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Reason.tv: DJ Carl Levin's Really Sh*tty Deal

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Nobody busts a better beat than Michigan's Senior Senator, a.k.a. DJ Carl Levin, especially when he's grilling Goldman Sachs' big men like a Great Lakes perch. But be warned: This track's got more sh*t going on than Robert Byrd's underpants.

Check it out, why dontcha, and get your faith back in the Fedz. Or not.

Approx. 30 seconds.

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  1. Carl Levin seriously needs to quit his day job.

    1. So do the jokers at Goldman Sachs.

      They didn’t do much wrong betting both sides of the market (all smart investors do this), but they did fuck up by getting in bed with AIG.

      They have yet to repay the $15 or so billion they received as part of the AIG bailout.

      Until they pay that back, they are just like GM and Chrysler.

      1. Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP)

      2. Why should they pay it back? The government gave money to AIG to keep them afloat, and AIG used that money to pay companies they owed money to (including Goldman Sachs). That debt to the government is owed by AIG, not GS. GS already payed back their TARP funds, with 23% interest.

        See, AIG is an insurance company. There is hardly any point in bailing out an insurance company, and then getting mad when it pays out on its insurance promises. Imagine the outrage if an insurance company had taken federal funds and still refused to honor its insurance debts.

        Was AIG a bad place to turn to for insurance? As it turned out, yes. However, GS had hedge positions to protect themselves against an AIG failure, which obviously never paid off because AIG was saved.

    2. what? then he wouldn’t be able to take care of his buddies at Goldman Sachs and the rest. it’s all “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” with these guys — “gotta dump on you in front of the cameras to keep the voters happy, but you know I don’t mean it and you’ll get what you asked for in the end”. Health insurance CEO’s, car company CEO’s, financial industry CEO’s, it never ends……..

  2. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

    Buyer beware.

    You can’t cheat an honest man.

    I can remember when those were the generally accepted rules people lived by, and would recite at the drop of a hat. What happened to that? I’m not that old, am I? Damn.

    Shitty-shitty Gang-Bang!

    1. +1. Yeah, the idea of taking care of yourself and accepting the consequences of your mistakes is considered “unfair” nowadays. I used to think that the characters in Atlas Shrugged who whined about how unfair it is to expect someone to carry his own load were a bit over the top; no more. Such whining is now quite common.

  3. Hey, if the shoe fits! LOL

    Limp
    http://www.anon-vpn.se.tc

  4. I had that godforsaken thing on today. It was the most “…Well you suck dick!”; “Yeah well, you suck dick!” thing I have ever seen.

  5. Sweet, another opportunity to post my favorite you tube. One of the best examples of why 535 people in Washington should not have the power they abuse. Levin ain’t got nothin’ on Corrine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5tXMLI-OsI

  6. But what does Sen. Carl think about a turtle fence?

  7. I’ve always said, the only thing that could make shameless political grandstanding better would be an accompanying FCC fine.

    1. We politicians don’t HAVE to pay obscenity fines! We’re better than you!

  8. You guys are racists. Clearly he is saying this was a City deal. You guys make fun of Asians like South Park does.

  9. Sadly, I’m sure that at the end, when Levin says, “Does that bother you at all?” the respondant doesn’t say, “You mean more or less than an allegedly respected senior senator using the word ‘shitty’ on the floor of the Senate, which I’ve heard is the world’s greatest deliberative body…?”

    1. Hearings are not held on the “floor” of the Senate. They take place in a special room, the “shitty” room.

  10. Shootin’ up a shitstorm…

    What?

    Is he up for reelection or something?

  11. Goldman Sachs did violate the trust of their retail customer.

    There’s NO WAY anyone can say that they didn’t.

    They PRIME BROKERED a Structured product that designed for shorting and they sold it as a LONG to their own customers (Pension funds, etc.).

    This is not rich individuals, this is the retirement funds of many.

    It’s clearly a crime.

    When you accept money in TRUST that you intend on making your customer a profit, you can’t sell them a SHORT as a LONG…and then SHORT it.

    1. when YOU put it like THAT

      there’s NO WAY anyone can say your aren’t an IDIOT

      what is a CRIME is your COMMENTING

    2. What was the rating of the tranche they sold?

      My understanding is that it was rated CC when they sold it to investors.

      CC meaning “In default with little
      prospect for recovery”.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_rating

      I could be wrong. But the reports I read said this was over a “CC” tranche. I think there’s an argument to made that Goldman had a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to short those kinds of investments, and that it would have been unreasonable to assume that the qualified investors who were buying this stuff didn’t know that… Is there anyone who can be assumed to be more more qualified than a pension fund?!

      That’s right! Without even reading the docs, it’s YES WAY someone could say they didn’t violate the trust of their investors…

      As an aside, why do the witch hunts always end in self-evident dismay? What is that, in the introductory chapter of Witch Hunt 101?

      1. That ABACUS shit was rated AAA. How’d they manage that? Who in their right mind would short a AAA if they didn’t have knowledge that it really wasn’t AAA? But yet, they had no problem selling it as AAA, even though they knew it wasn’t, which is why they shorted it, so they could make more money when they sold it.

        If I worked at an investment firm, and I went to the management and said, “I’m going to short this AAA muni”, what would happen to me? I’d by shown the door with a boot up my ass, that’s what.

        They knew, they lied, they should pay. Fraud is fraud.

        The squid is vulnerable. Let’s see how far this goes.

        1. That ABACUS shit was rated AAA. How’d they manage that?

          They probably bought insurance on it. That’s almost the universal practice for CMOs with AAA ratings.

          If I worked at an investment firm, and I went to the management and said, “I’m going to short this AAA muni”, what would happen to me?

          If you wanted to short a high-risk pool that had AAA because of insurance, they’d probably look at your analysis and give you the green light if they liked the risk/return ratio.

          What the idiots in Congress don’t understand is that SOMEONE HAS TO TAKE BOTH SIDES OF A DERIVATIVE. You can’t sell the long side of a risk transfer contract unless someone takes the short side. Market makers like Goldman take the flip side of risk transfer contracts that they sell. Sometimes they keep their side, sometimes they sell it.

          But the idea that Goldman could sell the long side of one of these deals without a short side being created that has to be dealth with somehow is just pure fantasy.

          1. Just for the record, what I read stated that it was rated “CC”.

            …not even that it was rated AA because of the insurance. I mean, some tranches have to be rated “CC”–that’s the way tranches work.

            If somebody here wants to link to something that shows how the tranche in question was rated, I’d love to see it.

  12. Just for the record, in addition to what was said at the hearings, “one shitty deal” could be a quantitative assessment rather than just qualitative.

    Not buyin’ it? Okay, I’ll give you an example…

    I can’t believe the government is trying to reorganize Wall Street over one shitty email. Seriously, if that’s all the government’s got? There’s no way they’ll win anything in court–not that the results of the show trial will matter once they’ve voted on the regulation bill.

    …okay, I went over. But you get the point, right?

    1. I would have responded that Social Security is a shitty deal.

      Of course, every time those grandstanding elected officials try to interrupt me and not let me finish answering a question, I’d tell them to shut their goddamn mouths.

      1. “Well, Senator, you seem to know more about this issue than I do, so I’m going to watch TV on my phone for a while.”

  13. I am so much more worried about who’s gonna protect my future earnings from Barak Obama than I am about who’s gonna protect me from Goldman.

    Obama won’t even admit he’s the one that did $350 billion worth of the bailouts! How can you trust somebody who took $350 billion, fighting tooth and nail to get it, and now blames everything he did on Wall Street?!

    It’d be one thing if he said, “I’m really sorry–I made a mistake, but I’ll never do it again…”, and quite another to blame everything on Goldman.

    I’ll tell you this–I’d trust Goldman with my future earnings before I trusted Barak Obama. He’s a responsibility dodging bullshit artist.

    He should be selling used cars.

    1. I think that’s what Goldman was doing. But this isn’t Goldman vs Obama. That’s a false dichotomy, and you know it.

      1. If you don’t see that Obama is trying to shift the blame to Goldman for what he himself did, then you’re not paying attention…

        You’re right, though, it isn’t about Goldman or Obama–and isn’t that the false dichotomy Obama is presenting us with?

        “I had to do what I did because of what Wall Street did.”

        …that would make for one shitty email.

  14. I’m just waiting for Southern Baptists to start tossing F-bombs from the pulpit at this point. I know all the words, and how to use them, but I believe there are some places where it is in poor taste to use them. Reading them once in citation, probably okay, trying to cudgel a witness with them — not so much.

    As a side consideration, would telling the Senator to go fuck himself still be contempt of Congress after that little episode of swearing?

    1. As a side consideration, would telling the Senator to go fuck himself still be contempt of Congress after that little episode of swearing?

      I’d love to see it, but some of them might take it a bit too literally.

  15. Total arrogance. Levin had as much to do with the meltdown as Goldman, maybe more-so. I would like to hear some of his back room deals.

  16. This is a big shitty deal!

  17. Think about commodities futures trading when thinking about this transaction.

    A broker trading on the exchange doesn’t owe his clients that want to buy more than he owes the clients who want to sell.

    On the commodities exchange, buyers (longs) and sellers (shorts) are betting about the future price of some commoditiy. Of course, some of them may have plans to sell or buy the actual commodity in the future, so these bets hedge risk of price changes in the commodity. Those who have no such plans are making these bets as speculators.

    Goldman Sachs’, of course, wasn’t brokering a deal for a standard contract. They constructed the contract. But the buyers still should have understood that they were betting on a recovery of the housing market–or perhaps simply less deterioration than Paulson expected. Whether or not it would be a good deal for the buyer depends very much on price.

    If most similar contracts made money for buyers and lost money for sellers, but this one was specially designed by the seller (Paulson) so that it bucked the trend, then there was a serious fraud. Though it is hard to say that it contributed to the financial crisis.

    1. Just so. The basic principle is that for every long, there is a short, and for every short, there is a long.

      The buyers of the Goldman CMO deal wanted to go long. That deal wasn’t going to happen unless someone else went short. It was either going to be Goldman, or someone Goldman sold the short side to (Paulsen, in this case).

  18. The sight of a politician having the fucking nerve to lecture anybody on morality and honesty is enough to make me dry heave. Politicians routinely go short on their constituents, without a twinge of what we ordinary folks call “conscience”.

  19. hehe. And wasn’t Levin a Yes vote for Gramm Leach Bliley in 99 (the repeal of glass stegal)?

  20. How many shitty deals have you voted for over the years Carl? How many do you continue to support? How many do you continue to support with MY money? I didn’t give you MY money to sink into shitholes like GM, ethanol, medicare, Fanny Mae, the drug war, Goldman Sachs etc… All failed enterprises. All still getting MY money because Carl Levin can’t resist giving MY money to shitty failed enterprises.

  21. pleazzze!!!!! I am embarassed for America to watch Levin and all the other Senators take the high brow attitude with GS. It is catastrophic. Did GS do wrong? Maybe. But it is plain to anybody with a pulse that congress screwed up too. “Did GS benefit from the gov’t bailout?” Of course they did you jackass. In fact – the entire world benfitted from the gov bailing out the situation. Are you really that stupid? “So you took 2.5 billion worth of bailout money from the American Taxpayer right? You could have gotten that money from the private insurance Co but you chose to take it from the American taxpayer.” No mister holier than though senator. YOU bailed out AIG so they owed me the money. If you let them default, then the private insurance would have paid. YOU gave me the taxpayer money because YOU and the rest of the clowns in congress laid the groundwork for the meltdown. It makes me sick.

  22. carl levin is so dumb that it should embarrass his entire constituency. he has no clue as how the market works, hence the reason his aides needed to repeatedly whisper information to him, as the cheat sheets they created were not enough. any mortages or loans or credit packaged into these deals were encouraged by (and at times required by) legislation such as the community reinvestment act (both versions in the 70’s and 90’s), gramm-leach-bliley act of 1999 (which repealed parts of glass-steagall), and the american “dream” (no) downpayment act of 2003. would love to know how carl levin voted on the aforementioned. either way, THE GOVERNMENT IS AT FAULT and you are insane if you believe otherwise.

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