Category Archives: ECONNED

Republican Members of FCIC to Promote Crisis Urban Legends, Shift Blame From Banks

Lordie, the Big Lie is with us in force.

The New York Times reports that the Republican members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission are going to pre-empt the report (due in mid-January) and issue their own 13 page screed later today focusing blame for the crisis on…Fannie and Freddie, and no doubt the CRA too.

Let’s look at a few inconvenient facts.

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Iowa AG Miller Commits to Prosecution of Bank Execs, Seeking Principal Mods

We asked readers to sign a letter to Iowa attorney general Tom Miller, who is leading the 50 state probe into foreclosure and mortgage abuses. Here is the official report from National People’s Action, which was part of the group that met with Miller earlier today: Leader of 50 State Foreclosure Probe Tells Struggling Homeowners: […]

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Debunking the Myth That Bigger Banks are More Efficient and Necessary

A very good op ed by Thomas Hoenig in the New York Times, “Too Big to Succeed” provides a solid recap of why the business of reining in the too big too fail banks is crucial. It isn’t simply that this is yet another version of “Mission Accomplished”; the bailouts actually made industry concentration worse, […]

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Were US Auditors Told to Fudge Opinions of TBTF Banks?

Francine McKenna is shocked that investigations in the UK have revealed that major auditors were told to make wobbly banks look healthier than they were. Specifically, they issue “going concern” opinions because they were told the banks would be backstopped. One can only assume the accountants were brought in the loop with the aim of […]

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Rave Review for ECONNED

This is from the October issue of Choice, the library market’s largest publication: Smith, Yves. ECONned: how unenlightened self interest undermined democracy and corrupted capitalism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 362p bibl index afp ISBN 9780230620513, $30.00 ECONned is a remarkable book. The first part is a devastating criticism of the simplistic approach to finance standard economics […]

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Why Backstopping Repo is a Bad Idea

The normally sound Gillian Tett of the Financial Times endorses an idea that is both dangerous and unnecessary, namely, government backstopping of the system of short-term collateralized lending called repo, for “sale with agreement to repurchase.” The problem with her analysis is that her proposal treats symptoms rather than the underlying ailment. It would amount […]

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Michael Hirsh on Wall Street and the Roots of the Crisis

Michael Hirsh, until very recently of Newsweek, now at the National Journal, is doing a star turn in connection with his new book, Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future Over to Wall Street I must confess I blurbed his book (I find it a bit weird that I am now considered a […]

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Radio Interview at WBAI

I probably should have a default photo for this sort of post, like me in a headset looking intent. But till then, you will have to be content with a mere link to this interview with Susan Lee. The focus was ECONNED, in particular, the failings of mainstream economics. Enjoy!

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Will We Finally See Some Prosecutions for Lehman’s Dubious Accounting?

I know some readers may think that Lehman is 2008’s news. That sort of learned attention deficit disorder works to the advantage of those who participated in or enabled the looting of the average person to the benefit of the banksters. And the degree of questionable behavior of Lehman was so pronounced that if regulators […]

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Amar Bhide on the Stalinization of Finance

Full disclosure: I’ve known Amar Bhide for roughly 25 years (we both worked on the Citibank account at McKinsey, albeit never on the same project) and although we correspond only occasionally, I continue to regard his as a particularly keen observer and original thinker. He was briefly a proprietary trader, then an associate professor at […]

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Boston Fed’s New Excuse for Missing the Housing Bubble: NoneOfUscouddanode

It is truly astonishing to watch how determined the economics orthodoxy is to defend its inexcusable, economy-wrecking performance in the runup to the financial crisis. Most people who preside over disasters, say from a boating accident or the failure of a venture, spend considerable amounts of time in review of what happened and self-recrimination. Yet […]

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Price is Not Value, and Other Reasons Metrics Mislead

Economists have been rewarded all too well for fetishing numbers and mathematics. The self-conscious effort within the discipline to turn it into a science (a goal most real scientists would deem to be impossible, given the fickle nature of human behavior), which meant making it more mathematical, has resulted in economists being better paid than […]

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