Bernanke, Paulson Lies

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Par for the course. Reflate those popped tires and keep driving towards that vast chasm in the distance.

Who trusts anyone right now?

From Austrian Filter via Zero Hedge:

February 28, 2007 – Dow Jones @ 12,268

March 13th, 2007 – Henry Paulson: “the fallout in subprime mortgages is “going to be painful to some lenders, but it is largely contained.”

March 28th, 2007 – Ben Bernanke: “At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained,”

March 30, 2007 – Dow Jones @ 12,354

April 20th, 2007 – Paulson: “I don’t see (subprime mortgage market troubles) imposing a serious problem. I think it’s going to be largely contained.” , “All the signs I look at” show “the housing market is at or near the bottom,”

April 30, 2007 – Dow Jones @ 13,063

May 17th, 2007 – Bernanke: “While rising delinquencies and foreclosures will continue to weigh heavily on the housing market this year, it will not cripple the U.S.”

May 31, 2007 – Dow Jones @ 13,627

June 20th, 2007 – Bernanke: (the subprime fallout) “will not affect the economy overall.”

July 12th, 2007 – Paulson: “This is far and away the strongest global economy I’ve seen in my business lifetime.”

August 1st, 2007 – Paulson: “I see the underlying economy as being very healthy,”

October 15th, 2007 – Bernanke: “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”

December 31, 2007 – Dow Jones @ 13,265

January 31, 2008 – Dow Jones @ 12,650

February 14th, 2008 – Paulson: (the economy) “is fundamentally strong, diverse and resilient.”

February 28th, 2008 – Paulson: “I’m seeing a series of ideas suggested involving major government intervention in the housing market, and these things are usually presented or sold as a way of helping homeowners stay in their homes. Then when you look at them more carefully what they really amount to is a bailout for financial institutions or Wall Street.”

February 29th, 2008 – Bernanke: “I expect there will be some failures. I don’t anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system.”

March 16th, 2008 – Paulson: “We’ve got strong financial institutions . . . Our markets are the envy of the world. They’re resilient, they’re…innovative, they’re flexible. I think we move very quickly to address situations in this country, and, as I said, our financial institutions are strong.”

March 18th, 2008 – Bear Stearns Bailout Announced

May 7, 2008 – Paulson: ‘The worst is likely to be behind us,”

May 16th, 2008 – Paulson: “In my judgment, we are closer to the end of the market turmoil than the beginning,” he said.

May 30, 2008 – Dow Jones @ 12,638

June 9th, 2008 – Bernanke: Despite a recent spike in the nation’s unemployment rate, the danger that the economy has fallen into a “substantial downturn” appears to have waned,

July 16th, 2008 – Bernanke: (Freddie and Fannie) “…will make it through the storm”, “… in no danger of failing.”,”…adequately capitalized”

July 20th, 2008 – Paulson: “it’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”

July 31, 2008 – Dow Jones @ 11,378

August 10th, 2008 – Paulson: “We have no plans to insert money into either of those two institutions.” (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)

September 8th, 2008 – Fannie and Freddie nationalized. The taxpayer is on the hook for an estimated 1 – 1.5 trillion dollars. Over 5 trillion is added to the nation’s balance sheet.

September 16th, 2008 – $85 Billion AIG Bailout “Loan”

September 19th, 2008 – $700 Billion Bailout Plan Announced

September 19th, 2008 – Paulson: “We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars – this needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get at the heart of the problem,” he said. “This is the way we stabilize the system.”

September 19th, 2008 – Bernanke: “most severe financial crisis” in the post-World War II era. Investment banks are seeing “tremendous runs on their cash,” Bernanke said. “Without action, they will fail soon.”

September 21st, 2008 – Paulson: “The credit markets are still very fragile right now and frozen”, “We need to deal with this and deal with it quickly.”, “The financial security of all Americans … depends on our ability to restore our financial institutions to a sound footing.”

September 23rd, 2008 – Paulson: “We must [enact a program quickly] in order to avoid a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets that threaten American families’ financial well-being, the viability of businesses, both small and large, and the very health of our economy,”

September 23rd, 2008 – Bernanke: “My interest is solely for the strength and recovery of the U.S. economy,”

October 31, 2008 – Dow Jones @ 9,337

March 31, 2009 – Dow Jones @ 7,609From

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New York City Real Estate to Fall Another 35%

Friday, May 15, 2009

At minimum, according the Deutsche Bank (courtesy of Clusterstock). Goldman Sachs has them falling another 58%.

And this with prices already down 20-25% (though DB has them down only 8% as of Q4 ’08).


Big Surprise: Citi and BoA Fail Stress Test

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the Wall Street Journal.

Ken Lewis on life support. Pandit, too (though it really wasn’t his fault).

The real problem here is one, to repeat an oft used explanation, of confidence. No one believes the banks or the government. Any reasonably informed person sees what Geithner and Bernanke are doing and breaks out in a cold sweat. Borrowing and printing money to reinflate a bubble (our economy) is either genius or suicide. To me, it is most assuredly the latter.

We are in for years of topsy-turvy hard times with the outcome far from assured. Forget ripping the band-aid off quickly, they’re wrapping it up in bandages made of dollars. It’s going to hurt a lot more when it finally comes off.


Prime Mortgage Delinquencies Rising

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This is what happens when people start losing their jobs. [Fannie and Freddie via Calculated Risk]

The tables show that the number of prime 60 days+ delinquent rose to 743,686 in January, from 497,131 in December. This is an increase from 1.93% in December to 2.89% in January.


Don’t Buy Real Estate Yet

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

P.F. – Don’t read this post.

This piece, by David Leonhardt, is a must read for renters (or anyone considering buying):

Still, when I wrote about that decision last spring, I argued that anyone who didn’t have to probably should not buy yet. Prices still had a way to fall.

They don’t have as far to fall today, but the great real estate crash is not over, either. So if you are part of the 30 percent of American households who rent and you’re trying to decide when to buy, relax.

The market is still coming your way.

Particularly in New York. Revealing charts accompany the article demonstrating that prices relative to income are still historically very high. Wait for reversion to mean.


Freddie Mac CFO Commits Suicide

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

His name was David Kellermann. Obviously, terrible.

And then, it makes you wonder… Just how much trouble are we in?

Better not to jump to conclusions.


Sunday Notes and Marginalia

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Housing near bottom? Fannie thinks so. Calculated Risk? Not so much. I agree. (Fred Barnes?) [Calculated Risk]

Should Madoffs victims be means tested before getting IRS refunds? Well, let’s put it this way, should Steven Spielberg get a real payout on fictitious profits? I didn’t think so. By all means, give back whatever tax was paid on the fake gains – but please – the compensation / victimization culture is sickening. Why 9/11 and Madoff and not, say, Oklahoma City and Lehman shareholders? It’s insanity. You put your money in the market and you put it at risk. You trust someone without due diligence, you put your money at risk. [Clusterstock]

Larry Summers on Meet the Press:

But cautions that we’ve got a long way to go, that there are still substantial risks, that there are downside contingencies that we’ve got to prepare for, that there are issues in the global economy, that there are issues in commercial real estate, that’s right.

On my mind today:

  • Will the market come back to reality this week? Will the next steep drop begin tmw? It is certainly coming soon.
  • Is this crisis the end of the American dominance? Trite question now, of course, but feeling very real to me today. That would make the Clinton 90s the apotheosis of American Empire. And Bush (9/11) the catalysis that broke our upward trajectory.