Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From the fantasy and make-believe department

Continuing the theme of the previous post, below is the link to a GREAT piece on the unreality of the TBTF ("too big to fail") banks. It's a long article but all you need to do is skim it to get the gist of the story. One of the key points here is the role the big accounting firms are playing in enabling the smoke and mirrors act these banks are playing. Bottom line: they are still in bad shape with Citigroup in particular basically a basket case.

Of course, the big story is the cooperation of the US Treasury and Federal Reserve in hiding the true financial state of these institutions. They are participating in this deception on the assumption that with enough time the banks can pull out of their nose dive and fly straight again. There are many who doubt that "time" is ever going to solve their problems, however. Further, the fact that so many federal officials are former employees of these banks makes their motivations highly suspect. At the least, it certainly calls into question their ability to be objective about such matters. Employees of these institutions are taught to believe their banks are essential to the economic health of the country and that attitude almost certainly remains to some degree after they move on to other endeavors.

The bottom line is that federal tax dollars and economic policy are being used to keep them afloat and deceive the public about their true state. Is it, in fact, for the benefit of the country or is it to benefit the employees and stock holders of these banks? The disturbing truth is that it is not at all clear that federal officials, on up to and including the president, are capable of giving an objective answer to that question.

Watch Banks Pull Rabbits Out of Hats, Ably Assisted by Their Auditors

(The post begins with a clip I fondly remember from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show--enjoy!)

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