1. Greg

    My concern is with the “Living Wills”, the large banks are directed to produce when in a failure is in process, won’t they just distribute their assets to the other biggest of banks which further concentrates the assets into an even smaller group of banks? Basically keeping the assets of these banks into the banks which created this economic downturn.
    Why is it the largest of banks continue to get special treatment in every aspect of the dealings with them? The national banking system needs to be shut down and their assets distrubted throughout the state and local banks around the country and never let a national banking system allowed to be formed again. We have shut a national banking system down twice in our history, why not now?

    1. BS

      Living wills are a joke as all those banks are spread across international borders. You can bet that countries will act in their own best interest at the time.

      How long has it take to settle Lehman business in the UK, one of our staunchest allies? There are other smaller examples.

    2. Susan the other

      Big banks are and will be very useful. It’s like the baby and the bathwater. If we do go on to a new and improved system of banking these institutions already have a useful network of relationships which can be either exploited or “resolved”. Just because the banks’ recent behavior has totally enraged most of us doesn’t mean they are useless. They are not hopeless cases by any means. They are a resource.

      1. Susan the other

        I’m too lazy to ever sit down and read Dodd Frank. So I’m glad Shiela and her ilk are there. Two things she said were interesting: That systemically important banks are not being given free rein financially but just the opposite – required to comply with societal requirements; and that DF Title 2 bans bailouts and demands a resolution process. Nice. No wonder the Mittster doesn’t like DF.

        1. craazyman

          I’m to lazy to read it too. I feel bad I have such strident opinions as I do, and no factual basis on which to have them. I don’t even believe what I see in videos like this. It’s not that I think people purposefully lie, I just don’t trust they themselves even know what they don’t know. I don’t know who knows, either. I only know I don’t.

      2. bdy

        A “useful network of relationships” doesn’t begin to justify the amount of harm the largest financial institutions are allowed to inflict on the global economy by way of shady loans to states and mortgage holders, reckless exploitation of third world resources, a financial house of cards in derivatives whose paper value exceeds the amount of money in the world and so on yada yada.

        There is no baby in the fucking bathwater. No child could survive the level of toxicity. “Too big to fail” means that, in practice, finance has superseded the rule of democracy. Any activity, legal or otherwise, is sanctioned if its done under the brand umbrella of Goldman, Morgan etc. Losses are covered, prosecutions off the table, and that “useful network of relations” reveals itself as crony capitalism.

        Yippee lets leverage another acquisition, sell off the real capital, ship 2000 jobs overseas, collect a big bonus from record quarterly profits before bankruptcy triggers a golden parachute. Only possible because the loan that backs the enterprise entails virtually no risk, and our oh so valuable big banks are willing to make it. Insert scenario b, c and d (subprime mortgage, variable rate loans triggered to bankrupt state governments, pension funds sunk into “AAA” derivatives) yuck yuck yuck. The arguments for utility are so vague because the only irreplaceable utility of big finance is the huge profit for a handful of looters and the relatively smaller salaries of their employees.

        Should have nationalized when the iron was hot.

        1. Carla

          Should have nationalized when the iron was hot is RIGHT — uhm, I mean, correct.

          But with Goldman Sachs (Geithner) and a Republican President (Obama) in charge, that was never going to happen.

          Tragic that so many have to suffer for the naked greed of a very few.

  2. Neo-Realist

    I guess Bair’s endorsement of Stein is coming anyday now, or does the Elephant continue to eat the hay when it comes down to brass tacks?

    1. citalopram

      What difference would it make anyway? As if Stein has a hope in hell of winning anything. Why do people make such a big deal out of the presidency?

      1. MacCruiskeen

        If any 3rd-party really wanted to have any influence, they would abandon plans to run presidential candidates and concentrate on building a base of support at lower levels–state legislatures, congressional districts, etc. No one can function as president without that. Stein has been active in local politics here–why isn’t she running in a local race where she might actually do well?

        1. Aquifer

          Mac – the problems that 3rd parties face on the nat’l level they face on local levels as well – and running on a nat’l level actually helps organize at a local level –

          Besides, i for one, am glad there is someone running I really WANT to vote for …..

          And it MAY be a good barometer as to how serious folks really are about making change – I don’t want it to get to the point where folks believe the only alternative is bullets and actually start using them in a big way …

  3. Guy Fawkes Lives

    It is nice to see people in government (Sheila Bair R and Neil Barofsky D) calling out their own party for mistakes and misinformation. I’m not sure why the moderators of these “debates” cannot do the same thing?

    1. Neo-Realist

      He’d lose his job. Even though palms are greased on both sides of the aisle, the rich elephants own much of the broadcast infrastructure.

  4. monday1929

    One of the costs to the Elites of the dissolution of the Rule of Law is that the majority of the Population now knows the Elite have zero credibility.
    Would anyone here care to wager that during the next, fatal phase of the Bust, when Treasury Secretary Dimon is telling Congress that Martial Law is imminent, that Congress WON’T approve a “one-time” waiver and do a bailout?

    One of the freeing aspects of that same loss of the Rule of Law? I no longer wait for a green light on an empty road at 2AM.

    Do bankers ever worry about what waiters may be putting in their food? Jamie, that goes for you too.

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