“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't let the Fed enact another quiet bailout!

Suggestion for a Occupy Wall Street Sign: Stop Bank of America from Getting FREE US INSURANCE on ITS DERIVATIVES!

And here's today's story:

Ben Bernanke apparently used a rear entrance in Boston, yesterday, to avoid the Occupy Boston protestors.
That's par for the course, as Bernanke and his Fed are masters of the rear entrance.
For example, take the Bank of America announcement of its 6 + billion dollars in profits for this quarter. Doesn't that mean that bailing out the banks worked? Our 16 trillion in loans for the behemoths can be criticized on many levels, but surely we can't criticize the techno genius that resulted in a solvent bank system, eh?
Well, apparently not. This is what is happening before our eyes, from the Economic populist site:

"It appears Bank of America moved Merrill Lynch derivatives to a FDIC insured subsidiary. Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

By moving toxic assets, i.e. derivatives, into a FDIC insured subsidiary, gives BoA's Merrill derivative holdings indirect access to the Federal Reserve discount window and also if the bank fails where the derivatives are now located, the FDIC is required to pay depositors through their insurance guarantee. It appears from Bloomberg's report that $53 trillion of BoA's derivatives are being tied into depositors*, which implies the Federal Reserve and the U.S. taxpayer have the potential to be on the hook.

Bank of America’s holding company -- the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit -- held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. About $53 trillion, or 71 percent, were within Bank of America NA, according to the data, which represent the notional values of the trades.

Nice huh? Bank of America just transferred risk to the taxpayer with no approval by regulators, Congress and of course the public."

I'm reminded of the scene in Chinatown in which Jack Nicholson discovers that the city has been dumping water during a drought - in the service of a land development scheme, as it turns out. He goes to the water department and talks with the head of it, a man beaufitully named Yelburton, yed there, who tells him:

"Wait -- please sit down, Mr. Gittes.
We're... well, we're not anxious
for this to get around, but we have
been diverting a little water
to irrigate avocado and walnut
groves in the northwest
valley. As you know, the farmers
there have no legal right to our
water, and since the drought we've
had to cut them off -- the city
comes first, naturally. But,
well, we've been trying to help
some of them out, keep them from
going under. Naturally when you
divert water -- you get a little

A little runoff. That is what the 99 percent is living through! But the Fed has a beautiful system all in place to help the people who really count.


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