Jukin' The Stats.

My all time favorite TV series is "The Wire", which ran for 5 years on HBO. Throughout the series, the common thread was the affinity, by the police, the mayor, city politicians and even the drug lords, to "juke the stats". In other words, "tell them what they want to hear", and move on.

In this vein, I've been all over the econoblogosphere today and I'm surprised that this excellent article from Yves Smith hasn't gotten more attention.

Many of us here at EP, and elsewhere, have questioned the veracity of new data eminating from the Census Bureau, the BLS (a.k.a. Bureau of Lying Statistics) and other gov't agencies. In particular, any new reports pertaining to housing, unemployment levels and CPI must be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism.

Its time to kill off the zombies before they engulf us all.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank of America has been deemed to need an additional $34 billion in capital, according to the results of a government stress test, a source familiar with the results said on Tuesday.

A Bank of America spokesman declined comment.

The amount is far higher than published reports had speculated the largest bank might need. It is certain to increase the pressure on Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, whom shareholders ousted as chairman last week.

BofA to need $34 billion in capital: source | Reuters

Friday Movie Night - Banking With Hitler

 It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!

I'm in a fairly foul mood about what is going on with Obama policy despite so many shouting from the roof tops this is not what they voted for...

So, I thought a stroll down history lane on how while WWII raged on U.S. and British banks were doing business with Hitler was in order to set the tone.

A Populist Plan for Reforming the Banking System

On another blog I responded to a challenge to describe an alternative to the approach Obama has chosen with Larry Summers and William Geithner. What I said there (with a little modification and expansion) is worth repeating here:

1. (After firing Summers and Geithner,) I would appoint Kansas City Fed Chief Tom Hoenig, who said that the "too big to fail" doctrine was a failure, as Chief Economic Advisor; and UMB President William Koenig, whose bank was well managed, avoided toxic debt instruments, and turned down Tarp money, as Secretary of the Treasury.

2. I would charge them to implement an FDIC/RTC style receivership plan immediately, to rid the banking system of toxic assets.

An "immoral" or possibly unconstitutional proposal of sorts

Yesterday I read about how the folks at AIG will be getting their bonuses. Like many of you, this infuriated me to no end. Once more, failed business people gaining reward for their bad decisions. The shareholder has lost most of the value in the equity in the company. The taxpayer (and also now a shareholder) has actually gotten two punches in the gut, including diminishing share value they've also had to put up billions of dollars. Frankly enough is enough.

Enough of Everything but Dollars - The Money Party at Work

Enough of Everything but Dollars

The Money Party at Work

Michael Collins

The government bailout of failed financial institutions locks you into years of debt payments in behalf of the large private banks, debts that you did not create.

By all appearances, it also locks the country into years of a weak economy.  That means unemployment, underemployment, and more suffering for those willing to work, but left out of the job market.  It means lowered opportunities for those who do work and troubles for dependants and indigents.  Vital national priorities including affordable health care and the massive effort required to save everyone form calamitous environmental catastrophes are now on hold or under funded.

What is Nationalization and why is Everyone Afraid of It?

What's in a word? Doesn't a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

But the boogie man du jour is nationalization.

What do they mean exactly? The definition of nationalization is:

Takeover of privately owned corporations, industries, and resources by a government with or without compensation.

Ok, so what's the difference between this and the fact the U.S. taxpayer has given the financial sector $800 billion dollars?

There is little difference says George Will.

The issue is what the U.S. taxpayer gets in return.


Weekly Audit: Geithner's Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Bailout

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium MediaWire Blogger

In this week's Audit, we're examining Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's thoroughly uninspiring bank bailout plan, which fails on almost every level. What's more, some of the most insightful (and stinging) critiques of the proposal are coming from progressive media.