John Paulson and the Greatest Pump and Short Fraud Ever

Short-side hedge funds pumped the economy so they could profit from its collapse

By now, everybody knows that the market for collateralized debt obligations was riddled with fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis. What is less known is the fact that hedge fund managers helped create and inflate the market for these toxic securities specifically so that they could bet against them and profit from the inevitable collapse.

An example of a particularly sordid scheme, orchestrated by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, was discovered some time ago by David Fiderer, a blogger for the Huffington Post. The information in Fiderer’s blog is rather incriminating, and, of course, the mainstream media is not on the case, so I think it bears repeating.

In a close reading of Wall Street Journal Gregory Zuckerman’s book, “The Greatest Trade Ever”, an otherwise starry-eyed account of Paulson’s bets against the mortgage market, Fiderer discovered this nugget:

“Paulson and [partner Paolo Pellegrini] were eager to find ways to expand their wager against risky mortgages. Accumulating it in the market sometimes proved to be a slow process. So they made appointments with bankers at Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and other banks to ask if they would create CDOs that Paulson & Co. could essentially bet against.”

As Fiderer explains, Paulson asked the banks to create those CDOs “so that they could be sold to some suckers at close to par. That way, Paulson’s hedge fund could approach some other sucker who would sell an insurance policy, or credit default swap, on the newly minted CDOs. Bear, Deutsche and Goldman knew perfectly well what Paulson’s motivation was. He made no secret of his belief that the CDOs subordinate claims on the mortgage collateral were close to worthless. By the time others have figured out the fatal flaws in these securities which had been ignored by the rating agencies, Paulson could collect up to $5 billion.

“Paulson not only initiated these transactions, he also specified the terms he wanted, identifying which mortgages would be stuffed into the CDOs, and how the CDOs should be structured. Within the overall framework set by Paulson’s team, banks and investors were allowed to do some minor tweaking.”

It is not clear which banks ultimately participated in Paulson’s scam, but Fiderer quotes Bear Stearns trader Scott Eichel as saying that his bank refused. “It didn’t pass the ethics standards;” Eichel said, “it was a reputation issue and it didn’t pass our moral compass. We didn’t think we could sell deals that someone was shorting on the other side.” Bear Stearns’ moral compass was usually pointed towards the darker regions, but perhaps this is why Paulson subsequently became one of the more eager short sellers of Bear Stearns’ stock.

Fiderer continues: “Prior to 2006, there were not many opportunities for naked short selling on subprime securitizations. But in January of that year, investment banks launched a new product, which enabled Paulson to place those bets on a large scale. The ABX index, a sort of Dow Jones Average of subprime mortgage securities, facilitated benchmarking the price of credit default swaps.”

In fact, it was a black box company called the Markit Group that created the ABX index. The banks were minor shareholders in Markit Group and provided data. I have noted in a previous blog that the Markit Group is a dubious outfit to say the least, and there is good reason to suspect that the direction of the ABX index was influenced by hedge fund managers and their allies at the big banks. I do not have evidence that Paulson was one of those hedge funds, but authorities ought to be asking questions.

Fiderer goes on to suggest that bad loans to homeowners were a significant cause of the financial crisis. On this front, I disagree with him. Certainly, some mortgage lenders were unscrupulous, and there was a certain amount of predatory lending, but the conventional wisdom that this is what crashed the economy is simply false.

At the time that the mortgage securities markets began to go south in 2007, defaults on subprime loans had increased only slightly month-to-month, and were in fact considerably lower than in earlier years. In the second quarter of 2007, for example, only 7.7 percent of subprime loans were 30 days past due, slightly up from 6.76 percent in the second quarter of 2006, but considerably lower than the 9.9 percent in the second quarter of 2001.

The problem lied not in the loans themselves, but in the fact that the loans had been packaged (apparently, to a large extent, at the behest of John Paulson and perhaps other bearish billionaires) into fraudulent securities that were traded and probably manipulated by a select number of hedge funds and large banks. In a somewhat similar scheme, hedge funds often pump up the stock of public companies before initiating short selling attacks aimed at demolishing those same companies.

The economy was brought to its knees by a few powerful and eminently dirty players on Wall Street, not by poor people who had the temerity to buy themselves houses.

  1. About time someone else tackles this crook. NOBODY can make 3.7 billion in salary without cheating NO ONE!! Hopefully the DOJ has been investigating him. Also the fact that Allan Greenspan the former head of the Federal Deserve was working as a consultant for Paulson during this time should also be investigated. Way to go Mark!!! Maybe Roddy should right about this crook!!!

  2. I don’t think what he did was wrong at all. He wanted to bet against something that was clearly mispriced and needed a way to do that. If any one did something wrong it was the banks. They new what the true value should be and they just wanted to collect the fees paid for structuring. And I still blame the people buying a pools of securities that they don’t understand. If you want to be stupid you deserve to be parted from your money.

  3. Steve, tell that crap to the millions of people losing their homes now so these crooks can make money. Its not just the banks read the article .. Paulson created this scenario just to rob people. I know you get it but you have to tow the capitalism line.. well we’re not having it. These guys need to go to JAIL for finanicial fraud during times of war TREASON!!! And they will trust me..They will!!!

  4. After reading Fiderers’ blog I bet I can guess who Naked Shorted Bear Stearns to death after B.S. did’nt play ball with them. Who do you think made 268million dollars in 9 days after place 1.7 mill in put options against Bear. All falling into place now huh?

    1. Sean: you mention the 1.7 million in put options that made the 268 million dollars. What puts specifically are you referring to and what was the date of the trade(s)?

      John Olagues

  5. funny how they past the blame onto the poor. Wall St is a bad joke played on all of us. Look at DNDN they had it on the ropes, by luck its alive today, NJ plant is alive and I hear busting with people who want to help others. These scumbags hedgefunbds dont care. FOLLOW THE SELL TICKETS very easy..

  6. Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times has also written about this and fills in some of the pieces to the puzzle. She names some specific CDOs that were put together and talks about how Goldman Sachs tried to get Moody’s to give the deal a high rating. Here are some juicy quotes from her Dec 2009 article titled “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won“…

    “Mr. Egol and Fabrice Tourre, a French trader at Goldman, were aggressive from the start in trying to make the assets in Abacus deals look better than they were, according to notes taken by a Wall Street investor during a phone call…”

    “On the call, the two traders noted that they were trying to persuade analysts at Moody’s Investors Service, a credit rating agency, to assign a higher rating to one part of an Abacus C.D.O. but were having trouble, according to the investor’s notes…”

    “As early as the summer of 2006, Goldman’s sales desk began marketing short bets using the ABX index to hedge funds like Paulson & Company, Magnetar and Soros Fund Management, which invests for the billionaire George Soros. John Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Company, also would later take some of the shorts from the Abacus deals, helping him profit when mortgage bonds collapsed…”

    “The woeful performance of some C.D.O.’s issued by Goldman made them ideal for betting against. As of September 2007, for example, just five months after Goldman had sold a new Abacus C.D.O., the ratings on 84 percent of the mortgages underlying it had been downgraded… Of more than 500 C.D.O.’s analyzed by UBS, only two were worse than the Abacus deal.”

  7. Most Hedges are Ponzi Shemes..proof positive

    Hedge Funds Hold Investors ‘Hostage’ After Rebound (Update1) Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    By Saijel Kishan

    Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) — Hedge funds’ best year in a decade is giving little comfort to Jason D. Papastavrou.

    The founder of New York-based ARIS Capital Management LLC, which has about $250 million invested in hedge funds, is still waiting to get back $155 million from 22 managers that restricted withdrawals in 2008.

    “We don’t object to the illiquidity,” Papastavrou said in an interview. “We object to how some managers are abusing the situation and holding investors’ money hostage to generate fees.”

    About $77 billion in hedge fund assets that were frozen during the credit crisis are still restricted, according to estimates by Credit Suisse Tremont Index LLC, even after the biggest stock-market rebound since the 1930s and a record rally in credit markets revived demand for some assets considered illiquid a year ago. D.E. Shaw & Co., Highland Capital Management LP and Harbinger Capital Partners LLC are among firms that have yet to return money to clients.

    The market recovery helped managers post returns of 20 percent last year after losing a record 19 percent in 2008, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. The gains exclude some hard-to-sell assets, such as emerging-markets real estate or aircraft-engine securitizations.

    ‘Few Excuses’

    “While I’m sympathetic to managers who weren’t able to sell assets back in October and November 2008 because bids were hard to come by, there are few excuses more than 12 months later,” said Michael Rosen, chief investment officer of Angeles Investment Advisors LLC, a Santa Monica, California-based firm that advises clients on investing in hedge funds.

    At the end of last year, about 5.5 percent of the $1.4 trillion hedge-fund industry’s assets were restricted by managers, compared with 11.6 percent of what was a $1.5 trillion industry at the end of 2008, according to Credit Suisse Tremont Index, a joint venture of Credit Suisse Group AG and Tremont Capital Management Inc.

    While some hedge funds don’t want to sell at prices that would harm remaining clients, others are using this as an excuse to retain assets to generate fees and remain in business, said John B. Trammell, chief executive officer of New York-based Cadogan Management LLC.

    Two-Year Wait

    “Managers are running a high risk of damaging relationships with investors,” said Trammell, whose firm invests $3.5 billion of client money in hedge funds.

    Rest of the story here

  8. This could get interesting…maybe

    Obama to Propose New Rules on Proprietary Trading (Update1) Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    By Nicholas Johnston and Julianna Goldman

    Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama tomorrow will offer proposals to limit the size and complexity of financial institutions’ proprietary trading as a way to reduce risk- taking, an administration official said.

    Obama will announce the rules after he meets with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker at the White House. The proposals will be part of an overhaul of regulations to help limit the size of financial institutions, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

    Banks conduct proprietary trading for their own benefit, not for that of their clients.

    “We’ve got a financial regulatory system that is completely inadequate to control the excessive risks and irresponsible behavior of financial players all around the world,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News broadcast tonight.

    Obama is renewing his focus on economic issues in an effort to tap into voter anger about the struggling economy and over taxpayer bailouts and growing bank profits.

    That anger helped Republican Scott Brown win the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts this week, giving Republicans the ability to block Obama’s top legislative priority, a health-care overhaul. The Massachusetts seat had been held by Democrats for more than 50 years.

    Angry and Frustrated

    “People are angry and they’re frustrated,” Obama said in the ABC interview. “From their perspective, the only thing that happens is that we bail out the banks.”

    The proposed rules could limit activities of banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable investment bank in Wall Street history. Goldman reaped more than 90 percent of its pretax earnings last year from trading and so-called principal investments, which include market bets on securities and stakes in companies.

    Goldman is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings tomorrow. Morgan Stanley reported today, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. published its results last week.

    Obama in June proposed an overhaul of U.S. financial regulations to fix lapses in oversight and excessive risk-taking that helped push the economy into a prolonged recession.

    rest of story below

  9. To the Deepcature crew and a few others thanks for bringing out the truth. To the others that have attempted to divert attention, and hide and lie about the truth (Mainstream Media and the Roddy Boyd’s and Gary Weiss’of the world) the following is for you..

    Einstein said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” I always remember that when reading editorial opinion. It’s one thing to make a mistake. Any writer can do that. It’s another to lie… big, or small. A lie is a lie. Manipulation of facts to fit a story line so as to sell newspapers or newsletters is the worst kind of lie, especially if it publicly defames someone.

  10. I am reading about all these bonuses that have no basis (Morgan Stanley 900 million loss but 16 bill in bonuses) and what I realize is going on is a Cash Grab. They know that something is about to happen, lawsuit, rico, whatever and they are getting the monwey while they can get away with it.This can be the only explaination I believe.

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    Blogs and StoriesWhat Wall Street Really Fears
    by Charlie Gasparino

    Info RSS Charles Gasparino is CNBC’s on-air editor and appears as a daily member of CNBC’s ensemble. He is a columnist for The Daily Beast and a frequent contributor to the New York Post, Forbes, and other publications. His new book about the financial crisis, The Sellout, was published by HarperBusiness.

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    X Close Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo The hearings into the roots of the recession aren’t scaring Wall Street. What’s really frightening is public anger at the industry shows no signs of abating, and Lloyd Blankfein, the man leading the charge to turn that around, is only making matters worse—and possibly putting his job at risk.

    Wall Street is scared, and it has nothing to do with the investigation by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the congressionally mandated committee led by former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides that is looking into the root causes of the 2008 financial meltdown. At the committee’s first hearing last week, after the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America were forced to swear they wouldn’t lie, I heard one of the committee members admit the probing questions he would be sending the heads of these firms would not be from his staff of crack investigators but from The New York Times.

    The reality is that Wall Street couldn’t care less about what the commission comes up with about its past practices in mid-December, when it’s supposed to produce a report, largely because so much of it is well-known. A myriad of books have been written on the causes of the meltdown, including my own, and most have chronicled the greed and arrogance of Wall Street and how lax regulation and a proclivity to bail out the risk-takers over the past three decades through easy money and other mechanisms aided and abetted the mindless risk-taking in the first place.

    The least appealing CEO on Wall Street is leading the effort to change the public perception that the system is rigged against the little guy suffering through 10 percent unemployment while the big banks party on.

    For the rest of the story…

  12. Look folks – I hate to be a naysayer, but….does it occur to anyone else that the Dems deliberately threw this election to avoid a serious move on “anything”? Their mode of operation seems to be –

    “We’re really going to fix things”….and then appoint Geitner and Schapiro…..yep, that’s the “fix” alright….

    “We’re really going to fix health care” – and then the best run campaign in 2008, allows the Senate super majority to be lost, so that nothing will get done, after al the hand wringing and time wasting…

    And now, we see Deepcapture get deeper as the Supreme Court votes to allow corporations to buy politicians…

    There is no such thing as change or reform any more….the system is broken so badly, that now all we can do is to hurry up and get to the inevitable demise….

    We will more articles by Roddy, more attacks on Patrick, and they will get nastier and nastier….be sure of it. Kudlow was on the tube on Tuesday proclaiming that the Republican victory in Mass. GUARANTEED a huge stock market rally…..2 days later we’re 300 points lower and he’s still foaming at the mouth and getting paid more than all of us to do it…

    Welcome to 2010.

    1. Dear fellow Icelanders, please do not sign the petition, it is for people who are not from Iceland to support us.

      Iceland may be the first Western democracy to be forced into South-American style debt-slavery. The IMF, in concert with the UK and the Netherlands, has attempted to strongarm the recently impoverished Island of 317,000 into paying over 3.6 billion pounds ($6.3bn) — $86,000 per Icelandic family — at 5.5% interest for the next generation. The money is not conventional government debt, but arises from the collapse of a private multi-national bank during the financial crisis.

      The issue is so serious that the entire nation will vote on the issue towards the end of February 2010.

      On December 30, 2009, after extraordinary diplomatic threats, Iceland’s parliament passed narrowly a bill agreeing to pay the onerous terms. Only a few months earlier parliament had agreed to the full amount, but under more reasonable conditions.

      The people of Iceland must be internationally supported, so they can feel safe in voting down debt-slavery. If Iceland falls, it won’t be long before other countries suffer similar financial extortion.

  13. From

    Nothing like an encyclopedia trusts because it is 99% accurate, but then the 1% lies in posts such as about naked shorting are taking as gospel.

    Wikipedia Doesn’t Like Me …

    Wikipedia’s General Counsel, Mike Godwin, is sending me nasty emails. Apparently he doesn’t like me telling people how bad Wikipedia actually is, and he definitely doesn’t want me telling you what to do about it – when it effects you personally. He actually, the other day, said I “was trying to destroy Wikipedia…”

    Stand back while I turn down my testosterone levels.

    Even though, in some ways, it feels good to have some people think I’m that kind of powerful, I can’t really claim credit for what’s happening to Wikipedia. The whole world is beginning to realize that Wikipedia is being run by the social equivalent of a pimply twelve year old.
    Webmaster’s Commentary:

    I have my own Wikipedia story.

    Years ago, Wikipedia had articles about this website and about myself.

    The articles were highly biased, and along with accusing me of being an anti-Semite contained outright factual errors. I edited the articles to remove the errors and to be fair I changed “is an anti-Semite” to “has been accused of being an anti-Semite”.

    When I checked back, the edits had been removed and the original error-filled versions restored. I edited the articles again, and again the edits were removed. Then the articles were locked against further edits. When I complained, I was told (no kidding) that Micheal Rivero was not a recognized authority on the subject of Michael Rivero. When I reminded Wikipedia that their philosophy was that everyone could write and edit Wikipedia and there were not supposed to be “recognized authorities” as gatekeepers, Wikipedia, in a soviet-style tantrum, declared me a “non-person” and all articles referencing either myself or this website were deleted.

    Obviously, the deletions from Wikipedia have not had any effect on either myself or this website but it does reinforce the impression that the people who run Wikipedia do have an agenda, a point of view, and rather childish behavioral problems.

  14. Scumbags at SEC
    don’t mind if your stocks lose 50% of their value in a week:

    SEC May Approve Restrictions on Short Sales When Stocks Plunge
    January 23, 2010, 12:17 AM EST

    By Nina Mehta
    Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — Concern that short-sellers accelerate stock declines may prompt the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a rule next month aimed at curbing bearish bets when equities are plunging.
    The regulation would require the trades be executed above the best existing bid in the market when shares fall 10 percent in a day, said Brian Hyndman, the senior vice president in transaction services at Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. In a short sale, an investor borrows an asset and sells it, hoping to profit from a decrease by repurchasing it later at a lower price.
    Forcing short sellers to wait for a stock to rise above the best price bid may prevent them from flooding the market with sell orders and causing losses to multiply. Some exchange officials say the restrictions known as uptick rules don’t work, citing studies that shows they may be less effective during panics that drive prices down and volatility up.
    “There is no empirical data to support the introduction of a new rule,” Hyndman said yesterday at a securities industry conference in Chicago. “But this is the least intrusive of the proposals the SEC was considering.”
    Hyndman expects the SEC to adopt a so-called alternative uptick rule that includes a 10 percent trigger, changing regulations that were eliminated from U.S. markets in 2007. The commission asked the public last April to comment on strategies to cushion the impact of short selling following criticism that hedge funds and other speculators used trading tactics to deepen market retreats that began in 2008.
    SEC spokesman John Heine declined to comment.

    Computer Upgrades

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 9.1 percent in September 2008 after New York-based Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the biggest-ever bankruptcy. The SEC implemented a ban on short selling more than 900 financial stocks that month after Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer John Mack and New York Senator Charles Schumer blamed the practice for driving companies to the brink of collapse.
    The implementation date for the new rule is likely to be later in the year, according to Hyndman, who didn’t say what he was basing his estimate on. He said exchanges and brokers will probably have 180 days to upgrade their computer systems to accommodate the regulation.
    Nasdaq in New York, Kansas City-based Bats Exchange and Jersey City, New Jersey-based Direct Edge Holdings LLC, which operates two alternative trading centers, have told the SEC that no new restrictions on short selling are needed. Paul Adcock, executive vice president in charge of trading at NYSE Arca, a unit of New York-based NYSE Euronext, said that while most exchanges oppose a new regulation, it’s probably inevitable.

    Potential Impact

    “Because the politicians and the public are all banging the drums, we’re not going to get away with this one,” Adcock said about the reluctance of exchanges to support new short- selling restrictions.
    The SEC discussed the potential impact of such a rule when it proposed the alternative uptick last August. Because it would restrict short selling more than other proposals being considered, the regulation might “lessen some of the benefits of legitimate short selling, including market liquidity and pricing efficiency,” the commission said.
    When the SEC proposed the alternative uptick rule, it said it would be easier for exchanges and brokers to implement than the former regulation that operated on the New York Stock Exchange for almost 70 years before its removal in 2007. That rule would no longer make sense in a marketplace of automated trading, the commission said.

    No Trigger

    The rule was proposed to the SEC last March by NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq, Bats and the Chicago-based National Stock Exchange. NYSE Euronext last June said it preferred a different bid test with no 10 percent threshold.
    NYSE Euronext’s Adcock raised concern at yesterday’s conference that so-called circuit breakers setting off the restriction might keep stocks from falling as much as they should when a company reports bad news.
    “Do you trigger the 10 percent when the stock should be trading down?” Adcock said. The trigger would be mandated uniformly across trading venues when a stock declines by the specified percentage.
    Daniel Aromi and Cecilia Caglio, economists at the SEC in Washington, said in a December 2008 report to former Chairman Christopher Cox that even with uptick rules in place, short sellers in a simulation executed trades 25 percent faster on average when stocks plunged than when prices were steady.

    –With assistance from Jesse Westbrook in Washington. Editors: Chris Nagi, Daniel Hauck

    To contact the reporter on this story: Nina Mehta in New York at +1-212-617-1984 or [email protected].

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at +1-212-617-5919 or [email protected].

  15. From the website..Getting interesting..who knows maybe they are also investigating pump and dump Hedge Fund managers too huh? We can only hope!!!

    Late Breaking News: Goldman Sachs Being Investigated By Senate – Update 1
    by Larry Rubinoff | Friday, January 22, 2010 in Goldman Sachs Senate Investigation | comments (2)

    The Miami Herald just released a story Goldman Sachs Being Investigated For Its Securities Dealings.

    McClatchy Newspapers
    WASHINGTON — One of Congress’ premier watchdog panels is investigating Goldman Sachs’ role in the subprime mortgage meltdown, including how the firm sold securities backed by risky home loans while it simultaneously bet that those bonds would lose value, people familiar with the inquiry said Friday.

    Disclosure of the investigation comes amid a darkening mood at the White House, in Congress and among the American public over the long-term economic impact of the subprime crisis, prompting demands to hold the culprits accountable.
    It marks at least the third federal inquiry touching on Goldman’s dealings related to securities backed by risky home mortgages.

    A spokeswoman for the Senate subcommittee declined to comment on the investigation, which was spawned by a four-part McClatchy Newspapers series published in November that detailed the Wall Street firm’s role in the debacle, which stemmed from subprime loans to millions of marginally qualified borrowers.

    In my post today, BarackObams: The Change You Promised Is Happening, on, I talked about the current fear politicians have of the people. I believe this all stems from Brown winning the election in Massachusetts which sent a powerful message, the people want change and the people are going to make change happen. The words of Thomas Jefferson as quoted in our disclaimer above are ringing true.
    “When the people fear government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty”.

    There is an undercurrent of a silent revolution taking place. We along with the many other blogs and inet publications have been waging this “war” for some time. It has fallen on deaf ears in Washington and on Wall Street as they all felt they were not only too big to fail but were also too big and too powerful to lose. Not so anymore. I feel the momentum rising. We are all just too sick and tired and broke to continue to put up with the corporate takeover of America. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling (click link for more on this ruling), while attempting to preserve first amendment rights, will also be challenged by the people as it is just another step towards fascism and a totalitarian government by allowing corporations to highly influence and control elections hence our government.
    From Wikipedia:…click here
    In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a “Third Way” in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state socialism.[15][16] This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Italian fascist leader Mussolini called his nation’s system “the corporate state”).[17][18] No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any such definition.[19]

    The administration and their same policy for the same old politics is hopefully coming to an end. Congress also is fearful and rightly so. Many incumbants are up for re election this year and many will lose. Some have in fact, already decided not to run. Change we can believe in is coming. It is the will of the people not just a campaign slogan which, like all the other slogans of past campaigns were just that – slogans.

    We here at GS666 have been asking America to Wake UP and perhaps America is beginning to. But let me not be too optimistic. Until the results and actions of this sub committee are finalized and become public and definiteve legal and criminal actions are taken, I will still remain cautious and curb my enthusiasm.

    Yet this investigation, which I have been calling for for almost two years, is a step in the right direction and a small but important victory for the people. It must be followed by investigations into JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi and the others that were all complicit in the scam that ruined our nation while they profited and lived large at our expense.

    We will be on top of this breaking story.

    My hat is off to McClatchy Newspapers for their role in this revolution and their work that has prompted this investigation. Thank you McClatchy – you are true patriots.

    Read the full Miami Herald Report…click here

  16. Congressman Ron Paul and Congressman Kadorsky go at it on cnbc. And we wonder why we are in this crap? The dems are right! It’s time for a change. It started in Massachusetts. And I’ll give all a milestone. Back up to the vote for the tarp in Sept 08 and anyone who voted NO. Vote them out. Historical data clearly shows what happened as result of that vote. And here we are collectively working thru the error of that vote and the resultant flurry of phantom shares that were put into play that took down WB/WM/and many others. Apparently the same clowns who couldn’t track the attack on BSC can’t track the hits on WM or WB. Heck they sat back and allwed them to hit AIG after it’s RS.

    Bottom line guys and gals, it’s not that they don’t know. It’s because they do not enforce. And to get that, it’s real simple. Change the names of those who are in place. If it means get rid of Shapiro, so be it. If it means get rid of Shelby, so be it. ETC ETC.

    In the meantime still lots of talk discussing what a blind man could figure out the proper tracking tools.

      1. Sorry Harvey. I’m not confused and neither was Pauslon when he implored on bended knee to get that yes vote. Forget the opinions and look at the facts. Market was rallying in anticipation of that YES vote. And when the NO vote was given the markets rolled and the credit markets seized. If you think otherwise then I’m sorry to say you are confused. Once again WM 12 before the vote and two weeks later after the NO vote. GONE.

        1. Ben Bernanke is that you ?

          The market rally & then subsequent roll was just the Fed letting the world know who’s really in charge.

          A vote for TARP was a vote to perpetuate the monopoly of the Federal Reserve in their unnecessary role as bloodsucking interest collector on US Treasury debt issuance.

  17. By the way Harvey. I watched that video and it gave me heartburn. First the tarp funds request began at 500b and inched their way to 750 billion as the talking heads did their thing. LEH fails and exacerbates it all and still the fools voted no on that first vote. I won’t get into the desire for change at any cost. This site is about Naked shorting/PHANTOM SHARES and the deep captured. When the patient needs blood you give it to him. You don’t play the game of triage with the masses who were impacted, are still impacted and will be impacted for YEARS due to the egregious mistake made by a majority. And I note the same majority that could vote YES for health care. In the meantime I’ll continue with attempting to educate the investor who doesn’t have a clue how they can run a stock down 13 days in a row and then miraculously reverse it up.

    1. @Anon: Watch this clever video.

      “I won’t get into the desire for change at any cost.”
      Silly Keynesian. If you don’t even have am ideal you are willing to defend, you got nothing.

      I am well aware this site’s focus is ANSS. You brought up TARP. The argument for TARP was basically the central banker declared that the (financial) world would implode if we didn’t bail them out. IMHO we’d be better off if the (financial) world had imploded. It’s going to happen, TARP just delayed the inevitable. The banks are still insolvent. The only difference is that they’ve absorbed alot of taxpayer capital in an attempt to recollateralize but they’re still underwater. In capitalism, poorly run business is fails. This ain’t capitalism. It’s wealth redistribution to the wealthy. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the utility/validity of the TARP shenanigans.

  18. harveywalbinger –

    Absolutely right…that vote AGAINST Paulson was the way to go…
    Stimulus, my foot.

    None of it went to any victims of the crisis. It went to the people who caused it.

    Too much sound and fury and not enough looking at the facts and the record…and sure enough, the revisionist history begins.

    Forget about voting people in or out. A change of administration won’t change anything until Wall Street culture changes and Mainstreet learns not to look for a hand out, a quick fix, or a lottery ticket.


    1. the time this new admin realized what their collective vote caused their so called stimulous was like peeing into the wind. That soon became apparent to them as they took control and why their was NO THUNDER, as the exacerbated losses of Merril had to be dealt with as well as the increased losses of Aig and others.

      The consequences of such still continue. Say hello to Greece.

      Now for those who would have rathered seen them all fail.. Sounds great in conversation unless one had to face the reality of atm’s that shut down etc.

      Anss was not but a thread made of fiber in all of this but a thread made of steel. However there is good news. As Dr Jim Decosta points out. Those firms that they could not destroy and that have survived will go on to enjoy buyins. Historiccally. IBM on the early 90’s is a great ex. As one who bought it back at that 50 from the 160 level to a low of 40.38 as they tried to CRUSH it. I enjoyed those buyins for years. (IBM peaked in the 900’s pre splits over a 5 year period).

      There is a pattern as Sean often wonders.

      And for those who have survived this latest attack on the sytem, the upside will be extreme just as the downside was extreme. So let’s get the jerks to enforce the law and vote those out who play the game of delay. Shelby is one of them. As we do I ponder who is exposed to Greece?

  19. If there were only a pattern. How captured is the SEC.. really?

    Long Island Congressional Candidate Cited for Giving Up JPMorgan Whistleblower
    Posted: 01/28/10Filed Under:Investigations George Demos is a Republican Congressional candidate from Eastern Long Island whose Web site bears the slogan “Fighting for Freedom,” and touts his service as an enforcement lawyer in the New York office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. A bio says that he “handled some of the SEC’s most significant investigations,” including that of Ponzi scheme artist Bernard Madoff, and “worked tirelessly on the cases that never made the headlines.”

    But one case that never made headlines was his own: Demos’ campaign Web site and public statements omit any reference to a report last March of the SEC’s Inspector General (IG), which found he had improperly disclosed protected, nonpublic information about a whistleblower to the counsel for that whistleblower’s employer, a major Wall Street bank, JPMorgan Chase. The IG’s charges of misconduct grew out of an SEC probe that began in 2003 of JPMorgan and other big financial institutions suspected of illegal market practices.
    Get the new
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    Demos has denied he did anything improper, and his campaign declined to comment on the matter. But documents obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) — a non-partisan non-profit based in Washington — confirm that Demos was the staff attorney who was cited in the IG report for violating SEC rules. The IG referred the case to the agency’s management for possible disciplinary action, but the SEC took no action. Soon after that, Demos quietly resigned from his job and launched his bid for a seat in the House of Representatives.

    for the rest of the story

  20. HA, HA, HA, HA……

    Hedge Funds Sue Porsche Over Alleged Short Squeeze
    January 28, 2010
    A group of short-sellers led by Elliott Associates has sued Porsche, alleging that the luxury automaker manipulated the price of Volkswagen shares in an attempt to acquire its fellow car company.

    Porsche Carerra GTThe lawsuit alleges that Porsche’s actions cost the short-sellers, which also include hedge funds Glenhill Capital, Glenview Capital Partners and Perry Partners, among others, more than $1 billion. The complaint, filed this week in Manhattan federal court, accuses Porsche of misleading investors and seeking to hide its trading in VW stock.

    Porsche announced in October 2008 that it controlled a majority of VW shares, after spending most of the year denying that it sought to acquire the company. Elliott and its fellow litigants say Porsche used manipulative trades to hide its growing stake in VW, which caused the company’s shares to soar, burning many short-sellers.

    “Plaintiffs were forced to cover their short positions at prices that spiraled higher and higher,” the complaint alleges. “Porsche released billions of euros worth of shares into the short squeeze for its own profit. By realizing some of its own positions, Porsche was able to skim off outrageous short squeeze profits while still maintaining the bulk of its position for the takeover.”

    Porsche eventually abandoned its pursuit of VW, and is now selling its famed sports-car unit to the company.

    The short-squeeze didn’t hit U.S. hedge funds exclusively, but those British hedge funds burned are holding their fire, according to Reuters, fearful of arousing further anger against the industry as the European Union considers draconian new alternative investment regulations.

    “If anyone’s got any sense, they’ll just watch it,” Odey Asset Management CEO David Stewart told the news agency. Odey was among the hedge funds shorting VW in 2008.

  21. I think the criticism for the financial crisis falls moreso at the Federal Reserve than anywhere else. While Paulson and the banks probably deserve some of the blame, I think the Fed belongs at the top of the list. And I just saw this interesting piece on Jeremy Grantham’s recent criticism of the Fed and its role in blowing numerous asset bubbles. It also talks about the implications of the Fed’s actions for the broader financial markets:

  22. A very balls-ie push-the-envelope game-the-system trade that was/is legal until ruled otherwise.


    1. All main participants are “Accredited Investors” (i.e., financially sophisticated they know that housing only goes up in price even as credit standards fall) which provides a foundation of legal coverage.
    2. The Street (sell-side) creates and sells garbage (e.g., subprime paper, etc.) to a willing buy-side because they legally can.
    3. The ratings agencies provide a material added level of legal coverage with their stamp-of-approval. The buy-side legal, compliance and risk management staffs take a holiday as does due diligence as each issue has a stamp-of-approval.
    4. The ratings agencies have legal coverage as their stamp-of-approval is an ‘opinion’ and should not be misconstrued as more than an ‘opinion’.
    5. Return to step 2 until no more buyers or illegal.

    So, clearly there is no one legally at fault.

  23. Elizabeth Warren was on Comedy Central with Jon and the most used word was “capture”…. It is nice to know that someone in oversight and who is vocal understands exactly where the problem is.

  24. I just just listening to Elizabeth Warren’s video report about the COPS January 2010 report and looking at this report entitled “Exiting TARP and Unwinding Its Impact on the Financial Markets,” :

    I noted in the report a reference to the “stress test” being conducted upon banks.

    My question for the SEC and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is……..

    When is a “Stress Test” going to be conducted upon all Market Makers to see How Many Shares of Publicly Traded shares of Stock have NOT been delivered in the last 20 years?

    And WHEN is this data going to be released to the American People?

    1. I would normally remove this kind of off-topic blog promotion, but I must confess: this guy’s blog, about keeping chickens as pets, is just random and folksy enough to make me want to keep it here. If only for the Karma.

  25. gotta toot my own horn a little here. I called it in april 2008 on ronpaulforums. i think got 1 reply to that post at the time.


    Join Date: Jan 2008
    Posts: 42

    Default John Paulson
    Most people know that Alan Greenspan was instrumental in creating the housing bubble that is collapsing now. Paulson made $3.7 billion in 2007 betting on the collapse. Do the math–

    $3,700,000,000 per year is

    $10,135,986.30 per day

    $422,374.43 per hour

    $7,039.57 per minute

    $117.32 per second

    Mr. Paulson made $117.32 for every second that ticked by in 2007, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. When Greenspan retired from the fed Paulson hired him as a consultant.…nhedges117.xml

    In other news, violent riots have broken out all over the world because tens of thousands of people can no longer afford food.
    iznourbaby is online now Report Post Edit/Delete Message

  26. Hoefully the rhetoric will lead to some action..Hopefully.

    Kaufman & Forbes: Perp walks for NSS’ers

    Good interview. Excerpt:

    Forbes: Now, has the SEC caught up on the technology that makes it very difficult to prevent naked short selling?

    Kaufman: Well, I think that’s part of their problem, is how, but there are ways to do it that, you know, I’m not talking about, oh, naked. By the way, there’s a way to deal with naked short-selling that and that is–

    Forbes: Perp walk.

    Kaufman: DTCC, now yeah, perp walk. I hadn’t thought of that one. Yeah, no, that always works. That’s very salutary, and one of my favorite sayings is, “There’s nothing like the prospect of a hanging to concentrate the mind.” But, no, DTCC, which does all back end clearing, basically what happens now, if I want to sell 100 share of IBM, I can go to the DTCC, and I say, “Do you have 100 shares of IBM today to sell short?” And they say, “Yeah, I’ve got 100 shares.” So, I sell it short. You can come in right behind me, you get the same 100 shares. What they want to do is they want to have a hard locate. And so when I come, and I say I want to sell 100 shares of AT&T, they put a flag on the 100 shares. And when I went to my broker to do the short sale, I’d have to have, you know, them communicate that they’ve got the shares. So there’s only 100 shares, I sell it.

    Person comes behind me says, “Do you have 100 shares?” say, “No, that’s gone. That’s being held for Kaufman’s sale.” It’s a real simple system, it could do a load of good in terms of dealing with this thing. A lot of people just don’t want to do away, I mean, there’s a, there’s two things going on. One is, lots of people making a lot of money, which always ties into it. The second, the people who are the victims don’t want to admit they’re the victims. They don’t want to, as I said, as the top number two guy in of our major financial institutions say to me, he was in the office just to talk about some other things. I’m leaving, he says, “Great job you’re doing on short selling.” And I said, “Great, why don’t you say something about it?” He said, “Well, I don’t, you know, they’ll come and get me.”

    So, while this is, nobody wants to kind of take on the short sales, because they don’t want to be the victim that the short sellers go after. It’s a little like the same thing goes on, you know, in the ghetto, with the no-snitch shirts. It’s, like, nobody wants to be a snitch, nobody wants to turn them in, because then, it may cause me a problem. So that’s one of the reasons why, I think, they’re moving so slowly. And lots of people there will defend–

    Forbes: Why does the SEC have a bias toward short-sellers? Have they–

    Kaufman: Oh, I don’t think they have a bias, I think they’re just nervous about moving because when they call a meeting together, most the people that come say short-selling’s great. And they’re the people that are benefiting, many times, benefiting from short sales. There are also academics who think it’s a good idea, but it is clearly a very, very dangerous situation to have.

  27. Read it before it disappares (sp)

    Target: Hedge Funds

    As prosecutors broaden their crackdown in the Galleon insider- trading case, hedge funds face a moment like investment banks did when Boesky and Milken went down two decades ago.

    By David Scheer and Joshua Gallu
    Bloomberg Markets, February 2010

    Days after he was arrested in an insider-trading probe in 1986, investment banker Dennis Levine sequestered himself at his lawyer’s New York office to read the government’s evidence. As he finished, he gazed out a window some 30 floors up, silently urging himself to open it and jump. He didn’t.

    Instead, as recounted in his 1991 memoir, Levine came clean. He turned on his co-conspirators and cooperated with prosecutors, helping them build their case against arbitrager Ivan Boesky, who in turn led them to junk bond pioneer Michael Milken.

    The episode brought down Levine’s former employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, and spawned new rules that changed the entire investment-banking industry.

    This time, the insider-trading allegations involve hedge funds, Bloomberg Markets reports in its February 2010 issue. Since federal agents in October arrested billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of Galleon Group LLC, they’ve swept up about 20 alleged co-conspirators. And they’ve set in motion a chain of events like those Levine was a part of, securities lawyers say. Some of the people involved so far will give up more traders and tipsters to help prosecutors expand their case — and help themselves avoid harsh punishments.

    read the rest here

  28. I love it.

    Suddenly the massive wave of foreclosures? Never happened. No Doc loans? That never happened either. Option ARMs? Nope never written. The tin foil hat guys will go through anything to tell you that anyone who shorts securities, or more specifically the securities they are hawking is responsible for everything from H1N1 to Ala Brown’s array of unwanted suitors.

    CDOs can’t be sold at par to investors, unless the bond insurers, and the bond raters rate them as AAA credits. John Paulson can talk to all of the investment banks that he wants, but without these players there’s no market for the CDOs.

    Its unreal that people actually believe this baloney.

  29. Just a quick comment……

    The quote from your article below commits a classic method of misleading people. If subprime lending went up 100%, 200%, or whatever then your percentage based analysis doesn’t hold up. No offense, but please try to avoid shady tactics and incomplete analysis on a site dedicated to defeating shady tactics and incomplete analysis.

    Hopefully this is just an editing error rather that naked manipulation to prove the point (which probably isn’t correct).

    “At the time that the mortgage securities markets began to go south in 2007, defaults on subprime loans had increased only slightly month-to-month, and were in fact considerably lower than in earlier years. In the second quarter of 2007, for example, only 7.7 percent of subprime loans were 30 days past due, slightly up from 6.76 percent in the second quarter of 2006, but considerably lower than the 9.9 percent in the second quarter of 2001.”

  30. Technically, if America is bankrupt as many articles claim, there is no way that Paulson’s demands and bail outs could occur without the government becoming aid and abettor by borrowing funds to pay the swindling banks.

    But who’s being technical these days?

    Once committed, Americans have little choice over their own Treasury budget with scam artists at the helm.

  31. If JP looked at those mortgages and fico scores, specifically those on the synthetic CDO, then he may have violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act which prohibits access to private information like mortgages unless you are servicing the accounts or reselling on the open market. Synthetics don’t count. As stated in the FCRA violations like this have fines and potential jail time attached as well as a possible class action. I will guess that this is the responsibility of the justice department to review.

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  33. The financial system has systematically been designed to be more and more complicated so the average Joe has a very hard time deciphering what is going on. Put simply its white collar robbery as money is being taken without consent of those who’s money it is. Nice article, Cheers!

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  37. Interesting that this is still a topic of conversation. I believe that Paulson spoke frankly and honestly at the senate hearings and whether his actions were completely moral or ethical are of course up for debate. But he saw an opportunity and exploited it – isn’t that the foundation of capitalism?

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