Now It’s Official: Public Private Partnership to Overpay for Toxic Bank Assets

We have been saying from the first time the idea that Team Obama floated the idea of having a “public private partnership” buy toxic bank assets, that it was merely a very costly way to disguise overpayment. Henry Paulson tried twice to find a way to hoover up bad bank assets, the first time via the MLEC, the second via the initial conception of the TARP. Both times he was unable to solve the basic conundrum: the banks were holding the assets on their books at above market prices, and would not be willing to sell them for less (that would result in them showing losses, which is precisely what they want to avoid). And under the TARP, Paulson had contended the purchases might result in the government showing a profit; that would almost certainly be rubbish, given that the banks would have the incentive to dump their most overvalued assets on Uncle Sam.

Our suspicions have finally been confirmed. From Andy Lees at UBS (hat tip reader Scott, boldface his):

The U.S. will give further details of the Geither public/private partnership plan to take bad assets off banks books, later this week a senior department official has said. The official said that the Treasury wants to put out enough information in the coming week so that the potential participants can better judge the proposal. It will also detail the timeframe in which it will become operational. So far the plan is expected to leverage both public and private capital to buy assets using government financing. The initial funding would be from what remains of the USD700bn financial rescue fund, but a “placeholder” provision in President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget plan signals a possible request of around USD750bn in new funds. Neel Kashkari, the Treasury’s interim administrator for the USD700bn rescue fund told law makers last week that private investors are ready to invest in distressed mortgage assets if they can get financing. With no private financing available, they could only pay prices that are too low for banks to be willing to pay. The bad asset plan is expected to be structured along similar lines to the TALF, which is scheduled to launch this week, although the TALF will be restricted to funds investing in highly rated asset-backed securities.

Lees said by e-mail that:reports suggested that the deal would have two subsidies: first to the investors to let the pay more for the assets that their current market prices, second, further capital contributions to the banks to allow them to take a haircut on their marks. That would allow for a deal to be done at prices somewhere between the banks’ inflated marks and the current market prices.

This is what readers ought to be upset about. The AIG bonuses are rounding error, and an done deal. This is billions to avoid price discovery, which is what it needed to assess the magnitude of the problem, attract private capital, and do triage on sick financial firms. This is simply a Japan solution with a lot of moving parts to disguise the essence of the undertaking.

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53 comments

  1. Anonymous

    If the taxpayers are going to be reamed, at least, they can name it “Pubic-Private Partnership”,

  2. AP

    The Obama/Geither circus knows exactly what was going on when they were running for (s)election, They wouldn’t be there if these people hadn’t funded their election campaigns anyway. I would say at this point our corrupt plutocrats’ actions are thinly veiled in the eyes of anyone who is actually watching.

    Luckily for them Americans by and large are too drugged up to get mad about it. Now where’s my medication?

  3. Anonymous

    Yves,

    The problem with price discovery is that it needs to include the associated derivative implications. If we haven’t stopped allowing more derivative creation then this is a moving target that is not documented anywhere publicly. Is this a functional design of our economy going forward?

    A grownup needs to say that the derivative market is bad public policy and anti-humanistic behavior.

    The BS coming out of these folks that they have to stand behind the rule of law for the retention bonuses but not behind the rule of law around their mere legal existence is beyond the pale. Do they know how criminal they sound talking like that?

    oooggaaaa boooggaaaa…the world will end if you don’t give us all your money.

    psychohistorian

  4. Anonymous

    Given these details why isn’t everey fund lining up to participate? What is the downside here? I mean this is just sad – these same funds and people got us into this mess with securitization of securitizations and now they get to profit, I mean participate in “fixing” the problem. The fix really is in.

    Seriously, if you participate in this how could you lose money? does anyone know?

  5. Luke Lea

    Instead of “toxic” shouldn’t these assets be described as “unpriceable”? At least for now. Why can’t the public bid on them now, since apparently a lot of these mortgage backed securities will be worth something in the future? I’d like to buy a few. At least as I understand it, the problem is short-term, and the need for collateral (AIG) and reserves (CITI), but, hey, I am not an expert.

  6. Anonymous

    This is but one way to inject inflation into the economy…inflation being their only way out…as Bernanke admitted.

    Inflation will come on several fronts. Covering banks past losses with free money is one way. Using Private Equity now will give them time to print.

    A second front is this push for lending…small business, home loans, student loans, consumer credit..whatever, just lend lend lend.

    They know that if the banks have to bear the brunt of future losses too they will only lend to credit worthy borrowers for productive purposes…frankly there isn’t enough of these type of borrowers to support the current banking system. So they will encourage them to continue to lend recklessly with the promise to cover the losses. Even bad loans inject cash/money into the economy and then when the losses to the bank are made whole…you have money injection into the economy…inflation.

    Deflation is much bigger than their inflation efforts…now….

    Average Joe

  7. Don

    TAs can be priced, and are being bought and sold:

    From Free Exchange:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2009/03/the_uncertainty_regime.cfm

    March 9, 2009 19:30

    “The quant claimed some hedge funds are snapping them up as the influx of the securities on the market is bringing prices down even further. Still, bid ask spreads have been as large as 15%.”

    Since November, when the government seemed to abandon the original TARP plan, and the prices of Toxic Assets fell, investors like John Paulson have been buying them. Therefore, the TAs can be priced. The problem was that many people were still asking too much for them.

    “you still can’t put a lower bound on its potential value because the probability of government intervention is high and what government might do can’t be forecasted”

    I’ve been saying that the moment the government gets involved, the prices will rise and liquidity will as well. Magically. That’s why any plan will overpay for TAs. The government should say that we’re not going to buy this crap if they want private investors to clean the mess up.

    The only proposal that I could stomach buying these assets for is Quantitative Easing, as in Nick Rowe’s plan:

    http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2008/12/central-

    Frankly, I’d rather cut the TAs loose and follow Buiter, but even he isn’t backing this any more:

    http://www.nber.org/~wbuiter/helijpe.pdf

    It’s my favorite plan.

    There’s seems to be no end to the debate about TAs being priced, sold, and the govt’s only role in this being to raise/subsidize the price, even though all of this has been obvious since November. We’re living through some kind of Twilight Zone where refuted facts and arguments keep coming back over and over and over and…

    Don the libertarian Democrat

  8. esb

    Obama, who had my vote and substantial financial support (both directly and through fundraising), has begun to function as a con man.

    His outrage over the relative minor issue of bonuses and silence over the major issue of using the Treasury to make CDS counterparties whole is the tell.

    Plutocratic capture has taken place in record time, in little more time than is required for an eye to wink and a head to nod.

  9. Anonymous

    This isn’t Japan — we are not leaving the toxic assets in the bank and dripping in capital to keep the zombie teetering. This is, plain and simple, a fleecing of the taxpayer.

  10. esb

    It seems as though everyone recognizes this con game for what it is.

    Yet, it continues to move ahead.

    A people who willingly participate in a con game (as the marks) after being fully informed regarding its structure are totally deserving of the loss of wealth being intentionally inflicted on them.

  11. Martin, the Netherlands

    Look at it this way: in a few months time all major U.S. Banks will we owned by your government anyway, and it no longer matters what the government is going to pay. No private investor would be willing to pay more than a few percent of the face value (see the ABX indices) so whatever is sold, will be sold to the U.S. government.

  12. Anonymous

    “…so that the potential participants can better judge the proposal.”
    Well, that includes me, doesn’t it? I expect to be consulted through my representatives, whom I am paying handsomely to maintain offices in D.C. while looking out for may interests.

  13. Jason

    The system is rotted to the core.
    The bankers have bought both Republican and Democrat. They are completely corrupted and will not give up the reigns of power until they are removed or the treasury is emptied.

    I fear it is too late. We are only now settling the score. How much of that 10 Trillion the taxpayers lent to the bankers last year will we see?

    People need to be hanged. Seriously. The amount of destruction caused by these criminals is amazing. Justice compels the death penalty.

    I encourage all patriotic Americans to max out any credit available and then default. Get yours while you can. Then hit a banker in the chops as you see him spending his ill-gotten fraudulent bonuses (he’s the 30 year old prick with the nice BMW, etc.).

    Better yet. Mess with their shit. If you know of a bank fraudster (U.S. welfare bitch) in your hood with a nice BMW or something rip that shit up!

  14. Anonymous

    If the government doesn’t lose any money on the transaction how is it fleecing the taxpayer?

  15. Bob Falfa

    esb said…

    Obama, who had my vote and substantial financial support (both directly and through fundraising), has begun to function as a con man.

    You might want to remove that fishhook from your lip.

    Not that the alternatives were all that great.

  16. qafirarnaut

    What??? No postings under the tag ‘doomsday’ scenarios for March? I guess things are going swell, and I shouldnt care if the Treasury overpays for ‘troubled’ assets. It must literally be worth the ‘trouble’.

  17. Anonymous

    to esb – re Obama: – shhhh, don’t distract him, he’s busy polishing up his monologue for Jay Leno tonight. SNL next week?

    I guess Obama knows where his bread is buttered… celebutards.

  18. Anonymous

    esb,

    “Obama, who had my vote and substantial financial support (both directly and through fundraising), has begun to function as a con man.

    His outrage over the relative minor issue of bonuses and silence over the major issue of using the Treasury to make CDS counterparties whole is the tell.”

    Silence would seem to be a specialty of this slick little eel. Silence while the Israeli armed forces decimated Gaza killing hundreds of innocents in January, silence while his choice for head of NIH is savaged by AIPAC and resigned last week, silence while his tax-challenged protege, Geithner, readies the next phase of theivery by the financial interests.

    Barak Obama is nothing more and nothing less than an articulate Stepin Fetchit for the principal campaign contributors that own our government and own it from the ground up. Only an schlemeil would persist in the fantasy that ours is a functioning democracy. The hope is that the financial crisis engenders sufficient anger in the populace to bring an end to this system that is literally at war with us.

  19. Moopheus

    Gosh, it’s probably been more than a week since my last angry ranty email to my Congressman. Guess he’ll be surprised to hear from me again!

  20. Warm, Dry and Well Fed

    Re the recent redefinition of the term “toxic asset”:

    Has anyone commented on Mr. Willem Buiter’s 3/13/09 FT blog post “Good bank vs Bad Bank”? There he follows the recent post-modern pattern and redefines toxic assets as (to use his words) “assets whose fair market value cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy”.

    This “value can’t be determined” language also underpins much of the latest round of U.S. Treasury hocus-pocus and should be resisted.

    The problem is not that the values can’t be determined. The problem is that the market has determined the values and these values make the assets suddenly toxic to the banks’ balance sheets because the market values are so low. We should not accept attempts to redefine the reason for the toxicity from “essentially valueless to the banks” to “hard to value by the banks”, even when done by fine folks like Mr. Buiter.

    Models do not establish value even when the models agree. And when models predict different values for assets this does not in any way disrupt price discovery.

    It’s the old “It’s just a liquidity crunch” argument. But five months into the crisis it is hard to convince anyone it is just a liquidity problem, hence the artful redefinition of the term toxic.

  21. Anonymous

    Yves, it’s all well and good that you continue to post on the myriad ways taxpayers are being robbed; however, what will make it stop? I’d love to see some forward-looking thoughts on how the country can take back control. Otherwise, I feel as though our national energy is simply wasted complaining after-the-fact.

  22. brushes9

    Anger spreads as me-weaker predators are pushed away from the feeding frenzy and the largest of the thick-necked beast feed on “We.” Comment after comment, it is the same thing:

    “But what about me, what about me?!

    I am awash in crocodile tears. But, I know, it hurts when you finally realize that you are the victim…just food for your sick daddy.

    Just wait, the mind bending condescension, the arguments for your own self-loathing are just getting underway outside and will never go away inside. That is why poor people in South America object so strongly to the process called “oppression.”

    Ever hear about that?

    It hurts, like a hot coal in your brain where your power used to be.
    When you focus on you and what you need to do each day, that is when you feel the pain. I tell you, it makes planning and working with you day-timer a real challenge, to put it mildly. Makes you want to run away from yourself any way you can.

    How could this have happened? My self and my desires are now my worst dis-ease.

    Mommy. Mommy!

  23. Juan

    S said…does this mean war is essentially baked in…

    Not ‘baked in’ but ongoing as class war from above. ‘Public-private partnership’ is simply an ideology, and means, to mask and perpetuate/intensify the war…

    So lets go back to the White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead; taking place in Feb 1972, this Conference can be seen as formal recognition that the U.S. had entered what has proved, and was apparently expected to be, a Long Slowing which required reassertion of corporatism:

    Approximately 1,500 key business, labor, university, and government leaders met to consider the issues, challenges, and opportunities confronting the American private enterprise system in the coming two decades and the adaptations to change that will be needed. …

    The conference summary stated that business, labor, and educators are able to influence the direction of things to come and to help build an improved system with government and the private economy as partners.

    (Education Resources Information Center abstract of U.S. Government Printing Office document) [my emphasis]

    Within capitalism, corporatist forms of response are typical to periods of crisis though in the immediate case we see this being applied to the benefit of financial capital, no matter that most of this capital is of fictive character. The possibility of a full blown state capitalism has certainly risen and – lacking citizen response – will, I expect, be realized.

    NB – ‘state capitalism’ and communism are not identities but opponents.

  24. Anonymous

    Alas, that is not all…

    Consider this:

    “FASB Moves Toward Giving Banks More Flexibility on Fair-Value”
    (By Ian Katz March 16, Bloomberg):

    “The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by lawmakers to change the fair-value rule blamed for worsening the financial crisis, proposed permitting companies to use “significant judgment” in valuing assets.
    Companies would be able to apply the revised rule to their first-quarter financial statements, FASB Chairman Robert Herz said today during a meeting at the U.S. accounting rulemaker’s Norwalk, Connecticut, headquarters. The board is set to vote on the proposal April 2, after a 15-day public comment period…”

    And the conclusion of this:

    “Barclays – spinning out of control” (Posted by Paul Murphy on Mar 16 10:13 for FT Alphaville):

    “…To conclude here we’d refer back to what we will now call the Posen Doctrine – the bank crisis action plan recently put in front of congress by the deputy director of the Peterson Institute, Adam Posen.

    This says, in short: sack ‘em. Sack the bank management, sack the regulators and sack the supervisors, because in a banking crisis all these parties are incentivised to lie and spin and obfuscate. Only then will you get the visibility and steeliness to decide which banks are going to survive and which should fail.”

    (Related links:
    Barclays in talks to sell iShares arm – FT
    Is Barclays on the brink of selling BGI? – FT Alphaville
    A Proven Framework to End the US Banking Crisis – Posen paper to Congress)

    This is surely the right time and place to put the cancerous growth of the “financial industry” to the surgeon´s knife, but it is not happening. Enjoy bailing out the next great bubble!

    Chacona

  25. Anonymous

    Anonymous March 16, 2009 5:06 PM

    “I’d love to see some forward-looking thoughts on how the country can take back control.”

    Well, you can forget about parliamentary means, that’s occupied teritory. And if you’re having a hard time disabusing yourself of the usual fantasies in that regard, ask yourself how much the ’06 and ’08 elections have meant respecting the unambiguous termination of an American military presence in the Middle East. How to take back control, you ask. I see nothing more convincing than the tried and true mass street demonstrations and the general strike. What other recourse is it that those living in a dictatorship have beside these?

  26. Anonymous

    Lets save some of this angst and outrage for THE NEXT PONZI SCHEMING CROOK, that tries to imperil a company or the financial system.

    When identified, go briskly to the nearest tree, toss rope, hang vermin.

  27. Mark

    “first to the investors to let the[m] pay more”

    Let them overpay? If you’re going to claim this partnership will ‘overpay’ for these assets, you’re going to have to explain why the private party would overpay. Are you suggesting that it is simply the value of the ‘put’ option back to the FED that is the subsidy here?

  28. Carrick

    Earlier someone commented, that most CDS have are a 4-5 yr contract, and AIG stopped writing them in 2006. Meaning that the contracts (and AIG’s liability) are set to expire in 2010/11, precisely when Bernanke claims things will begin looking up.

    Would someone with more finance/econ knowledge please comment on this?

  29. Anonymous

    first, Yves, thank you for all of your hard work. These efforts really matter. Second, as I read through the comments, it is truly amazing just how in sync everyone is here in being outraged. Where does this end. I know many hedge fund managers who are looking at and will likely participate in the TALF. While I hesitate to say that anyone is “responsible” for the mess, I will say that these investors know a good deal when they see one and the TALF will be “priced to sell”. It’s hardly a disguise and I am not sure why Geithner thinks this is in any way an elegant, efficient or even optically appealing solution. I suppose Geithner has realized now what Paulson realized after the fact – getting the right staffing at Treasury to implement the plan is near impossible. Geithner can’t seem to hire anyone. The hypocrisy all around is amazing. Maxine Waters? Chris Dodd? Nancy Policy? We don’t have much of a chance here.

  30. Bob_in_MA

    How does it help if this is only for AAA rated debt?

    The Fed statement says specifically they will lend against AAA rated debt only.

    But the only way to get AAA rated debt from car loans, student loans, credit card debt, etc., is to divide it into tranches, right? And if you do that, having a buyer for the AAA debt does no good unless there’s a taker for the AA, A, BBB, etc., tranches.

    If all the original loans do in fact need to be AAA, it’s had to see what the purpose is. Someone with sterling credit and income won’t have any trouble borrowing to buy a car without TALF.

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  31. mxq

    Sheila Bair quoted on NPR talking about TA (via bankstocks):

    “Well, I think they [TA’s] will certainly be worth more than the current valuations. I think that is the assumption. And I think that’s true. I mean, at the FDIC we sell troubled bank assets all the time, . . . so we’re pretty familiar with the market right now. So we think that that is absolutely true that the assets are worth more than the current market conditions assign to them. And so that, yes, over time there will be significant profits from these.”

    Not sure if that was a sales pitch or her categorically saying that the fdic is getting better prices than when the institution in receivership went bust (aka mkt prices).

  32. Minh

    It seems to be an attempt to inflate the price of houses, by printing money. As the amount of M0 is doubled in 6 month (to aprox. $1700B), and the price is still heading down, more printing is needed.

    But if the printing is excessive, then when inflation get started, and the price of things, like food and oil, go to the roof, the Fed may not be able to take back the excess money they pumped into the banks to control hyperinflation

    That’s why they need private money to participate into this ‘public-private’ thing, so $400B-$500B of private money is sucked back into the big banks, and thus under control of the Fed.

    Watching these two clips, it’s doubtful that they can get $500B from private investors, unless they give free money to both banks with toxic assets and private investors 30% or more over their fair price.

    If such is the case, the money needed to be printed $600B to suck back $400B for a total of $1T ‘bought’

    Ben S Bernanke in 60 minut outright admitted it’s more like printing than taking tax-payers’ money, and he also promise not to let any big banks to fail, thus implied futher printing if needed, that your private money will worth less if you’re not join this public-private thing. That’s why he’s afraid the most of the lack of will to print of the money-men.

    IMHO, that’s the plan. How convincing is that, we’ll see.

    http://www.stockmarkets.com/video/2009-03-16/video-in-depth-look-public-private-partnership/871492

    http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/1778/872192?title=bloomberg

  33. ENUF

    And who is going to do anything about it?? Academia type discussions of circumstantial content, repercussions and consequences…some on accountability… blah blah blah. Gee, we wrote a nasty blog about it. Wow. I say it’s pitchfork and rope time.

  34. Anonymous

    Ever have dreams of flying?
    Windmill of legs spinning ever faster
    hoping to glide up and away
    one dream hesitates falls, fails
    another trips, slow motion,
    legs unable to catch up, fails

    global economy depends
    on US banks and financial alchemy
    “money creating money” wealth, wealth, confetti,
    ticker tape parade

    like the dream, we can’t now stop
    to hesitate, to stop the
    over-extension is to trip
    so we’ll try to save every bank
    please every banker
    anger each populist
    because we long ago began moving
    too fast
    (and remember climate change waiting in the wings??)
    besides what’s lost wasn’t ours what’s gambled wasn’t real, and what’s doubled down, is made in China

  35. Edwardo

    Someone offered”

    “I’d love to see some forward-looking thoughts on how the country can take back control”

    I faxed and e-mailed many Federal Legislators in September in an effort to halt the “No Banker Left Behind” Bailout. My view now is nothing less than the proverbial pitchforks and torches has a chance of effecting government. Nothing less than a massive unruly march on D.C. will do. Yes, my fellow readers and citizens, IT HAS COME TO THIS!

    REVOLUTION!!!!

  36. Anonymous

    Anything written 2002 would be based on practices as of 2001 or earlier. Lag in info getting public. I understand firm decayed a lot since going public (what, 1998). Brand fumes last a long time. 7 years also a long time ago. Companies can and do change a lot.

  37. Anonymous

    @Anon 11:38, said… Anything written 2002 would be based on practices as of 2001 or earlier.

    …..

    People will say any thing, when a gun is pointed at their head. A change of position akin to religious magnetic realignment would require a a moment of epiphany.
    My senses are now on high alert and will thoroughly investigate this matter, too many asses on the line for this to be summarily dismissed in such a off hand mannerism.
    IE:..> I understand firm decayed a lot since going public (what, 1998). Brand fumes last a long time. 7 years also a long time ago. Companies can and do change a lot.

    ….

    Jargon for who would have "thunk" it possible, and from those that lay clam to truth for the little/common people. With all my heart I hope its unfounded, proved wrong. To continue with good works for all of us.

    Eyeball to eyeball confrontation is a moment in time not to be diminished or…old Persian saying…better to start as combatants and end up friends.

    Grosse Pointe

  38. Anonymous

    Grosse Pointe,

    A guy pretty recently ex GS, there a very long time, says the firm started changing a lot after it went public, quickly too. Also, article said that some firms keep big produces from jeopardizing the franchise, while others are afraid of of offending a big revenue generator, give him too much rope, and he does great damage. GS is notoriously team oriented, avoids that problem, so I don’t see what is wrong with the presentation.

    BTW this is example of cognitive bias, halo effect, wanting to see people/firms as all good or all bad. A firm/individual can be good in one area and flawed elsewhere.

  39. Anonymous

    While we are fighting over who else to reward for their stupidity/recklessness/greed/criminality, something quite substantial seems to be lost. That would be the idea of “too big to fail”.

    Is it too much to ask that we start now in limiting the size to which financial behemoths are allowed to grow so that we do not face the threat of financial Armageddon-style blackmail in the future?

    Why have we allowed two failed institutions, BAC and MER, to pool their collective incompetence into a Superpower of Toxic Possibilities? Why do we entrust 11% of the entire nation’s deposit base to this single institution, rather than force it to downsize so as to spread the systemic risk?

    Until something is done in this regard, more AIG/MER/LEH/C/BAC explosions are in our future, all the more encouraged by the institutionalized moral hazard so painfully on display over the last year.

  40. DanyBoy

    I’ll concur, thanks Yves for all your effort. You are the shining light while most around is darkness.

    RE: Treasury’s excellent TA shopping spree:

    -The fatal flaw is in the top-down approach in trying to prevent asset-price collapse and deflation.

    Treasury, banks and others may buy and play the paper, but the underlying problem is still the same: Americans can’t afford the underlying assets (houses etc) at anywhere close to current “market value” (let alone more) without massive credit expansion over and above all that is currently planned.

    So here’s a scenario: Treasury spends trillions (of borrowed capital from China and taxpayers) to bribe sellers to lower the ask and bribe buyers to raise the bid on TAs. Time goes by waiting for the glorious main street recovery to happen(which I guarantee is baked in the plan) only oooops: only anemic recovery occurs and deflationary forces already at work persist (subject of another post)

    THis likely scenario leaves Treasury screwed figuring out how to get Americans to “feel rich again” and start snapping up McMansions again, with 4 car garages, and plenty of closet space for goodies. Treasury is squeezed for further spending due to China’s unwillingness to lend and domestic political capital depletion.

    We used to talk about a “bottom-up” solution to the crisis months ago on this blog.

  41. Anonymous

    Until something is done in this regard, more AIG/MER/LEH/C/BAC explosions are in our future, all the more encouraged by the institutionalized moral hazard so painfully on display over the last year.

    You learning fast grasshopper.

  42. Anonymous


    March 16, 2009 10:30 PM
    Anonymous lambert strether said…

    Public-private partnership is to partnership as date rape is to rape.

    I prefer:

    public-private partnership:rape::mass-rapes:rape

  43. Anonymous

    Anon12:50 said… BTW this is example of cognitive bias, halo effect, wanting to see people/firms as all good or all bad. A firm/individual can be good in one area and flawed elsewhere.

    ….

    I’m fully versed in this personally (duality, military experience), or try Haiti vs Dominican republic, I side with the north, goggle map the Island, one side is green the other is dirt, that is all I have to say on that point.

    The thrust of my charge was, how could some one_inside_change their tune when the writing was on the wall and before it was put to paper. Human error or self enrichment at he cost of others.

    The environment we observe at this moment is frighteningly similar to many past moments. Carnegie leaving the country to distance him self from the mess of the CEO and Pinkertons sorting out the labor for corporate advantage/profit. Now there is with new understanding of humans little need for pinkertons, just IBs and the government.

    Grosse Pointe…we play with forces we yet to fully understand…and some like to play God.

  44. Anonymous

    GP, from 12:50,

    Webber bio is on website. Left GS in 1983. Article in question written 20 years later. Your assumptions way wrong, was not inside wall as charged.

    In 2002, GS considered to be a very well managed firm. Laudatory articles being written for years later:

    http://davidmaister.com/podcasts.archives/4/38/

    Ellis book out Oct 2008.

    As stated earlier, GS did perform well on attributes cited in piece. Your beef here is not warranted.

  45. asphaltjesus

    Regarding the “change from the bottom up” comment, I’m a sysadmin by trade figuring out how to at least put the web 2.0 parts together.

    Moral outrage is easy to synthesize. One or two angry comments on a blog and the average person interested in this topic leaves it at that. No other action is even considered. Note to self, that’s a mighty small subset of voters.

    Let’s argue for a minute that I put up a blog with comment moderation. Let’s go one better and add some forums for sorting out some ideas. Let’s go one more better and add a way for readers to vote ideas up or down. Then what?

    Give me your ideas about how to turn it into something more than what I just described. mpapet@yahoo.com

Comments are closed.