Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Boss

I ordinarily read nothing by Glenn Greenwald. Nevertheless, let us let him be mean because meanness is called for:

Yesterday, the White House announced Daley’s departure — he will now co-chair Obama’s re-election campaign, which basically means raising huge amounts of money from his Wall Street friends — and unveiled his replacement as Chief of Staff: Jacob Lew. In 2010, Lew became head of the Office of Management and Budget when Peter Orszag left and then, a couple months later, accepted a multi-million dollar position as a high-level Citigroup official. Lew has spent many years in various government positions, but he has his own substantial ties to Citigroup. Here is what Lew was doing in 2008 at the time the financial crisis exploded, as detailed by an excellent Huffington Post report from last year:

[Lew] oversaw a Citigroup unit that profited off the housing collapse and financial crisis by investing in a hedge fund king who correctly predicted the eventual subprime meltdown and now finds himself involved in the center of the U.S. government’s fraud case against Goldman Sachs. . . .

[I]t is his few years at Citi — in particular the one year he spent at its then-$54 billion proprietary trading, hedge fund and private equity unit — that’s likely to raise the most eyebrows in the coming weeks as Lew faces a Senate confirmation hearing.

Especially his unit’s investments in a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse — a reality suffered by millions of American homeowners.

In particular, the Citigroup fund run by Lew, Citi’s Alternative Investments, invested heavily in the hedge fund of John Paulson, “who made billions off the deterioration of the housing industry by making bearish bets on securities tied to home mortgages — particularly subprime home mortgages.” One of Paulson’s largest bets at the time involved Goldman Sachs, which the SEC has now charged with “defrauding investors by creating and selling exotic securities tied to subprime home mortgages in 2007 without disclosing that they were handpicked by a hedge fund [Paulson] that was betting on them to fail.”

Obviously there's more at the link because it's Glenn Greenwald but also because These Financial Instruments Are So Darned Complicated That Only Geniuses Can rip you off with understand them.

I search and search for The Whom but I can't find them to end this post. Maybe this will do:

29 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I read G.G. quite a bit, and Guns-Lawyers-etc. less.

Different strokes, as they say.
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Substance McGravitas said...

I just don't like the writing. Why did I never hang around at Daily Kos? I didn't like the colour scheme. Us gals are flighty that way.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

G.G. is the master of the run-on post, but he writes things the average DNC fluffer won't go near.
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Jennifer said...

Of course I should leave a comment that shows I've read your post... but I went right to the vidoe. I love that video.

Rachel said...

I believe the 'Mericans will get fooled again.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And now you can order a Rick Santorum sweater vest, Jennifer.
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Substance McGravitas said...

I love that video.

How could you survive that video if it was about you? Wouldn't watching it make you melt like the witch in The Wizard of Oz?

fish said...

GG has a writing style that wouldn't change his mother's mind.

fish said...

That video was inspiring.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"fish comes close"
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fish said...

and not just for me

Substance McGravitas said...

That was a fine fish poem. The others are not quite as good somehow.

Jennifer said...

How could you survive that video if it was about you? Wouldn't watching it make you melt like the witch in The Wizard of Oz?

I think Caruso draws strength from each viewing!! And I think he keeps a tissue box handy...

Jennifer said...

Living in Illinois(state with the WORST credit rating), I now have "Won't you come home, Bill Daley?" going through my head.

Substance McGravitas said...

I appear to have a better credit rating than Illinois.

I don't expect anyone to watch part of Greg Gutman or however you spell his goddamned name, but for some reason Rob Zombie was on the show and was very very unkind to David Caruso.

vacuumslayer said...

Oh sure, make fun of the guy with the rare affliction. See, he's one of only a handful of people in the world who are incapable of talking without gesturing with a pair of sunglasses. You laugh, but it's pretty devastating condition, causing pain and embarrassment to both the sufferer and those who have to be around the sufferer.

Substance McGravitas said...

Oh, I guess I should have mentioned that the David Caruso stuff starts at around 3:50.

vacuumslayer said...

I'm well into it now. Interesting stuff coming from the Family Values network.

wow, that host is incredibly loud and obnoxious.

I will have lost all respect for Rob Zombie if he actually enjoyed that interview at all.

Also...big pet peeve of mine...use of the word "legendary." Legends are dead. Now, I know technically Rob is a zombie, but still.

Substance McGravitas said...

The Soul Crusher album was great.

Another Kiwi said...

Glennzilla is pretty interesting. He gets a bit longwinded and it ain't scintillating but I find it interesting. Kos orange gives me a bleedin' headache.
There's a movie with Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan and Caruso in it, where Caruso has to play a happy-go-lucky mercenary or spy or something. He tries hard but it just isn't him.

mikey said...

I find Greenwald unreadable, but am the first to gladly say that doesn't make him wrong. It makes him a lawyer. So it goes.

But this only goes to prove what I've been saying all along. If we strung this dood up from a lamp post, would anything change? Of course not - the system has insulated itself against accountability. Think about it - if you were going to define a system of governance that was a wholly owned subsidiary of, well, YOU Inc., you'd do the same thing.

We can't beat the doods. We can win at the ballot box. They own the system, and have hardened it against attacks from inside. If that sounds like Bashir al-Assad, well, there you go. When it matters enough, you fight. Until then, you complain...

mikey said...

Obviously, that should be "we can't win at the ballot box".

I need more rest...

Bilejones said...

I thought that only morons like tweety Matthews were incapable of understanding the financial/derivative mess?

fish said...

And I think he keeps a tissue box handy

To clean his glasses?

El Manquécito said...

define a system of governance that was a wholly owned subsidiary

It's called a captured regulatory system and ours is so captured, stripped to it's hunderwear, hung in a net over a crocodile pit, hard to see how it's going to get out of it.

Substance McGravitas said...

If we strung this dood up from a lamp post, would anything change?

Yes. The strength of the system is that the guys who run it are insulated against human concerns, not just that regulatory schemes run in their favour. It's pretty human to try to avoid death.

Dan Coyle said...

VS: You think Greg Gutfeld is bad in the flesh? You should read his columns.

Substance McGravitas said...

Didn't he have a column in the Huffington Post long ago?

Brendan Keefe said...

Oh, I guess I should have mentioned that the David Caruso stuff starts at around 3:50.

Thanks for so doing, because I had already closed the tab after the first few seconds, due to everyone on that set not named Rob Zombie. But that bit from about 3:50 to about 7:50 was pretty good dish. Thanks!