Tag Archives: Bailouts

What You Will Find When You Follow the Money, by MN Gordon

Funny money delays but will not prevent a grand reckoning of the debt that’s been piling up for decades. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

It has been a rough go for California Governor Gavin Newsom.  Late last week it was revealed that the state Department of Public Health had tickled the poodle on its COVID-19 record keeping.  Somehow the bureaucrats in Sacramento undercounted new coronavirus cases by as many as 300,000.

Perhaps this oversight prompted Newsom to imbibe in a little meditation and reflection.  At his Wednesday coronavirus news conference, shortly after quoting Voltaire, Newsom offered the following epiphany:

“Businesses can’t thrive in a world that’s failing.”

Often the simplest insights into reality are the most essential.  We’ll give Newsom that.  Yet, this is hardly an insight.  Rather, it’s readily obvious…even to a numskull.

The world that’s failing, where businesses can’t thrive, is a direct consequence of government lockdown orders.  And Newsom, more than any other public official, has his fingerprints all over the offense.  If you recall, California, under Newsom’s command, was the first state to order lockdowns.  It’s a shame he didn’t pause for meditation before committing the state to ruin.

The dynamics of what would follow Newsom’s lockdown orders were predictable.  When government decrees froze the economy, bills were still due.  Yet many people’s incomes, in the form of paychecks, disappeared.

For businesses, outstanding accounts payable were still due.  Though accounts receivable quickly became overdue.  In short, the flow of cash, as delivered by an open economy of give and take, broke down.

Certainly, Newsom thought he was doing the right thing.  He had to keep everyone in the Golden State safe by locking them down.  Many governors followed Newsom’s lead, having the same disastrous results.

But that was just the beginning.  Soon the uplifters in Washington swung into action…

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Takeover, by Sven Henrich

The Fed’s frenzied balance sheet expansion is laying the groundwork for the next bubble, which will be even more detached from reality than the present one. From Sven Henrich at northmantrader.com:

We can’t print ourselves out of this crisis again, but that isn’t stopping the Federal Reserve from trying. Thursday’s intervention program, the latest in a string of panic moves to keep the financial system afloat, constitutes a complete takeover attempt of the market ecosphere, only the buying of stocks directly is last missing piece of eventual complete central bank control of equity markets. But seizing control of the bond market is the nearest equivalent step.

Not only that, the Fed is buying junk corporate debt propping up companies that should be let to fail as Chamath Palihapitiya pointed out poignantly this week. But not this Fed, no, with its actions it is again setting up the economy for yet another slower growth recovery, financed by even more debt.

QE doesn’t produce growth, that is the established track record:

Nobody wants to talk about the consequences to come following this crisis, but that doesn’t mean the consequences won’t be a real and present reality.

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Risk? We Don’t Need No Stinking Risk! by Tom Luongo

Financial downside risk, at least the kind that Wall Street supposedly faces, has been socialized. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

We’ve crossed the monetary Rubicon. There is no going back to the way things were. With the creation of a series of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) the Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve have fundamentally altered the financial landscape of the United States.

We are no longer a country that tolerates the risk of capitalism. To be honest, we haven’t been that country for a very long time. Steadily over the course of my life (I was born in 1968 the year the London Gold Pool failed), the global monetary system has cut tie after tie to the discipline of the free market in money.

With the U.S. at the center of the system, it was inevitable that we would reach the point of no return once there was no other way to reflate the system.

And it has been in the service of arrogating the power of money creation, and by extension the power that confers to the printers, to a global oligarchy I’m fond of calling The Davos Crowd.

My last post was an open letter to these folks letting them know that no matter how much they try to scare us into accepting a world where they have total control over our lives their chances of success are limited because we can see them and what they are planning.

The response I’ve received from people to that post confirm my view on this. Few things I have written have generated the kind of passion I’ve seen from folks.

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Bailing Out the Bailout, by Matt Taibbi

That’s the thing about bailouts. Often times there are one or more repeat performances. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

“I’ve never signed anything with a ‘T’ before,” Donald Trump quipped at the signing of the $2 trillion CARES Act. He reportedly wants his signature on coronavirus relief checks, as if they were Trump Plaza casino chips. This might be a fitting metaphor for America’s post-virus economic future.

The new bailout bill, which combined with a series of Federal Reserve interventions is more like a $6 trillion rescue, is a massive double-down on the 2008 rescue efforts. This bailout of the last bailout sets the stage for permanent state sponsorship of America’s overheated financial markets.

Like 2008, only more so, the new mega-rescue is a bipartisan effort. Lawmakers sold this as a good thing.

“This is a 9/11 moment,” said Republican congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington state. “A time to put partisan differences aside.”

“We have our differences, but we also know what is important to us,” saidHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “America’s families are important to us.”

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Boeing, Which Repurchased Over $100BN In Stock, Is Downgraded To BBB, Seeks “Short-Term” Bailout, by Tyler Durden

Corporate America gorged on share buy backs for years, much of it debt funded, and now many corporations are running to Washington for bailouts. Boeing is one of the worst. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

ust hours after S&P took the machete to Exxon’s long standing AA+ credit rating, moments ago the rating agency went after the company which until just a few weeks ago seems invincible, and whose stock price has crashed from $350 to $130 in a little over a month after it announced it was fully drawing down its revolver: Boeing.

S&P cut Boeing’s credit rating by two notches late on Monday, to BBB from A-, as its “cash flows for the next two years are going to be much weaker than we had expected, due to the 737 MAX grounding, resulting in worse credit ratios than we had forecast.” In addition, S&P notes, “the significant reduction in global air travel due to the coronavirus will likely result in an increase in aircraft order deferrals, further pressuring cash flows.”

And worst of all, Boeing will likely be downgraded again, as S&P kept it on Credit Watch negative, meaning it may be just a matter of time before Boeing is downgraded to junk, making it the world’s most iconic fallen angel.

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Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself, by Jim Quinn

The Fourth Turning is going into exponential hyperdrive. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”- Franklin D. RooseveltMarch 4, 1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke these words during his first inauguration at the depths of the Great Depression in 1933. The narrative taught in government schools is how FDR’s words invigorated the nation and inspired the people to show courage in the face of adversity. His terminology was that of a general leading his troops into battle.

What is not taught in government schools or proclaimed by the propaganda spewing fake news media were the dictatorial type actions taken by FDR over the next month after his “inspirational” speech. He was the first Democrat president to not let a crisis go to waste. The day after his inauguration, Roosevelt assembled a special session of Congress to declare a four-day bank holiday, and on March 9 signed the Emergency Banking Act.

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Fearing Contagion, Russia Bails Out Bondholders in its Biggest Bank Collapse Yet, by Wolf Richter

In Russia, like virtually every place else, banks and government are joined at the hip. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

“The panicky mood has been dampened down,” as other banks are rumored to be teetering.

True to the playbook of bank bailouts, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) decided to bail out Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation, the largest privately owned bank in the country, and the seventh largest bank behind six state-owned banks.

The Central Bank put in an undisclosed amount of money in return for at least a 75% stake. This is likely to be Russia’s biggest bank bailout ever, well ahead of the current record holder, the $6.7 billion bailout of the Bank of Moscow in 2011.

Otkritie and its businesses would operate as usual, the Central Bank said. The banks obligations to creditors and bondholders, which include other Russian banks, would be honored to avoid contagion.

The controlling shareholder of Otkritie bank is Otkritie Holding, with a 65% stake. The bank had grown by wild acquisitions, grabbing other banks, insurers, non-pension funds, and the diamond business of Russia’s second largest oil producer Lukoil. Otkritie Holding is owned by executives of Lukoil, state-owned VTB bank, Otkritie, and other companies. So clearly, this bank is too big to fail.

Lukoil is also one of Otkritie’s largest clients. So Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov said in a statement that he saw no risks for Lukoil associated with the bail out, and that Lukoil supported the Central Bank’s decision.

In July, according to Reuters, Kremlin-backed rating agency ACRA downgraded Otkritie to a BBB- rating, citing the “low quality of its loan portfolio.”

On August 17, Moody’s placed Otkritie on review for possible downgrade, citing two big issues:

  1. “The recent elevated volatility of the bank’s customer deposits, which puts pressure on its liquidity position and negatively affects its funding costs”
  2. The bank’s “increased involvement in financing the large financial and industrial assets of its controlling shareholder Otkritie Holding.”

To continue reading: Fearing Contagion, Russia Bails Out Bondholders in its Biggest Bank Collapse Yet

Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP and Taxpayers, by Don Quijones

The European banking crisis (and make no mistake, European banks are in a crisis) will follow the same story line as all banking crises: with taxpayers bailing out the banks. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

If the ECB scales back stimulus, banks face even greater risk of collapse. But now there’s a new solution.

Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively.

The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.

On a country-by-country basis, things look even scarier. Currently 10 (out of 28) EU countries have an NPL ratio above 10% (orders of magnitude higher than what is generally considered safe). And among Eurozone countries, where the ECB’s monetary policies have direct impact, there are these NPL stalwarts:

Ireland: 15.8%
Italy: 16.6%
Portugal: 19.2%
Slovenia: 19.7%
Greece: 46.6%
Cyprus: 49%

That bears repeating: in Greece and Cyprus, two of the Eurozone’s most bailed out economies, virtually half of all the bank loans are toxic.

Then there’s Italy, whose €350 billion of NPLs account for roughly a third of Europe’s entire bad debt stock. Italy’s government and financial sector have spent the last year and a half failing spectacularly to come up with a solution to the problem. The two “bad bank” funds they created to help clean up the banks’ toxic balance sheets, Atlante I and Atlante II, are the financial equivalent of bringing a butter knife to a machete fight. So underfunded are they, they even strugggled to hold aloft smaller, regional Italian banks like Veneto Banca and Popolare di Vicenza, which are now pleading for a bailout from Rome, which in turn is pleading for clemency from Brussels.

To continue reading: Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP and Taxpayers

Banksters Win Again – “Audit the Fed” Bill Fails in the Senate, by Michael Krieger

Unfortunately, “Audit the Fed” went down in flames. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

When it comes to the Fed, Congress is mired in hypocrisy. The anti-regulation, de-regulation crowd on Capitol Hill shuts its mouth when it comes to the most powerful regulators of all – you and the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, Congress goes along with the out-of-control, private government of the Fed—unaccountable to the national legislature. Moreover, your massive monetary injections scarcely led to any jobs on the ground, other than stock and bond processors.

– From the post: Ralph Nader Destroys the Federal Reserve in Open Letter – Calls it “Out of Control, Private Government”

Rand Paul’s signature “Audit the Fed” legislation failed to garner the 60 votes needed in the Senate to move the measure forward. Of course, this is merely the latest in a never-ending series of banker victories, and a truly devastating blow against liberty, free markets, transparency and any hope for government by the people and for the people. Ensuring that light is never shined on the Fed’s shady, corrupt and unaccountable bailout activities has always been a key goal of the American oligarchy, and they succeeded once again.

Kudos to Rand Paul for trying, and respect to Democrat Bernie Sanders for voting in favor. Elizabeth Warren voting against is inexplicable and indefensible.

More from MarketWatch:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A bill that would have allowed Congress to order reviews of Federal Reserve interest-rate policy decisions failed a procedural test in the Senate on Tuesday as supporters failed to come up with the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measures.

The measure to curb the powers of the Fed has been a central theme of the presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky. The legislation would end a ban on the Government Accountability Office’s authority to audit the U.S. central bank’s monetary policy moves that has been in place since 1978. The Republican House has already approved the measure.

The bill was designed to “pull back the curtain and uncover the cloak of secrecy” at the Fed, Paul said on the Senate floor. He said there had not been a full accounting for the swelling of the Fed’s balance sheet — to $4.5 trillion from roughly $800 billion before the financial crisis.

Just 53 senators voted to halt debate on the bill Tuesday. Sixty or more votes for “cloture” would have paved the way for possible final passage of the bill.

The bulk of the opposition to the measure came from Democrats.

Because supporting an unelected, unaccountable bank cartel is so liberal.

To continue reading: Banksters Win Again

A new taxpayer bailout to cover up ObamaCare’s failure? by Betsy McCaughey

From Betsy McCaughey at nypost.com:
How dare the Obama administration bail out insurance companies with our money in order to hide ObamaCare’s failures. Thursday, just hours after giant insurer UnitedHealthcare said it’s losing money selling ObamaCare plans and will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for their losses — using your money.

Nearly all insurers are bleeding red ink trying to sell the unworkable plans. Without a bailout, more insurers will abandon ObamaCare, pushing it closer to its demise. A bailout would benefit insurers and the Democratic Party, which is desperate to cover up the health law’s failure. Ironically Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders) bad-mouth bank bailouts but are all for insurance-company bailouts. Truth is, it’s a ripoff for taxpayers, who shouldn’t have to pay for this sleazy coverup.

The pressure is building on Republicans in Congress. Industry groups like the American Health Insurance Plans and giant insurers are joining with the Obama folks to lobby ferociously for a bailout.

UnitedHealthcare’s Thursday bombshell rattled investors, health-plan subscribers and ObamaCare partisans. The insurer currently covers more than half a million ObamaCare plan subscribers in 23 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The insurer announced losses of $425 million on ObamaCare plans, and CEO Stephen Hemsley said, “We cannot sustain these losses,” and “we saw no indication of anything actually improving.”

To continue reading: A New Taxpayer Bailout to Cover Up Obamacare’s Failure?