Wall Street shenanigans

Bailing out Zombies, Again

The government forks over another $13.8 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cover their losses for the last quarter. The regular drumbeat of bailout billions handed to these zombies barely enters the nation’s consciousness anymore, but it adds up: $184.8 billion since 2008. And there is no end in sight. Supercommittee, where art thou?

Where the Heck is Ron Paul? A Media Boycott Heats Up

NPR’s report on tonight’s GOP debate covered about everything you can cover in a few minutes: Palin’s and Christie’s exit from the race; Cain’s from-the-outside strategy; Romney’s 25% ceiling; and Perry’s effort to make up ground he lost in the last three debates. But where the heck is Ron Paul? And it’s not just NPR.

Dear Ben, Please Make Us Trillionaires

Trillionaire. Just the sound of it! It’s beautiful, Ben. But without your help, we’ll never get there. So, at your meeting next week, think about us. Because the way you make trillionaires is by printing money.

In the Bowels the Jobs Report: 15.4 Million Missing Jobs

The long-term problem in the horrendous jobs report is the strangely inconspicuous “Employment-Population Ratio” that has been nosediving for over a decade. It’s the definition of a comatose economy.

Yakuza: ‘We Have To Evolve Our Business Model’

“And we have to improve our image,” said Masatoshi Kumagai, one of the bosses of the Japanese yakuza, in an interview with French reporters. Yakuza are on decline, he said, and if they don’t change their business model, they might cease to exist.

Dear Ben, Please Print us More Money

We want you to prop up the stock market. Everybody knows it’s a Ponzi scheme that will collapse without your support. You don’t want us to end up like Bernie Madoff’s clients. No, Ben, we love Ponzi schemes. We get in early and get out before they collapse. That’s why we’re rich. The bad thing is that they sometimes collapse before we can get out. But you’ve bailed us out twice in the last couple of years….

NY Fed: Execs Are Drinking Their Own Kool-Aid

The New York Fed proves it (unwittingly): Executives are optimists who invariably, and falsely, assume the future is better than current conditions, though realty is staring them in the face.

Beyond Silly Metrics

Now that the hullabaloo around IBM’s 2Q11 earnings report is receding into the background, it’s time to have a gander at the only number on our corporate financial statements that is still a somewhat reliable indicator of actual earnings due stockholders. And it’s not what you think.

The M&A Typhoon

Another day, another series of mergers and acquisitions. Among the most prominent today: Carl Icahn’s offer to acquire Clorox Co. and BHP Billiton’s takeover of Petrohawk Energy Corp. The frenzy is blowing across the country with considerable violence. And just like the last typhoon before the financial crisis, it will leave behind massive job destruction.