Monday, May 10, 2010
Before we discuss this issue lets focus on some facts. Many individuals claim that Greece has to be bailed out to maintain stability in the financial markets. This is a bogus argument, in the short term it might be true, but in the long term it just delays the day of reckoning and makes the situation infinitely worse. You do not help an alcoholic by chastising him and then allowing him free access to booze; it won't work.
The current debt load is 115% of GDP and by 2011 it will be 150% of GDP. The Greek government has now stated that it will take 2 years more to meet the EU requirements; a great start and a clear sign that they will come begging for more aid down the line. (more)
The probes are centering on whether or not JPMorgan, a top derivatives holder in precious metals, acted improperly to depress the price of silver, sources said.
The Commodities Futures Trade Commission is looking into civil charges, and the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division is handling the criminal probe, according to sources, who did not wish to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.
The probes are far-ranging, with federal officials looking into JPMorgan's precious metals trades on the London Bullion Market Association's (LBMA) exchange, which is a physical delivery market, and the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) for future paper derivative trades. (more)
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Cliché, sure, but it's also more true than at any time since the Gilded Age.
The poor are getting poorer, wages are falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low.
- Last week, Goldman Sachs was on the congressional hot seat, grilled for fraud in its sale of complicated financial products called "synthetic CDOs." This week the heat was off, as all eyes turned to the attack of the shorts on Greek sovereign debt and the dire threat of a sovereign Greek default. By Thursday, Goldman's fraud had slipped from the headlines and Congress had been cowed into throwing in the towel on its campaign tobreak up the too-big-to-fail banks. On Friday, Goldman was in settlement talks with the SEC.
- Goldman and Wall Street reign. Congress appears helpless to discipline the big banks, just as the European Central Bank appears helpless to prevent the collapse of the European Union. . . . Or are they?
- Suspicious Market Maneuverings (more)
"Nobody knows when you bump up against the limit, but you know when it happens it will really hurt," said fiscal watchdog Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The great uncertainty about how much debt is too much has tended to make fiscal discipline seem less urgent, rather than more. There is no obvious threshold beyond which investors will demand higher real yields for holding U.S. debt. Vague warnings from ratings agencies about the loss of America's 'AAA' status haven't added much clarity — until recently. (more)