1. Swedish Lex


    The UK connection is interesting when looking at it from here. Further devalues that country’s credibility and claimm to having any right in teaching anybody else any lessons.

    50 bn is quite a number to sweep under the rug.

    Looking forward to watching the next episode next week, then.

    1. Carrick

      If the U.S. is too timid to prosecute, could/would the UK go after the law firm or any parties that violated the law or bar rules to assist Lehman?

      p.s. – the Radigan clip is pretty good. Very explicit.

      1. Swedish Lex

        I suspect that both Linklaters and Ernst & Young will undergo close scrutiny by the UK authorities, by the Law Society, etc.

        The numbers involved are so huge that I doubt that the issue simply can disappear from the radar. Numbers of this magnitude will make it too tempting for injured creditors not to sue in all jurisdictions.

        Once the UK forensic analysis is over, the EU Institutions will draw their own conclusions as to whether additional checks and balances need to be introduced in the EU. Seems that Lehman’s co-schemers were a bunch of EU and Swiss banks, so there is most certainly an EU angle to this. All that will take a bit of time.

        Meanwhile, those who argue that the financial framework has to be rebuilt rather significantly will have a new Enron to point to.

  2. CrocodileChuck

    things that make you go ‘hmmmmmmmm……..’

    in the week prior to release of this GInormous 2,200 page report, there are three (to varying degrees) ‘puff pieces’ on Tim Geithner in the MSM

    synchro or ‘coincident-o’?

  3. Blurtman

    Excerpt from the Jay Leno show with guest Barack Obama. The President certainly sounds very, ummm…, uninformed, especially in light of this Lehman fraud, and likely knowledge of his Treasury Secretary.

    “Q I just read today about Merrill Lynch. They handed out $3.6 billion — it’s not even million anymore, it’s billions in bonuses. I know it would make me feel good — shouldn’t somebody go to jail? (Laughter and applause.) I say that because I watch those people in New York, even people who had lost everything — when Bernard Madoff went to jail, at least they felt they got something.

    THE PRESIDENT: Right. They got some satisfaction. Here’s the dirty little secret, though. Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal.”


    1. DownSouth

      Why doesn’t the president just put a huge sign on his forehead that reads:

      “Bankers pulled off the greatest robbery in the history of the world, and I’m going to use the bully pulpit of the president to convince the world that what they did was totally legal.”


      1. i on the ball patriot

        Obama is a fucking scum bag. He is playing the ‘plausible deniability’ game, in great part to cover his own guilt ridden ass.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet

        1. Blurtman

          Three months into the job, absolutely no criminal investigations and yet the President concludes that everything was “perfectly legal.” I assume he had this phrase written on the back of his hand.

          Clearly the presidency is corrupt, and places the interests of Wall Street above the law.

          This is frankly very, very serious.

  4. i on the ball patriot

    Don’t hold your breath …


    Mr. Fuld’s lawyer said,
    “He did not know!”,
    That Repo 105,
    Was a scam to steal your dough,

    Fuld paid up front cash,
    In exchange for trash,
    Called them sales instead of loans,
    It was a scam quite brash,

    But it stunk so bad,
    American law said – ”No!”
    “We’re scum bag crooks too,
    But we won’t stoop that low!”,

    So he got a big law firm,
    Across the pond,
    To wave the legitimacy,
    Magic wand,

    British Linklaters,
    In its lawyerly bluster,
    Said, “Don’t worry Dick,
    We’ll make this shit pass muster.”,

    But Dick knew the game,
    Was ‘plausible deniability’,
    So he had Ernst & Young,
    Also certify and agree,

    He knew that Justice,
    And the SEC,
    Also on his payroll,
    Needed to see,

    An arms length distance,
    So all could disagree,
    And give credence to his claim,
    Of ‘plausible deniability’ …

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      1. i on the ball patriot

        Velobabe …

        that’s the way the rich folks spell it, justus, as in, ‘scamerican justus’. Spelling justus, JUSTUS, is well beyond needing a poetic license for (not that I have one — I think all that licensing crap is inhibiting bullshit). I think you need to get out and talk to the homeless people a bit, they know what justus means,and they know how to spell justus. They know the rich folks like Fuld, and his puppet Obama, are screwing them up the ass and denying them opportunity and freedom with their scam ‘rule of law’ — with their scamerican justus!

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. velobabe

          no no no my boyfriend has been teaching me about justus. i grew up in the justice camp. only later in life to learn how the rest of the world gets treated.

  5. Moopheus

    What an odd interiew format–the hosts ask halfway intelligent questions, and then let you give complete answers. Don’t those Canadians know how TV is supposed to work?

  6. alex

    It’s interesting that Yves is now a regular on (Canadian) BNN and Dean Baker regularly writes for the British paper “The Guardian” (but can almost never get published in the NYT or WaPo despite his high reputation).

    Apparently non-servile economic commentators need not apply to the American media.

  7. Keenan

    Yves, you’re looking more comfortable with the little cameras. Your animated demeanor and lively facial expression add to your message. Nicely done.

    A question for you or the readers: If the U.S. “JUSTUS” department won’t act on this kind of information can this be pursued in state courts? I haven’t heard of anyone at the state level except NY’s Cuomo even looking at the criminal dimension of the collapse.

  8. i on the ball patriot

    Slicky Dicky Fuld is way ahead of you …

    IF, you get standing, and, IF, you get a judgment, highly unlikely (he is well insulated with good plausible deniability, and a few underlings at Ernst @ Young and Linklaters will take the fall in a show effort if there is one — and I would bet he has insider secret club leverage), you will line up in Florida for more JUSTUS …


    “January 26, 2009, 7:24 am

    Housing prices are falling around the country, but this one sounds hard to believe: A seaside mansion on Jupiter Island in Florida, bought for more than $13 million five years ago, was just sold for $10.

    That’s right, 10 bucks. But in this case, the transaction is likely to raise eyebrows for reasons other than the price, The New York Times’s Louise Story reports.

    The seller, according to county records, was Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers. The buyer was his wife, Kathleen.”


    This asset shielding does indicate that he is running scared and pressure could make him pop and turn.

    The best court to pursue this in is the court of public/political opinion. Raise organized hell about it! Pop Dick’s bubble! Keep up the pressure about the whole mess!

    DISCLOSURE: I think the ‘rule of law’ is an outrageous scam.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    1. Keenan

      I’d hoped that the 2008 story of the shot-to-the-chops in the gym was real rather than apocryphal. That approach may be seen as the only alternative if the system doesn’t deliver consequences to the likes of Fuld.

  9. MichaelC

    For perspective, consider: Combined SIVs totaled $400B. Lehman’s 105 was 50B.

    The 105 gimmick used the same basic idea, pretend bogus ‘sales’ are real sales. Statements by the other banks that they didn’t do 105 transactions may be technically true, but as we’ve come to know all too well, this is another ‘depends on what “is” is’ situation.

  10. mario

    Why no one questions the auditors? Did they know that the books were cooked? Did they help to cook them? How about now? Don’t they cook them now?

  11. DavosSherman

    Humble: Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful. 2. Showing deferential or submissive respect:

  12. Sundog

    I’ve avoided the media coaching & comments thing so far, but I gotta say it’s great to see Yves getting comfortable in front of the camera. The bug-eye reaction to the question, “Would you buy shares of the big banks?” should’ve been the frame chosen for the post!

    BNN is a weekly gig? Cool.

    Also it was very good of Yves to cite others who blog. Cheers all around.

  13. ScottB

    Yves, thanks, I always love your clarity. I’m plowing through Econned, learning a ton, thoroughly enjoying it.

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