How Lilliputians Would Deal With Banksters: Death! (HT Video Punk & FT)

Via this very cool animation from Video Punk FT

Here’s how Swift’s wee people deal with “cunning knaves”:

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Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Renounces Commitment to Glass-Steagall While Saying He Isn’t | naked capitalism

I don’t understand this at all. Glass Steagall would help Goldman by disrupting the business models of JP, Citi, etc. Hmmmm. I suppose Jamie Dimon has been burning up the phone line?

Via Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism:

I’ve seen some pretty brazen performances over the years, but this one is a standout in a bad way. Steve Mnuchin tells Elizabeth Warren, with a straight face, that Trump’s campaign pledge to implement Glass Steagall has nada to do with breaking up banks. He also makes the utterly false claim that separating commercial and investment banks would hurt small bank lending. The integration between small business activities and investment banking is nada, save at most for brokerage and investmetn management targeting the more successful small business owners. That has bupkis to do with lending.

via Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Renounces Commitment to Glass-Steagall While Saying He Isn’t | naked capitalism

Can Goldman’s Rapacity and Trump’s Stupidity Together Actually Save Banking?

Trump’s two main economic advisors are telling him to do something great – resurrect Glass Steagall! He is too stupid to realize these two – Goldman pod people Cohn and Mnuchin – are doing this so all their gazillions in deferred investments in the firm grow even more grotesque. But so what? For once, having a malleable moron in the White House could be a good thing!

A new Glass-Steagall would split (taxpayer-insured, whether de jure or de facto) commercial banking from the casino of investment banking and go a long way toward unloading the Too Big To Fail gun that tumescent, serially incompetent commercial-investment bank hybrids like Citi hold to the heads of policymakers.

Effect on  (pure-ish play investment bank) Goldman? Zilch. Unless you count how happy they’ll be to see their big competitors – Citi, JPMC, BofA et al – kneecapped. You can bet Cohn and Mnuchin are smiling at The Donald’ s cluelessness. For once, we can, too.

Via Bloomberg: Trump Says He’s Considering Moves to Break Up Wall Street Banks https://bloom.bg/2p1Eufs

 

 

 

 

Why So Few Will “Retire” Comfortably

Serial blunders in the structure of retirement vehicles, especially Social Security, explained. A long post on Naked Capitalism, well worth reading – including the comments. From the embedded interview of Michael Hudson:

The Federal Reserve has just published statistics saying the average American family, 55 and 60 years old, only has about $14,000 worth of savings. This isn’t nearly enough to retire on. There’s also been a vast looting of pension funds, largely by Wall Street. That’s why the investment banks have had to pay tens of billions of dollars of penalties for cheating pension funds and other investors. The current risk-free rate of return is 0.1% on government bonds, so the pension funds don’t have enough money to pay pensions at the rate that their junk economics advisors forecast. The money that people thought was going to be available for their retirement, all of a sudden isn’t. The pretense is that nobody could have forecast this!

There are so many corporate pension funds that are going bankrupt that the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation doesn’t have enough money to bail them out. The PBGC is in deficit. If you’re going to be a corporate raider, if you’re going to be a Governor Romney or whatever and you take over a company, you do what Sam Zell did with the Chicago Tribune: You loot the pension fund, you empty it out to pay the bondholders that have lent you the money to buy out the company. You then tell the workers, “I’m sorry there is nothing there. It’s wiped out.” Half of the employee stock ownership programs go bankrupt. That was already a critique made in the 1950s and ‘60s.

via Michael Hudson: Retirement? What Social Obligation? | naked capitalism