higher chance of default than just a month ago. Moody’s isn’t buying the bailout either. Which is odd, because theoretically Greece has been just provided a life-line that should at the very least allow it to meet its current outstanding debt obligations. It’s as if markets don’t believe the European bailout fund will actually happen to the full extent as it’s described to.” http://www.businessinsider.com/europe-bailout-fail-2010-5#ixzz0oCde77uo

A Greek Credit Default: AIG – CDS & US Taxpayer Liability

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Posted on May 13, 2010 by mcauleysworld | Edit

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost of the Greek bailout to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner.  http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geithner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Revisit the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

AIG & The Bailout Of Greece – The Return of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Are US Taxpayers “On The Hook” Again?

Please, tell me it isn’t so!

First, in case you missed it, the country of Greece is dead butt broke ….. flat busted.  The BBC has announced that Greece will receive an initial bailout of $146 billion US dollars from various parties, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm , while the Euro Zone sets up a $1 trillion US dollar bailout fund. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/germany-okays-trillion-dollar-euro-zone-bailout-plan/94028/on , http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol .

Reminds me of AIG – really – an intial bailout – with a huge amount of “follow-on” cash a few weeks later. 

The initial cost to US Taxpayers is being estimated at something between $56 billion and $170 billion dollars. The estimates are based on the fact that the IMF or International Monetary Fund, will contribute $284 billion to start and may commit up to $1 trillion dollars. http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/10/markets/dollar/?eref=aol

At present the United States Taxpayer provides $54 billion annually in IMF funds. http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/11-18-03.pdf  The US pays, at a minimum, 17% of the IMF’s debts. 17% of $1 trillion is $170 billion.

Wait, this isn’t the worst of it.

The American Taxpayer maybe assuming the entire national debt of Greece.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I hope to heck it is crazy and not true. America simply can’t afford it!

AIG and the Greek Bailout

Enter AIG, the former international insurance giant currently owned by the American Taxpayer, thanks to the US Government and the US Government’s bailout programs.

AIG, American Internation Group, the international insurance giant was ”nationalized” in September 2008 and given an initial infusion of $85 billion in taxpayer cash. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122156561931242905.html

Additional taxpayer cash was provided to AIG and at present the total amount “fronted to AIG” is at least $135 billion taxpapaer dollars.                                                         http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really707  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

The amount “fronted” to AIG may be in excess of $180 million, it is hard to tell because the US taxpayer has not had a recent accounting of how much additional cash has been funnelled to AIG. http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/how-big-is-aigs-bailout-really-707

AIG used much of the money to pay off French & German banks who had invested in “toxic mortgage securities” or related securities sold by AIG called “Credit Default Swaps” or CDS. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

In the initial payoff, French and German banks received $36 billion in US taxpayer funds, paid through AIG by the Obama Administration. The payout to the French and German banks took place in March 2009 during the first 3 months of the Obama Administration under the direction of Obama Treasury Secretary Geithner.  http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html 

Almost $60 billion dollars of the initial US Taxpayer payout to AIG went to foreign banks. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

You might remember that Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion financial bailout, reported to Congress that the Obama Administration had mismanaged the intial payouts, resulting in billions more than necessary being paid out to foreign and US banks and brokerages. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm

The whole issue of paying out US Taxpayer dollars in satisfaction of AIG’s debt was so “mucked up” that current Treasury Secretary Geithner first refused to disclose who got what and when, in the deals. Inspector General Barofsky faulted Secretary Geitner and the Federal Reserve for refusing at first to reveal which banks had received the billions of American taxpayer dollars supposedly intended to save AIG. Geithner and the Fed released the banks’ names and the amount of their payoffs only after the American Public demanded greater transparency and the US Congress responded to that demand.   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/17/content_8984419.htm                  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithner-paulson-defend-182-bln-aig-bailout-2010-01-27

Is AIG at it again?

The international press has reported on how President Obama is pushing for a bailout of Greece’s new Socialist Government. http://www.businessinsider.com/now-obama-is-making-emergency-calls-to-merkel-over-greek-aid-2010-4

For years the Socialists in Greece’s Government have fudged the numbers concerning the Greek National Debt. “To keep within the monetary guidelines of the European Union, the government of Greece has been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported, in other words falsified, the country’s official economic statistics.[17][18] In the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees (CDS fees or “premiums”)  arranging transactions that hid the actual level of Greek borrowing.[19] The purpose of these deals …. was to enable them to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.[20]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_European_sovereign_debt_crisis

“Speculation in the CDS market began after 4 October 2009, as the Greek Socialists celebrated their election victory. Two weeks later the newly-elected government informed its Euro-partners that the deficit for 2009 was going to lie at 12.7 percent of economic performance (GDP).”  “The new estimate for the budget deficit called onto the stage the first hedge funds, reports a London CDS-dealer working for a large American bank.http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Speculation in the CDS market? 

Now the Eurpoean Press is reporting that AIG is selling CDS or Credit Default Swaps once again. Only this time, AIG is “insuring” Greece’s debt with the instruments not “toxic mortgage securities”.

In any case, the CDS-wager has gone up because more and more true-believers in the Greek State have come to feel the need to insure their holdings. This rapidly-rising demand for insurance has been set off by the escalation of the debt crisis. But it is past Greek governments that have to answer in the first place for the exhausted budget situation. The higher demand for insolvency protection that has driven up the CDS price follows from the evidently poorer estimation of Greek credit-worthiness.”

Greek banks as insurers
On the other hand, whoever expected Greece’s rescue by Europartner countries would have had to position himself on the CDS market as an insurer, that is, as a seller of payment protection. The take in premiums from insurance protection sold provides increased revenue. But it’s on the seller-side that the weak points of the CDS market become evident. It’s still unclear who has sold insurance protection for Greece. In one study analysts from the major French bank BNP Paribas referred to market-rumors that Greek banks had insured a large sum by CDS. If this is correct, then the payment protection they have provided is worth nothing. Greek banks hold State debt of over 40 billion euros. This corresponds roughly to the entire amount of equity in the Greek credit market. A bankruptcy of the State would lead to a collapse of the banking system.”

“London investment bankers name AIG as a further CDS-seller. That company had to be nationalized during the financial crisis due to its having written insolvency insurance on American mortgages. This debt-load would have led to the collapse of the world’s biggest insurer. Prior to the financial crisis AIG is said to have widely held State credit-risk. If yet-larger insurance positions on Greece exist, then the American government would have a strong interest in preventing that country’s insolvency.”
http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/

Read the full article in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, the German equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. The original article, in German, can be read here: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub645F7F43865344D198A672E313F3D2C3/Doc~EC22CF3FE26F8487A9B4E8E99B0DA384E~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

The english translation here: http://www.eurosavant.com/2010/02/21/cds-just-another-evanescent-bubble/ 

What might this mean to the US taxpayer? Well that will depend on several things.

First, Greece’s total National Debt is a bit of a mystery. The Politicans in Greece have been fudging the numbers for so long, that it is hard to accurately estimate the total debt and without knowing the total debt, it is nearly impossible to estimate how much may have been “insured” by purchasing CDS and how much of the CDS business may have passed through AIG. 

Surprisingly similar to the “financial collapse” isn’t it? 

A Greek Debt bubble, insured through AIG with CDS.

What is clear is this, if AIG is selling CDS to “insure” the Greek National Debt, the American people have not been told exactly why this is being done, nor have we been told how much we are on the hook for and who is making a buck off the deal. Two of the “usual suspects” are on the sceen, AIG & Goldman Sachs, two large and powerful players in the international financial scene and Democratic to their cores.   You can bet on one thing, the average Jack or Jill Taxpayer isn’t going to make a dime on these dealings.    

Meanwhile the Greeks Socialists and Anarchists are rioting in the streets over proposed and desperately needed budget cuts and the US is agreeing to bailout Greek workers while US workers run out of unemployment benefits.

Contact Your Congressperson today and insist that they investigate these reports. The US Taxpayer should not be “on the hook” for the Socialist Greek Government’s mismanagement of the Greek economy. Lets put our house in order before we try to prop up foreign Socialists Governments and their failed welfare states. 

Lets practice saying “NO” to California by saying “NO” to Greece first!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Read the March 2009 post on AIG’s collapse here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-story-behind-aigs-collapse-bad-mortgages-credit-default-swaps-accounting-irregularities/

New York Times: U.S. Racing Toward Debt ‘Shock’

Monday, November 23, 2009 1:51 PM

A page one, top-of-the-fold New York Times report Monday warns that U.S. debt is rising so fast that the federal government is careening toward a “payment shock” in the not-too-distant future.

The Times lead headline read: “Federal Government Faces Balloon in Debt Payments: At $700 Billion a Year, Cost Will Top Budgets for 2 Wars, Education, Energy.”

The Times headline appears eerie just as the Senate moves to push forward on a radical healthcare reform — with CBO estimates for a final bill costing nearly $1 trillion dollars over the next year.

The national debt now stands at over $12 trillion and the White House estimates that the cost of servicing the debt will rise to more than $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year. The Times suggests that $700 billion annual payment cost may be conservative.

The additional $500 billion a year in interest payments would surpass the combined budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times observes.

Treasury officials face not only huge new debts incurred in response to the economic meltdown but a balloon of short-term borrowings coming due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are certain to return to normal levels when the Federal Reserve concludes that the fiscal emergency has passed.

“Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages,” The Times reported on Monday.

http://moneynews.newsmax.com/headlines/nyt_us_debt_shock/2009/11/23/289782.html?s=al&promo_code=91C9-1

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