Monthly Archives: January 2013

Quelle Surprise! IMF Always Prescribes the Same Austerity Hairshirt

A new paper by Mark Weisbrot and Helene Jorgensen of CEPR have managed to unearth a dirty little secret: the IMF doesn’t just prescribe broadly similar policies in its Article IV consultations, it looks like its hands out the same medicine. We’ve used the metaphor of breaking countries on the rack, but cutting them to fit a Procrustean bed might be more apt.

Read more...

Marcy Wheeler: Lanny Breuer Now Blames 94 US Attorneys for Immunizing Banksters

By Marcy Wheeler. Cross posted from emptywheel

Remarkably, on the same day two Senators (one of them named in the article) reminded Eric Holder that Lanny Breuer said this….

I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand.

Read more...

Bank of America Foreclosure Reviews: How the Cover-Up Happened (Part IV)

In this post in our Bank of America foreclosure review series, whistleblowers describe how the bank and its independent consultant Promontory Financial Group designed and managed the tests so as to minimize findings of harm to borrowers.

Read more...

Iran on the Offensive

Until now, the Arab oil producing countries of the Persian Gulf, also called the Arabian Gulf, or to those seeking political neutrality, simply the Gulf, looked at their Persian neighbour with suspicion and trepidation. The fear came from mainly the military superiority that Iran wields over the Gulf, Persian or Arabian, depending on how you prefer to call it.

Read more...

The Origins of Neoliberalism Part IV: A Map of Hayek’s Delusion

A recent podcast with Philip Pilkington expanding on a recent piece discussing Hayek and the foundations of neoliberalism got very positive comments, and also covered more ground than his post on this topic on Naked Capitalism, so we thought readers would enjoy it. Plus the Irish accents are a nice change of pace from bland standard ‘Murkican.

Read more...

Spain Bucks the Happiness Trend

By Delusional Economics, who is determined to cleanse the daily flow of vested interests propaganda to produce a balanced counterpoint. Cross posted from MacroBusiness.

Market and real economic divergence continues apace in the European periphery and, much like Italy, Spain is again showing worrying signs that further fiscal tightening is creating far more severe negative consequences than “expected”. The deterioration in the economy is once again leading to a re-assessment of targets:

Read more...

Bank of America Foreclosure Reviews: Why the Cover-Up Happened (Part IIIB)

This post is the second half of Part III in our Bank of America foreclosure review whistleblower series. Part III focuses on how the confusion and high cost of the foreclosure reviews weren’t simply the result of overly ambitious targets and poor design, oversight, and implementation of the reviews. These reviews never could have been done properly due to significant gaps and inaccuracies in the borrower records at Bank of America. That meant the only possible course of action was a cover-up.

Read more...

Bank of America Foreclosure Reviews: Why the Cover-Up Happened (Part IIIA)

Past whistleblower leaks from Bank of America and other reviews have pointed out how frequent changes to the review process, both from the OCC and from the independent reviewers, made the process disorderly. This confusion is likely to serve as a convenient excuse for why the costs of the reviews exploded, which was one of the two major rationales offered for shutting them down.

At Bank of America, the disorderliness of the project is only part of the story. Focusing on that aspect serves to exculpate OCC, the bank and Promontory. The dirty secret of these reviews is they could never have been done properly.

Read more...

Geithner Finally Leaves Treasury, Blurts a Whole Series of Lies on His Way Out

By Nathan Tankus, a student and research assistant at the University of Ottawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @NathanTankus

I can’t emphasize enough how satisfying it is to see Timothy Geithner finally leave government. True, it would have been more enjoyable to see him leave in handcuffs, but I take my satisfaction where I can get it.

Read more...

Iceland’s Lessons on How to Fix a Bank Crisis

By Delusional Economics, who is determined to cleanse the daily flow of vested interests propaganda to produce a balanced counterpoint. Cross posted from MacroBusiness.

I’m slowly working my way through the material that’s coming out of World Economic Forum in Davos. I tend not to take too much attention of what is said at this particular conference as, in my opinion, it tends to be full of self-serving tripe in the most part.

I did, however, notice a small interview with Icelandic President, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, which was quite interesting.

Read more...