Team Obama’s Summers & Geithner’s “White” Wash of Bailout Banks to Avoid Bankruptcy Proceedings

While President Obama is jetting throughout Europe, more bad economic news have hit the fan.  Joblessness continue to be on the rise with sign of slowing, services provided by states such as unemployment benefits previously extended are quickly depleting, state and local taxes on the rise with fiscal budget deficits, and retirement and pensions plans are under pressure due to drop in value and the lack of contributions.

Critics continue to berate the Team Obama economic plan and its ability to solve the crisis as home prices continue to fall and there is lack of marketability of toxic assets to investors other than the banks themselves.  In the latest critical comments offered by experts, the supposed bank stress test move is nothing more than a “scam”, a white wash placebo to calm the American people.  This critique comes quickly on the heels of the news that FASB will relax and make changes to their “mark to market” accounting rules.

How long will American voters and taxpayers wait for results despite trillions of their money are going out the door to failed private corporations?  Take this poll.

Geithner’s Stress Test “A Complete Sham,” Former Federal Bank Regulator Says

Posted Apr 06, 2009 10:00am EDT by Aaron Task

The bank stress tests currently underway are “a complete sham,” says William Black, a former senior bank regulator and S&L prosecutor, and currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. “It’s a Potemkin model. Built to fool people.” Like many others, Black believes the “worst case scenario” used in the stress test don’t go far enough.

He detailed these and related concerns in a recent interview with Naked Capitalism. But Black, who was counsel to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L Crisis, says the program’s failings go way beyond such technical issues. “There is no real purpose [of the stress test] other than to fool us. To make us chumps,” Black says. Noting policymakers have long stated the problem is a lack of confidence, Black says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is now essentially saying: “’If we lie and they believe us, all will be well.’ It’s Orwellian.”

The former regulator is extremely critical of Geithner, calling him a “failed regulator” now “adding to failed policy” by not allowing “banks that really need desperately to be closed” to fail. (On Saturday, Geithner said on Face the Nation, if banks need “exceptional assistance” in the future “then we’ll make sure that assistance comes with conditions,” including potentially changing management and the board, but did not say they’d be shut down.)

Black says the stress test must also be viewed in the context of Geithner’s toxic debt plan, which he calls “an enormous taxpayer subsidy for people who caused the problem.” The fact bank stocks have been rising since Geithner unveiled his plan is “bad news for taxpayers,” he says. “It’s the subsidy of all history.”

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Bailed Out Banks to Trade Toxic Assets Between Themselves

Since there are no markets or buyers for these toxic assets, the bailed out banks who received taxpayers money through TARP or TALF will now trade these toxic assets between themselves to create the illusion that these assets are being moved.  By doing so these banks can agree on a “price” therefore artificially establishing a value to something that currently have no buyers and side stepping any generally accepted accounting rules or regulation such as “mark to market” per FASB.

This is is a real danger to American taxpayers and other investors of not replacing the senior management and the boards that supposedly watch over them.

How long will Americans wait for results from the trillions spent by the US Government supported by the Obama administration?
Bailed-out banks may buy toxic assets: report

  • Friday April 3, 2009, 9:19 am EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. banks that have received government aid, including Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co, are considering buying toxic assets to be sold by rivals under the Treasury’s $1,000 billion plan to revive the financial system, the Financial Times said.

Goldman and Morgan Stanley have pledged to increase investments in distressed assets, the paper said.

This week, John Mack, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive, told staff the bank was considering how to become “one of the firms that can buy these assets and package them where your clients will have access to them,” according to the paper.

Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the House financial services committee, told the paper that he would introduce legislation to stop financial institutions “gaming the system to reap taxpayer-subsidized windfalls.”

Bachus added it would mark “a new level of absurdity” if financial institutions were “colluding to swap assets at inflated prices using taxpayers’ dollars,” according to the paper.

Citigroup, JPMorgan and Goldman declined to comment to the paper.

The U.S. government’s plan, known as the Public-Private Investment Program, gives government help to private investors looking to buy loans and securities from banks.

“It’s an open program designed to get markets going,” a Treasury official told the paper, adding that “it is between a bank and their supervisor whether they are healthy enough to acquire assets.”

A Citigroup spokesman in Hong Kong was not immediately available for comment, while JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman from the company’s office in Hong Kong was not immediately available for comment.


Obama Wants Bailed Out Banks to Modify Loans But Banks Don’t Want Play

President Obama presented a plan shortly after taking office to keep Americans in their homes by giving banks the taxpayers’ money in order for the bailed out banks to rework loans so mortgage payments can be reduced. But the banks have failed to do that as they have failed at everything else for the American economy and its people.

How long will Americans wait for results as jobless rates rise to an high since 1983 and more people lose their homes?  Take this poll:

Loan modifications rise; many don’t pare payments
Foreclosure prevention efforts grow, but fewer than half of loan modifications reduce payments

  • Friday April 3, 2009, 10:10 am EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lenders are boosting their attempts to avoid home foreclosures, but fewer than half of loan modifications made at the end of last year actually reduced borrowers’ payments by more than 10 percent, data released Friday show.

The report, based on an analysis of nearly 35 million loans worth more than $6 trillion, was published by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It provides the most detailed and broad analysis to date of efforts to stem the foreclosure crisis.

Among loan modifications made in the October-December quarter, about 37 percent resulted in a drop in payments of more than 10 percent, compared with about one-fourth in the first nine months of the year. Regulators saw that growth as a positive sign.

“The trend toward lowering payments to make home mortgages more affordable is moving in the right direction,” John Bowman, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said in a prepared statement.

Still, nearly one in four loan modifications in the fourth quarter actually resulted in increased monthly payments. That situation can happen when lenders add fees or past-due interest to a loan and spread those payments out over the 30- or 40-year period.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report found that loans were far less likely to fall back into default if a borrower’s monthly payment is reduced by a healthy amount.

Nine months after modification, about 26 percent of loans in which payments had dropped by 10 percent or more had fallen back into default. That compares with about half of loans in which the payment was unchanged or increased.

“This new data shows that, in the current stressful environment, modification strategies that result in unchanged or increased mortgage payments run the risk of unacceptably high re-default rates,” Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said in a statement.

The Obama administration is aiming to help up to 9 million borrowers stay in their homes through refinanced mortgages or modified loans. It is spending $75 billion to provide lenders an incentive to alter more loans.

Still, the faltering economy, driven down by the collapse of the housing bubble, is causing the housing crisis to spread.

Among the loans surveyed in the report, just over 10 percent were delinquent or in foreclosure, compared with 7 percent at the end of September, the report said. Delinquencies are increasing the most among prime loans made to borrowers with strong credit, it said.


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