Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Under the category of "It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys" ...

Plenty of culpability to go around regarding the United States economy circa 2008.  Certainly this guy ...

What a putz.  We're only a few months away from celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Bear Stearns debacle, but it's just gonna depress me to paint Jimmy again because everybody, on a functional level, has forgotten all about 2008.

Four years out from Lehman, people could barely be bothered to raise a Sharpie.

Although maybe it's me.  Maybe the painting sucked.

Anyway, I partially take back the bit about everybody forgetting 2008.  The DOJ seems to remember.  God bless their own little disfunctional souls.  This from the Daily Beast ...

The Justice Department and state prosecutors are planning to file civil charges against Standard & Poor’s for its rating of risky mortgage bonds before the financial crisis, sources tell The Wall Street Journal. If true, the move will be the first federal action against a credit-rating firm in connection with the 2008 meltdown, though the high grades the firms gave to subprime mortgage bonds precipitated the crisis. The charges come after settlement talks between S%P and the Justice Department broke down and reportedly focus on the models S%P used to rate mortgage bonds.  

Talk about a bunch of guys who were up to their asses in culpability.  If ever there was an example of the need for tighter regulation of Wall Street, it's S%P and Moody's.  Plus some others.  The world is full of examples of watchdog entities failing to do their work properly because the activities they were suppose to watch were run by the people who were paying them.  Standard & Poors is a prime example.

I say we nationalize the ratings agencies.  And you classical Libertarians (as self-differentiated from new-age, ultra-right-wing, crazy Libertarians) out there can blow me.

Deborah Solomon of The Times once interviewed Ace Greenberg, the guy who ran Bear before Jimmy Cayne did.  In discussing Cayne's tenure he offered this ...

I said:  "Jimmy, you want to help your image around here?  Cut out that private elevator.  Everybody hates you for it."  He said he only had it from 8 to 9 in the morning.  I said:  "That's when everybody wants the elevator.  They're all coming to work."

What a putz.  Jimmy, not Ace.  You can't help but laugh, but still, what a putz.


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