Welcome Nomi Prins, and Host Cynthia Kouril

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

Black Tuesday

Host, Cynthia Kouril:

When I was a kid, my aunt gave me her library of Nancy Drew books; the old ones from the 40’s and 50’s before they re-wrote Nancy into a simp. One of the things I really like about those books was that they were well researched on the background information so I learned a lot of miscellaneous factoids that came back to help me on the SATs. Until I read The Clue of the Black Keys I had never before heard of the volcanic glass, obsidian. The Scarlet Slipper Mystery was my first introduction to the Russian Revolution. The books provided a painless way to teach added value information and allow for passive learning.

Since FDL started the Book Salon program I have waded through many a non-fiction history or economics book. I wanted to learn the information in those books, but some were a bit, erm, dry. Like unhorsed-cowboy-crawling-through-the-desert-with-an-empty-canteen dry. Some had so much information that, if I wanted to absorb it all, it had to be read in short bursts with time in between to process what I had read.

So what’s this all got to do with Nomi Prin’s new novel? Well, it’s like the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. If you want to learn, and understand, the lessons from the last Great Depression and how they are relevant today, but you don’t have the discipline to make yourself read the textbooks, THIS is your lucky day.

Told from the point of view of the young female manager of a Wall Street area diner that appears to have been sited in the same spot that now has the atrium where the Occupy Wall Street working groups meet each evening, this novel is a parable for the very events that are going on at Wall Street today.

The protagonist, Leila Kahn, is that same working class voter that keeps supporting policies and people in the 1% because she so desperately wants to believe that she too will be a 1%er one day so she’ll support policies and positions that are against her own interest and the interests of people like her. She is Joe the Plumber in a charming, yet inexpensive, frock. I kept wanting to smack her upside the head.

She grows to disdain her labor organizing Irish carpenter boyfriend because his talk about how the rapaciousness of the 1% is unfair to the 99% challenges her fantasies about her future. She cheats on him with the fictional married grandson of J.P.Morgan, Sr.

Roderick Morgan is a moral weakling who is under the thumb of his Uncle Jack (J.P. Jr.) and who helps Jack commit frauds in the offering of securities that are directly analogous to the current frauds in the offering of mortgage backed securities.

Interwoven through the “love” story between these two miscreants is a treasure trove of information about the causes of the Great Crash and the dumb-as-dirt “remedies” tried by the Hoover Administration and the MOTU banksters, .i.e., bank bailouts, tax cuts to spur hiring, abandonment of regular small investors who lost everything lest they encourage “moral hazard,” blaming small investors for using predatory credit that was too freely given for margin accounts, and allowing huge swathes of regular people to be stripped of their savings, their businesses and their homes. Sounds familiar, eh?

The beauty part is that this book is a fast and easy read so you will absorb a ton of well-researched factual knowledge without losing your horse, crawling through the desert, or emptying your canteen. It’s a fun, easy way to learn and understand a whole lot of important information that banksters would prefer you never know and delivered in a way that exposes the hypocrisy of many of the proposed “cures” for our current economic woes. It really is a terrific learning tool and delivers information in a form that even Members of Congress should be able to understand.

154 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nomi Prins, Black Tuesday”

BevW November 12th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Nomi, Welcome back to the Lake.

Cynthia, Thank you for Hosting this Book Salon.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hi Bev – Thanks for having me back! Cynthia – Thanks for hosting!.

Hi everyone!!

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hi guys,

Here we are ready for one of our rare fictio offerings.

It’s like dessert for dinner

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

That’s fiction

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

So, Nomi,

What caused you to do a novel this time?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

That’s an apt description – somewhere along the way, there have been too many vampire books, and not enough ones that attack history from a story-telling setting, I think..

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Nomi,

How did you do your research? As many details, and as specifically as you can.

By way of context, I left Wall St. at the peak of the dot-com bubble. I knew it was a bubble, but there was precious little material on Manias, Bubbles and Crashes that was instantly available.

So how did you figure out how to do the mis-en-scene?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:03 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 5

One of the reasons – vampires aside – I did fiction this time, was I wanted to delve into the moral and soul complexities of people facing and committing crimes against the economy – I wanted to examine heart, not just stats

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:04 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 3

Eat dessert first. You never know what will happen.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:05 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 8

Have you seen Margin Call? If so, what did you think of it?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:05 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 7

In terms of research – I started from the same cynical perspective that I give to lots of books and journalism today and went from there. I accessed the main stream papers at the time – NY Times, WSJ – and the more progressive ones like – the Nation – and paid careful attention not just to what stories were written before and after the crash, but what position they took in the papers…..there was lots of adulations for bankers saving the day on Black Thursday, and yet I knew that the fact there were also stories they were in their offices over the weekend – was not a good sign

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:06 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 10

haven’t seen it yet, just the previews – my general impression of those is that for film purposes – you can dramatize certain conversations, my experiences at banks – much was more subtle than that, which is why it was so dangerous

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Other research for the book included many conversations with older people that had lived through the Great Depression, one in particular, was a woman from LA – who’d been in NY at the time – and she was talking about how careful her father was, and yet how he was ruined by a more risk-taking colleague – that was intriguing to me

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

When I was at the US Attoney’s Office I spent a lot of time in the Wall Street neighborhood. It’s the old part of the City and the the narrow streets make you think of the old parts of London. I loved wandering around there, finding the tiny alleys and still cobble stoned streets.

For some reason, whenever I think of that part of town, it’s the way it looks at dusk. The way it’s described in the book, takes me back to those memories.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

It was also interesting that during the supposed roaring 20s, many workers and middle class were already falling behind, yet because the markets were buzzing, this wasn’t looked at – in fact, many union movements got stuck in the back pages of the papers at the time, unless there was violence. The character, Nelson – talks about what unions were winning and also – reminiscent of Occupy Oakland – how the local authorities – were beating up workers who only wanted things like fairer hours and wages.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:10 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 11

How did the reporting change (if it did) once bankers started jumping out windows.

What I’m trying to get at is your descriptive of ‘adulations’ by MSM of the time. How long did it take them to change, if they did. What was the path of change, if there was one.

And, of course, what is the mapping of current times on those.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:10 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 13

So that’s were you got the character of Leila’s uncle’s partner?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 14

I know, I love that part of Wall Street for the historical elements, and working there, I only walked around early morning or late at night, so there was also a dark, mysterious element.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 17

Yes – Morris – Leila’s Uncle’s partner – is the typical person ‘taken’ in by the notion of being able to bet alongside the big Wall Street guys, and rather than tell her Uncle what he’s doing, – not to give too much away – he gets both of them in way over their head…..It’s like that today, but today we have CNBC and Jim Cramer and such – talking up certain stocks, as if everyone can be rich, with the right advice. Truth is – the game was, and is very rigged.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:15 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 16

The similarity of reporting then to now – is that the MSM tended to be less analytical in its reporting – even when people were committing suicide, there wasn’t many articles that delved into the actual crimes committed that led to those deaths – in other words, the ‘drama’ was the story – not the story behind the drama.

Even when the PEcora hearings began in 1933, the indignation was about banisters not paying taxes – there was no media questioning as to why no one was indicted for mass fraud and grand larceny – kind of like today

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

One of the things that REALLY struck me was the predatory lending aspect of both the Great Depressio and our current Less Than Great Depressio is that in both instances, people were suddenly given access to credit in a way that 1) appeared on the surface to make no sense for the lender,but 2) was actually the only way to keep fueling the speculative bubble.

In both cases, regular people were lured into fuelig the bubble in a manner that allowed MOTU to strip them of everythig they owned

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:15 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 12

Agree on subtle, having attended “risk com” weekly meetings at CSFB for a couple of years before I lost an in-house political battle. Brady Dougan, now CEO of CS, presided, then head of Equities at CSFB. He was the most ‘intelligent’ manager I ever observed on Wall St. and rarely took a note nor summarized anything he might have learned (as opposed to other meetings I participated in where intelligent contributors were denigrated).

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I wound up finding certain deal contracts, for example – on which the Allegheny Deal in Black Tuesday is based – where on different dates, different prices and evaluations were given – in a very murky way, but that was the kind of thing that didn’t make headlines

RevBev November 12th, 2011 at 2:17 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 19

If it is so rigged…and not questioning…how is there any direction/agent etc. for making good decisions?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:18 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 21

Exactly – then and now, ordinary people were lured in and borrowed heavily to take part in the ‘game’. then, the notion was – and it was so in everything from the Lady’s HOme Journal ads to the Wall Street Journal, that anyone could become rich in the stock market. Today, well a few years ago, the thing that would make one rich was an ever-rising housing market. But in both cases, the banks were speculating against the ordinary people – first by inflating prices – then of trusts, now of housing – and then, by getting into that bubble first, enticing people in, and getting out when they knew things were going south, leaving ordinary people screwed.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:20 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 20

Oh, that’s very interesting.

I channel Zinn on U.S. history frequently these days, and he missed the element about how MSM missed the real story in the 1920s.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:20 pm
In response to RevBev @ 24

Sadly, there really isn’t. Then we didn’t have an SEC for example, it was created by FDR & Co in 1934, in the aftermath of the Crash and during the Great Depression. Today we do, and it has been spectacularly useless at deflecting chaos or really going after the biggest banks and their executives. We, as people and journalists, Occupy WS, etc – have to keep digging into the facts behind the crimes and it’s an up hill battle.

Elliott November 12th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 8

ahh – sounds like it worked – judging from Cindy’s delightful introduction

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 26

I feel like a lot of people missed the full, real 1920s story – brilliant people like Zinn and even Galbraith – whose crash of 1929 books remains by my bedside – because unless you understand the mindset and game-playing ability of the elite banks – then and now – you’re not going to delve into the extent to which they manipulated the system – you need to not trust them at all first, piece together history second.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Did you end up with any impressions of Peccora Commish? It is often adulated on this site, and seems to have made a bigger diff than the limp-dick Angelides Commish. But I am in no position to judge.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
In response to Elliott @ 28

I loved Cindy’s introduction – yes – also haven’t thought about the Nancy Drew books in years – but devoured them as a kid, and the older ones were more educational then the later ones – and Nancy was far more bad-ass

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 20

One of the things that really frustrates me is the failure to indict even the plain vanilla cases.

Love Rudy or hate Rudy, I remember the days when brokers were frog marched out of their offices in handcuffs.

SDNY has the most sophisticate judiacry i the world when it come to financial fraud. Some of those judges were in USAO SDNY when Giuliani brought the Wall Street cases.

Now, you can only get indicted for ripping off a fellow 1%er

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 30

The PEcora Commission definitely did more than the Angelides show did – that did exactly nothing. Out of the Pecora trials – at least there was a feeling that something these bankers did was dangerous to the overall nation – and needed to be changed – which is where the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 came in – separating the risk taking and speculative securities creating element which was the investment banks’ MO – from the commercial banking one – that dealt with population deposits and loans. This time around – big banks are bigger than ever – and the risk of trading is co-mingled STILL with the risk of regular consumer business – that’s why banks will levy stupid fees on people – to make up for STUPID derivatives and other trades gone wrong

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 27

The SEC has been doing dog and pony shows about their war on insider trading. Which to me, seems to be so much busy work to avoid doing what they are supposed to do.

However, in their defense, they do not have the resources to do their job. Congress needs to beef up the SEC.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:27 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 32

Yeah – I don’t understand – and you probably have a better take on this – why no one has been indicted – to me – most of these deals were abject securities fraud combined with elements of insider trading – by securities laws definitions – it doesn’t seem not indicting can possible be about not being able to make a case – cause seriously, I could do that – it’s about protecting the biggest guys – and all their inter-relationships w/other DC”ites – like Geithner, Paulson, Bush, Obama , etc.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 34

I know the SEC has been losing comparative funding for years, but I still blame them for being inept – in terms of deciding which cases to go after and dig into , and which to leave alone – you don’t settle for $550 million w/Goldman w/o an admission of guilt of wrongdoing – in a mere three months – unless you just didn’t bother to do your job.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 33

I actually think that Liz Warren’s hearings came closer to replicating the narrative arc that Pecorra was able to construct.

The Angelide’s Commssion, seemed to end up more like the SEC, busy work.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 29

Aha. Galbraith. I was once alone on an elevator at Harvard with him and he is really a giant among men, 6’7″ to my (then) 5’3″.

In retrospect, the books I read about MPC, like Kindleberger, were nothing more than hearsay collections of fables of the times.

I say this bc I read a more scholarly study of tulip mania (just tried to figure out book title unsuccessfully, but will link if I can find it) to discover that if one looks at actual evidence, that particular mania bears little representation to the popular mythology.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Yes – Elizabeth Warren was getting somewhere – which is probably why she was shoved aside – and not given the role of CPFA head – the Angelides Commission was actually embarrassing – half the time they were asking the various bank leaders – to explain what basic securities were. I don’t remember who asked – but one of the members questioned what the definition of a CDO was – really, homework should have been required.

tjbs November 12th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Story in my family is Grand-pop went to the bank on Friday before and withdrew $20,000 in gold against the pleating and begging of the banker and with that gold he brought 14 rental properties.

He felt safer with $20,000 of gold in the kitchen oven.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 38

another main thing I found – looking for evidence of how rigged things were – Charles Mitchell – who is in a couple scenes in BT – was head of National City at the time – and an utter sleaze ball – he also sat on the board of the NY Fed as a Class A director into the Crash and knowing his bank was failing – pushed the Fed to keep rates low in order so he could keep borrowing – not unlikes what Jamie Dimon does in his role as Class A director at the NY Fed – history doesn’t mean change

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:33 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 34

Read a post that posited that insider trading is low hanging fruit for SEC and acts as cover for SEC’s failure to do their supposedly real work.

Nomi, would you care to comment.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:33 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 36

SEC inept, or crooked?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to tjbs @ 40

yes, your Grand-pop was smart – one thing not every one knew then, and people don’t get now – is that markets crash MUCH more quickly than they rise – and bankers have the insider knowledge to get out first – converting then to GOLD – when Gold meant something was very smart. Eventually, the stock market fell 83%.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 43

a bit of both – depending on internal ranking of various individuals. there’s certainly a revolving door. Matt Taibbi wrote an outstanding piece about that in August

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 39

Agree. Angelides commish was (yet another) national embarrassment.

You may be interested to know, sample of one fwiw, that even the right wing financial nuts are getting upset by the lawlessness of the fin ind.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 42

Absolutely – insider trading – the kind that can be easily tracked – like with stocks is more easily proven – then the fraud AND insider trading related to complex securities like CDOs -but still, what happened with companies like GS KNOWING the decline of the securities they stuff into their CDOs and such and doing it anyway, and marketing them as more valuable than they were – is both insider trading (the knowledge) and fraud (the pitch)

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:37 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 35

1) Preet Bahara is Chuck Schumer’s guy

2) Chuck, I believe genuinely, believes that saving Wall Street = savinf Y and by extension the country. I really tink he is true believer on this point.

3) If the truth were exposed all the major banks would collapse, which is why we have all these attemtps at deals to avoid confirming that the banks failed to properly convey the mortgages and notes into the trusts behid RMBS and they are largely empty shells.

4) If the banks had to mark their toxic assets to amrket they would be shown to be grossly undercapitalized.

5) Yes, Paulson, Gietner, et al are all too close to the people they were supposed to oversee. Hell’s Bells, Summers caused Harvard to deviat from their endowment standards and lost how many millions out of the Harvard endowment? They all truly believe that they are experts and the rest of us should STFU and just take their word for things.

I will never forget the image to Blankfien testifying before (I think it was a Senate Committee) Some committee early in the crisis and being asked to explain RMBS and sayig that iti was too complicated to explain to the members of the committee.

I am able to understand these deal, I can explain them in plan english. Why can’t Blankfien?

tjbs November 12th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 44

He was burned in the 1907 crash and learned not to trust the bankers.

Imagine in a small town sitting on that much gold.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 46

true – but even the right wing still goes by the idea that regulation is bad – whereas what’s bad is subsidizing as in paying trillions of dollars to back – mega systemic risk that brings down the entire economy.

In the world of BT – each bank is engaged in various fraud and putting risk into the economy, and enticing regular people as pawns to pull it off – yet, few people at the time knew what was going on at all – Leila’s character – someone who thinks these guys are rich cause they’re good at business and smart – gets a rude awakening when she realizes they aren’t smarter, they’re sociopathic

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 43

Inept and unmotivated

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 41

Yeppers. Mitchell reincarnated as Dimon or take-your-pick of Goldman Suckers planted every where in “reg” authorities.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:40 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 48

Summers dinged Harvard’s endowment by $8 billion.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:41 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 48

BLankfein was trying to purposely confuse the committee – he’s a very intelligent man – I worked for him at one point – he was trying to make things that weren’t that complicated seem so – part camouflage – and also legally, I think prosecutors may shy away from a case where they think a jury won’t understand what’s in question.

that’s why again, insider trading, people like Martha Stewart – get convicted and banks that sit on trillions of dollars of derivatives risk – get to keep on doing what they’re doing, led by the same CEOS

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:41 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 47

Actually, I think there is a direct analogy between the banksters marketing RMBS as being more valuable than they really were and the railroad deal in your novel.

And GS betting agaisnt it’s own security is not that different that Roderick’s two sets of books

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:42 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 52

Then, there’s my other favorite – a minor character in Black Tuesday, too – Al Wiggins – who was head of Chase at the time – he was in a meeting on Black Thursday with a bunch of other bankers talking about how to save the markets by pooling their money together (their depositors money really) and buying various stocks (their clients’ or their own) to keep things looking up – and meanwhile, he was involved with 6 different offshore (Canada at the time) accounts that were SHORTING the very stock in Chase, he was using customers’ money to bolster – trading against his investors big-time…so reminiscent of today

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 50

banksters aren’t more competent, they are sociopathic.

Nomi, THAT is a message that needs to penetrate the amrket of ideas.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 50

they aren’t smarter, they’re sociopathic

One of the main points of Margin Call. (I had lots of criticisms of the movie, but that’s bc I know a lot about the subject; it made its main points.)

I always thought my bosses on Wall St. were stupider than a bag of stones. Wall St. functioned bc the troops were smart and motivated by high compensation.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 53

It wasn’t just Harvard. When other universities saw what Harvard was doing, they followed suit, and also lost oodles of $.

Student aide lost and professors let go, because they wated to be smart like Harvard.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 55

Exactly – the railroad deal in Black Tuesday, the Allegheny deal has two sets of pricing – one for the bank, one for the investors – the lower one, that the Morgan bank knows but the public doesn’t – is real, the higher one if the fraud – and yet, that’s the one investors paid. I actually came across two version of that deal document when doing research, which is why I chose it – and the discrepant in Black Tuesday – is the real discrepancy in them.

What Roderick does is very similar to many traders – even to Jon Corzine at MF Global – keep mismarking and moving money around, and hope something will break in your favor and no one will notice. Madoff did that. But, when markets tank – everything gets naked and you can only hide losses for so long

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 54

Oh, exactly. Blankfien was lying. At the time, I was shouting at my TV screen that the members should not accept an answer that suggested that they would too dim to follow these deals.

And I think he perjured himself at that hearing in a way that would also make for a prety plain vanilla prosecution

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 56

pooling their money together (their depositors money really

*smacking side of head* Jon Corzine, izat u?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 57

I think it’s true -the most senior bankers – the ones that rise to the top anyway, and push to get there their whole careers – they are really sociopaths – disconnected from reality and most people…it takes a certain person to be that ruthless in their ambition, that much a liar, that much a cheater and keep justifying it and they take the spoils from their behavior – with no compassion whatsoever. ..

the character of Jack is a certified sociopath – and based on of course, the real Jack Morgan, son of JP Morgan at the time that ran the Morgan bank – which is now part of JPM Chase

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 59

I’m on the FinCom of SUNY-New Paltz Foundation & a new member wanted us to ape those very institutions in 8/08. I put the kaibosh on that PDQ.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 61

I was shouting at my TV too – from across the country – at Blankfein – of course he was lying – and the Levin report that came out this April confirmed that in so many ways – another reason that the SEC / DOJ is either incompetent – or more likely – complicit

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 64

Good thinking !

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Going back to the PEcora commission though – and I’ve written tons about its importance – there was an aspect that remains sketchy regarding Jack Morgan – in that Pecora actually praised him, after a rather harsh set of questions – towards the end of his testimony – so maybe there was more horse-trading and posturing going on then, than we generally believe.

Today, I feel like much of the commissions and investigations have been shown to be more for effect than doing anything

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:52 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 60

Well, when the banks are fianlly forced to mark the RMBS portfolios to market, lots of poop will hit the fan.

Marcy Wheeler uses a phrase to describe the current approach to the foreclosure fraud problem, Extend ad pretend. Which is the gov’t policy based on this same idea that if you can just hide it and cover it up until some miracle happens, disaster can be averted.

However, if TARP had bailed out the homeonwers instead of the banks, the crisis would be over by now and the housing market would have stabilized at a higher price.

Instead, extend and pretend has just dragged out the misery in slow motion

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:53 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 66

Didn’t need no thinking at all. Just a little behind the scenes maneuvering. Committee was on my side.

If it’s too good to be true, it isn’t true.

The first woman partner of Goldman Sucks, Jeanette Winter Loeb, lost her entire $22 million financial nest egg to Bernie Madoff. I am told she had real estate investments, so didn’t end up in the poor house.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I wrote in It Takes a Pillage that if mortgages had been restructured across the board – it would have cost us a fraction of what it has to bailout and subsidize the banks – and it would have helped people and the overall economy…..instead we have a federal policy which abets in the cover-up of prices and a fed that has funneled near zero percent interest money into the banking system which has not made its way into the main street economy – instead, its made its way into derivatives and other types of capital intensive transactions – which perpetuates the systemic risk and economic decline in its wake

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 67

“for show”

What we call kabuki on FDL.

I am loving this book salon but must bug out for awhile. Hopefully I’ll be back before it’s over.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:55 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 69

I think it will be shown , if it hasn’t already ,that there may be some Goldman folks that have lost money w/their old buddy, Jon Corzine, too – when the dust settles.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 71

yeah, Kabuki theater – better description. thanks for your participation – tell people about Black Tuesday – there’s a lot of info swept into its story and characters..

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 70

The bubblicious economy. At zero int rate, monetary policy is powerless, so its manifestation is in bubbles, not econ growth. In 11/98, after FRB bailout of LTCM, I wrote a piece titled “Beginning the Next Bubble.”

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 74

yes – definitely cheap money inflates all bubbles…..this time that bubble is courtesy of our Fed / Treas / government inability to comprehend or do anything about it

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 2:59 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 67

I hosted Book Salon for Mike Perino’s bio of Pecorra, and to prep, I read eerysingle transcript from the commisiion hearings. Yes I’m a nerd.

Anyway, things really did trail off after a while. Perino’s book advanced the theory that evenbefore the hearings ended the story had grabbed hold of the national imagination, basically that perhaps he knew he had already won and didn’t need to run up the scoreboard (my metaphor, not his)

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Even during the Crash of 1929 – we had a banker in the role of Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon – extolling the virtues of America – and the whole ‘the business of america is business’ motto…problem is that fake financial dealings, cheap money, then – Trusts – now – CDOs and derivatives – isn’t real wealth – except when its cashed out by those in control of the game – it’s an albatross for the rest of the economy and everyone else

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 76

Yeah, I read through the transcripts from those hearings too – so, a nerd as well – and will all that was exposed, when you think about it, the fact that there were no arrests or convictions is indicative of the same factions in contour on Wall Street and in DC – still, at least we got the Glass-Steagall act out of that – though that did also provide an FDIC to back bank deposits for the banks that chose to be commercial banks, which gave them a leg up in a crazy environment, a cushion that helped the banks and the people….

today – also no arrest, but no legislation whatsoever that will make the slightest bit of structural difference either

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:04 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 70

Right now, banks are foreclosing w/o standing to do so. If they offered to take a principle write down, desperate homeonwers would RUN to do the refi, giving the bank a new set of mortgage docs that they could now properly record and transfer with good title. Thereby re-obligating people who may not be obligated right now.

Instead, they are busy trying to change the rules of chain of title. Gah!

Principle write down + Robin Hood tax on trades + a modern day Glass Steagall Act = stabilized economy

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Once of the things I tried to depict in the trial in which Leila participates – is that back then, there was also a sense of swarming media – the 1929 equivalent of papparrazi – and the nation became more taken in which the more salacious details of the trial, than the more boring fraud of the bankers involved.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 73

It really is a parable

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 79

The banks are committing fraud actually by not writing down mortgages, aside from also screwing homeowners.
They are carrying loans at values based on old home prices that don’t exist anymore, and based on those values, they make their own books appear more solvent than they are – if banks had to write down the value of their loans by what should be about a third right of the bat, they’d look a lot worse – which is why the FASB – and the Fed – in conjunction isn’t making banks evaluate anything on a ‘mark-to’market’ – or reasonable representation of current value – manner

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:08 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 81

ONly difference is that in Black Tuesday – the citizens have the ability to confront the banks in an actual court – can you imagine that kind of thing happening today? or actually, even back then – since Black Tuesday is after all a work of fiction in that regard

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 80

yep. The thing is, the failure of the mortgage originators to follow their own underwriting standards. The failure of the “depositor” banks to proeprly convey the mortgages and notes into the trusts. All of this makes for the most simple to understand fraud case.

And if the public comes to realize that they are being foreclosed on by an entity, which by its own actions, destroyed it’s own standing to do so–I think that trial would make for some pretty rivetting reality TV

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Maybe you’re on to something there – Reality TV on like the E-channel instead of CSPAN – where we hire quasi real people / but really actors – to play the banker roles, and some hot person/actor to be the prosecutor – we could get to the bottom of this…

But seriously, the public largely still believes people bought houses they shouldn’t have bought, even the ones underwater, I think tend to believe somehow they are stupid or responsible – it’s only the people dealing with the foreclosures and all the fraud and paperwork that know there was something more sinister going on.

Plus, many mortgage companies have gone under or been purchase by the big banks, so it’s still the most powerful firms holding most of the cards – and they have more time and money to fight in court, settle if they absolutely have to, but keep going what they’re doing.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Does anyone out there think we’re in a Second Great Depression?

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Nomi,

Do you think OWS has the potential to change the conventional wisdom until we actually get to a national consensus that accepts the true causes of the current Depression?

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 86

Me.

Krugman calls it the Lesser Depression, so you can probably count him in too

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I think OWS has been remarkable at invoking more national conversation about how we got into this mess – or rather who is responsible….the extent to which it’s able to do more I think will depend on its stamina – the great thing about the movement, is that is has attracted many people that are completely disillusioned but felt they had nowhere else to express themselves – and that in itself, that building of a national community of diverse people impacted by the same issues – is terrific. All that said, there’s a strong counter-narrative that is associating the movement w/violence – and I fear that will grow.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

One thing I find amusing is that the MOTU fear for their own physical safety. Remember during the IAG bailout, they had security firms. I have now gotten emails from executive protection firms ( I guess they think I’m more important than I am) with all sorts of offers to do security plans and escort services.

They are terrified of tumbrels

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 88

Yeah – but it’s not the lesser Depression – nothing lesser about it – the extent of the global financial risk and continually unfolding losses and punishing effects on populations around the world – is much bigger than it was the first time around…..multiples of leverage and derivatives bigger – if you get the finance of this economic situation, and not just the economics – its’ a much scarier condition.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 90

Yeah – that is amusing – considering how protected and really isolated from regular people they are anyway.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Back on & off.

1. Best book on Tulipmania is by Anne Goldgar. Diff from what she found out by looking at data & records (imagine actually examining evidence; how bizarre is that), is that very few transactions took place at the exalted bubble prices and that most of the transactions occurred within a small group of intermarried merchant families in a Dutch city. Can’t remember whether it was Amsterdam or not.

IOW, tulip bubble did not permeate the Dutch economy wh is why its bursting did not ruin the Dutch Golden Age.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

There’s a scene – which is very close to real life, the character I created of Roderick Morgan, aside – where he and Tom Lamont – acting head of the Morgan Bank were told to go to a secret meeting at the NYSE – that meeting happened in the middle of day on Black Tuesday – on the second floor of the exchange up a series of back stairs that lead to the side street – I fictionalized it – but the real story was crazy – there really was a fear that one of the people in the Street would kill a Morgan partner if they saw him on the Street. Course, that didn’t happen in real life.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 89

I’m not surprised by the counter narrative, but not so terribly concerned. First it was, they are all a bunch of unemployed hippies.

Then it was, they don’t know what they want, have no demands.

Then it was that it’s a buch of kids who don’t want to get jobs.

Then it was that they were disorganized (as opposed to leaderless)

Now, we have one guy who killed HIMSELF. He didn’t harm anyone else. ANd a shooting in the same neighborhood. By that token the shooting near the White House means that POTUS is violent? Of course not.

I think OWS has been just genius with their message delivery and thus far have confouded every attempt to distort the narrative and defame them

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 94

If the diner had an address what would the street number be?

blackbeary November 12th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Was there anything like OWS back then? Maybe this time the people can go all the way to an economy based on social and ecological priorities.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 93

Welcome back ! Haven’t read the book -but probably the reason it didn’t ruin the Golden Age was cause despite the small clan of merchant participants, there were probably fewer outsiders that got swept into it – compared to the 1929 Crash or the subprime one more recently.

On a separate note, though we don’t hear about it as much as Greece / Italy – Holland is having its share of massive economic strife.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 96

Good question = I spent a bunch of time standing at the Triangle between the Morgan Bank, NYSE, and Federal Hall in downtown NYC – and it would probably be 60 or so Wall Street – there’s a coffee shop there now, but very modern

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:29 pm
In response to blackbeary @ 97

There was the Bonus Army.

A bunch of WW I vets who had a bonus that was supposed to be paid to them in the 1940′s and they marched on DC and demanded that bonus to be accelerated

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:30 pm
In response to blackbeary @ 97

THere was a lot of civil unrest – some of it violent – because the notion of prolonged and widespread Desperation towards the early 1930s was very profound – not softened by things like Keeping up with the Kardashians and other distractions…that was a lot of the reason, but not as discussed historically, that FDR won the presidency and acted to do something – against the bankers – which turned out to be Glass-Steagall a 1933 version of an act that was batted about during Hoover’s time, but never enact

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 99

I suspected that. The atrium at 60 Wall is where the OWS folks hold their working group meetings.

I think there is some kind of wonderful karmic symetry in that

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Cynthia Kouril @ 68

Welcome, Nomi, and thanks Cindi.

I’m a “financial nerd.” [And loved those Nancy Drew books as well.]

As we watch the Great Depression be recycled in our Wanna-Be Depression, and watch the endless repeats of the scams and bubbles, I keep anticipating another “hair on fire” moment, just like the one that brought us TARP: we’ll be told that — perhaps, for example, because the banks HAVE had to mark to market — we just HAVE to pour money into them again. Or, or, or FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON!!!!

What I’ve been asking at several “financial’ sites is: what WOULD have happened to us if that TARP money hadn’t gone to bail out the banks? [Indeed, if it had gone to homeowners.]

I mean really, what would have happened? What other paths could have been taken? Because you KNOW these clowns are going to be howling for bail-out any day now. I’d think it would be useful to tread down that path we DIDn’t take with TARP, and show how we don’t have to be stampeeded into another stupid move.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

There was also a lot of union activity even before the crash of 1929 throughout the country – from mills to factories to teamsters – that coalesced to push for change in the early 1930s

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Hello, all,
I’m wondering if anyone will suggest nationalizing the TBTF banks.

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 86

Yes.

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 82

The banks are committing fraud actually by not writing down mortgages, aside from also screwing homeowners.

Do these banks have shareholders?

Can one or more of those shareholders bring suit for false representation or something else affecting their investment?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 103

If TARP hadn’t happened, the Fed simply would have lent more money or purchased more toxic securities from the banks to bolster their positions – I hate the argument that without TARP, we’d be a lot worse – unfortunately, we’d probably be exactly where we are – only because the actual subsidization that continues today, of the banking system, was mulit-trillion dollar enterprise – not 700 billion – that’s what I wrote It Takes a Pillage about.

Other Paths – let AIG fail, except for its consumer business, let Goldman or MOrgan Stanly fail – not become bank holding companies – though they wouldn’t have failed – let Merril fail except for its consumer brokerages biz – don’t give it to BofA who is no commingling its derives risk w/its customer deposits…etc

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Nomi,

How did you figure out Jack Morgan was a sociopath? One of the ways I tried to figure out what the financial/econ environment was really like in the 20s, 30s was by reading bios of the major financial figures. But they all turn out to be hagiographies. (Call such authors hand servants to the 1%ers or PTB).So I didn’t learn what I was looking for. Where did you find the more revealing material?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to Kathryn in MA @ 105

Hi Kathryn, – there is always some talk- but I feel that nationalizing the banks – in their current complex state – would be bad – we’re already subsidizing too much of their risk and bad positions – they would have to be chopped/broekn up first

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 103

If you remember the very early discussion of TARP, before it was passed. It seemed like it was going to go to buying up all the soured mortgages asn then the gov’t, as the new owners of the mortgages would be able to unwind things.

Instead at the very least minute the disussion shifted to only “how much” monry not how the money would be used.

THAT’s when it all went kafluey

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 106

Hell, yes.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
In response to Kathryn in MA @ 105

nah, we only nationalize the losses

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 110

We could do that – better that than another round of bailouts with nothing to show for it. Thanks for your answer.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 109

My definition of a sociopath is one disconnected from average society – so it’s my own assessment – but based on the fraud I[m sure was going on at Morgan – that he therefore would have had to be lying out at the Pecora Commission – I figure him and the truth related to financial matters was distant….too much adulation in a lot of biographies…

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 107

Speaking of bank shares. B of A keeps flirting with the $5 mark for the price of it’s shares.

If B of A goes below $5, institutional investors will be forced by the terms of their trust to dump the stock and then it buh bye B of A

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 107

yes they can and should – however the biggest shareholder then, and during the times of Black Tuesday – tend to be the bankers themselves – in their own company and inter-related ones

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

For the banks to eat their own losses, then, is it a matter of forcing open their books? (total economic idiot here)

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

BofA is technically insolvent – and yet our Fed propped it up with a ‘yes ‘ on its merrill merger in the fall of 2008 -

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
In response to Kathryn in MA @ 118

If banks truly opened their books now, or did in 2008 – it would have been ugly, but contained – now it’s a slow death spiral – there’s no law against banks shutting down arms that are too risky, require too much capital, and aren’t providing productive capital – it’s just they don’t have too – cause they can hide and get subsidized

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

in the scene in Black Tuesday – the top five bankers decide to bail themselves out – (with depositors money, but still) nowadays – they don’t have to – the governments across the globe do it for them (on the public’s money and futures)

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 98

Exactly right on Dutch Golden Age.

Haven’t read anything about current Netherlands econ strife. Will keep alert for stories of it.

I was telling my hairdresser about OWS on Wednesday (70-something straight guy at Kenneths, to give context; smart & perceptive). He asked why the corruption got so deep & so wide spread. My A is: bc of the fall of communism. There is no left left, and that means that there is no countervailing narrative, or place to go, for the real people. Thus the fascistic combo of banks, corps & govts have free rein. Europe as well as U.S.

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:43 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 89

I think OWS has been remarkable at invoking more national conversation about how we got into this mess

Do you see OWS performing any sort of “teach-in” function, like we had during Vietnam?

[Cover blown: I'm an old fart.]

If somehow materials could be created in a SIMPLIFIED FORM that would tell the various threads of the financial story — for instance, why Obama and the other “national leaders” are so crazed over forcing Greece et al. not to “default;” how default would affect their pals at the banks and hedge funds — these could be useful in educating the public, and the public educating their friends, family & neighbors.

The bad guys have been able to get away with so much because they’ve characterized this as “complicated” [your reference to Blankfein above]. But really, even the most “complicated” elements — say credit default swaps — can be explained simply.

We also need to remember that we need to not only combat the lies of the Big Guys {“this is all the fault of greedy, jetski-buying homeowners”], but to point out that these lies ARE THEIR TACTIC. They will repeat this crap ’til hell freezes over or until it’s accepted as truth.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

maybe this is a question for Cindy – but in BT, the epic trial scene – Leila and her family face the bankers head on – why can’t a citizen charge a banker in that way today or even in class action, and it get to trial – why is no even local DA able to take that on?

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 108

This confirms what I have believed, yet I see referenced again and again: “saved us from financial disaster;” “averted financial melt-down” or whatever.

I really think it’s important to point this out, because you KNOW it’s coming again. The only question is how soon.

BevW November 12th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Nomi, what do you envision the final act of the state AGs and the Foreclosure negotiations will be? Will there be any relief for the homeowners or will the banks/financial institutions get of scott-free?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 122

Much of Europe is in decay, save Germany and I question their banks’ marks – but the media only does one country at a time usually story-wise….because our global financial system is so inter-related – the negative effects today are greater than they were during the Great Depression -

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:46 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 125

It’s not coming again – it’s here – every day – that why bank stocks are down – that’s why Europe keeps bailing out countries – ie. their banks = i.e. our banks – under the guise of needing austerity and spending cuts -

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:47 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 123

excellent question about teach=in and yes, I do think that’s a part – I’ve been asked to participate in several teach=ins already and I think that trend generally is growing – which is good – cause this isn’t the story told in school – or on the E! channel

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:47 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 123

Actually OWS does do teach ins. And a lot of what’s up on the 99% webpage is really informative.

It just doesn’t get press coverage.

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 120

Is there any hope of putting a stop to the subsidizing?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

One of the reasons I had Leila Kahn come to the realization that bankers suck slowly,is that she very much was a product of her day – immigrant coming for the american dream, believing the rich were somehow better – that it was attainable – kind of unaware. like cindy said in her intro – i wanted to smack Leila a lot too – but she’s given the opportunity and mortal imperative to discover what really makes the bankers tick and that sets her on a whole other, often difficult set of moral choices… i think a lot of youth face those today in different manners.

BevW November 12th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

As we come to the end of this Book Salon,

Nomi, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the Great Depression.

Cynthia, Thank you very much for Hosting this Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Nomi’s website and book

Cynthia’s website

Thanks all, Have a great evening.

Sunday – Amanda Coyne / Crude Awakening: Money Mavericks and Mayhem in Alaska; Hosted by Jeanne Devon (TheMudflats.net)

If you want to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

With YouTube, you could put some particularly good “teach-in” sessions up there.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:52 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 131

Sadly, there are only a few people in DC who actively understand the subsidizing, fewer that see its dangerous. most DC’ites believe it’s necessary – including Obama – who said we need a strong financial system – again – recently. OWS has the ability to draw attention to this w/the simple slogan – they got bailed out – we got sold out – though I’d change the tense to present, not past. -

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 3:53 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 124

Actually, b/c NYS has the Martin Webb Act, our local DA (Waving at Cy Vance) could bring a case.

And last I heard had issued some subpeonas. Now in order to issue a GJ subpeona you have to have a GJ empanelled, which suggests……?

Two years ago, the NYS Bar Association’s HS Mock Trial fact pattern was a Martin Act case. I know HS kids who could write the damn indictment.

This is why the loss of Elliot Spitzer from public service is such a disappointment. He ‘got” this. He really was a canary in the coal mine at least with respect to the utter lawlessness of the MOTU.

Schniederman seems to be working the Martin Act angle, since he and Beau Biden seem focused on the issuance of the security end of this disaster.

Sadly few seem focused on the predatory lending/ripping off the homeowner end

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Do you think the “Move Your Money” campaign will have any effect on BofA, Wells, etc?

Are there other moves consumers can make that will affect them?

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

HI Bev,,

Thanks so much for making the salon possible and Cynthia – you’ve been an amazing and brilliant host!

I really think you guys here at the Lake will enjoy Black Tuesday – and really, not just cause I wrote it – I took the advice of another author, Anne Rice that I saw speak in LA last year – write the book you’d want to read – and I did – and I really hope you will, too!

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 137

I think the Move campaign needs to be MUCH bigger to make them care – but the bad publicity they got on things like the 5% debit fee / the youtube petitions etc / do scare them – because they fear it could lead to bigger withdraws…

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

It’s been many, many, many years since I did securities law, but I keep thinking there ought to be something an individual shareholder could do on this.

Expensive? Yes. But organize & drum up financial support.

If you can’t get the AGs to bring cases, bring ‘em yourself.

How about the pension funds and others who are shareholders? Maybe they could get interested in bringing a suit.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 3:57 pm
In response to Nomi Prins @ 139

IN the end, in the times of Black Tuesday and today – it does bear upon the shoulder of ordinary people to band together and make their discontent about the rigged game heard – only then can we even hope to be able to make a dent in the financial system’s armor.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Nomi,

You might be interested to know that one of my projects that never got off the ground is to read Bernanke’s book of essays on Great Depression, write up a critical summary.

I’ve restarted it about 3 times over the past 2 years, spend a couple of days on it, and then put it down.

The work is such schlock, it’s just not worth wasting any time over it.

Two fronts.

1. Substantive: Index contains one or two refs to fiscal policy and none to Keynes, or vice versa. That should tell you everything you need to know.

2. Technical: His regressions contain 66 observations (6 years, 11 countries, or something like that). Lumps together countries like U.S. & Estonia. Bet he ran well over a couple of hundred regressions, meaning he used up his data 2Xover. Really. And such a man gets to be head of Princeton’s Econ Dept & Krugman thought he was a solid citizen.

Bernanke is a one-man band in the intellectual bankruptcy of U.S. PTB.

Mauimom November 12th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Thank you so much for stopping by, Nomi.

Best of luck in your continued endeavors, and thanks for helping to educate the public.

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Nomi

thank you for such a great discussion.

Folks, really, if you want to learn all the tough economic stuff without the tough textbook part, this is the easiest fastest way to absorb it.

And the parallels to to day are overwhelming.

Nomi Prins November 12th, 2011 at 4:00 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 142

totally agree on all those fronts ..!

Thanks everyone!

Nomi

Cynthia Kouril November 12th, 2011 at 4:03 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 140

THE NYS Comptroller, who manages the City’s pension funds made some noise about doing something like that, which is probabaly why he now has a burgeonig campaign finance scnadal.

have you notice that ayone who shows a spine on this topic seems to get hit with some kind of scandal or other? They must have an army of private invesrtigators to dig dirt.

I keep waiting to hear that Liz Warren stiffed some Brownie out of payment for girl scout cookies, or something like that. I swear, if they can’t find it, I would not be surprised to learn that they maufactured soem dirt

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 142

I really wish you would do that project – we could use your teach-in, too.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Please do not put Warren and stiff and Scott Brown in the same sentence again. Thanks.

Kathryn in MA November 12th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Completely agree – sociopaths, remember, and the money involved must be unimaginable.

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 4:10 pm
In response to Kathryn in MA @ 147

I know how valuable it would be, which is why I keep starting it up again with good intentions. But the process is kind of like being waterboarded. At each point your mind is being drowned by a flood of putridness (or is it putridity).

Phoenix Woman November 12th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Dang! I missed this!

Thanks for coming, Nomi. From the thread here, it sounds like everyone had fun.

Phoenix Woman November 12th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 150

Punditry?

eCAHNomics November 12th, 2011 at 4:15 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 152

Drowned by punditry. Works for me.

DWBartoo November 12th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

An absolutely superb Book Salon, one of the very best … ever!

Thank you, Nomi, Cynthia, eCAHN, Rev Bev, Elliot, tjbs, blackbeary, Mauimom, Kathryn, PW, and Bev …

DW

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