Two must-read books for any market reformer

3 min read

Regular readers of this blog come from remarkably diverse backgrounds, but seem united by at least one shared experience: the act of having examined some aspect of our capital markets only to conclude that much of what the world has accepted as fundamental simply does not make sense.

Regulators refusing to regulate. Investigative reporters unwilling to investigate. Villains praised as heroes. Heroes marginalized as villains. Fact derided as fantasy. The valueless labeled “valuable”. Lies labeled “truth”. One plus one labeled “three”.

These are all symptoms of a financial system that is beyond broken…even beyond unhinged. It’s insane. And yet, in keeping with the black-is-white nature of Wall Street, those who say as much can expect to see their own sanity publicly questioned and, in the absence of external validation, possibly come to question it themselves.

If you can relate to this feeling, then take heart. Last month saw the publication of two books packed with the psychological healing capacity of a year’s worth of frustrated market reformer support group sessions: No one would Listen by first time author Harry Markopolos, and The Big Short by seasoned Wall Street chronicler Michael Lewis.

For all their differences of artistry and scope, in the end these books tell the stories of remarkably relatable individuals confronting the unpopular realization that large and seemingly trustworthy institutions were getting rich by playing the rest of us for fools and making mockeries of the markets in which they operated in the process.

In the case of No one would Listen, we follow the author himself through the process of uncovering the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, followed by his decade-long effort to expose it. Along the way, we’re given fly-on-the-wall access to his many infamously fruitless attempts to help complacent journalists and bumbling SEC staffers (Markopolos refers to the agency as “captured” at least a half-dozen times) recognize that “the world’s largest hedge fund is a fraud.”

In The Big Short, Lewis tells the stories of a small handful of investors as each came to their own realization of the tremendous gulf separating Wall Street’s portrayal of subprime mortgage-backed securities and their reality. These a-ha moments are neatly encapsulated by the line, attributed to Charlie Ledley of Cornwall Capital, who despaired, “in the course of trying to figure it out, we realized that there’s a reason why it doesn’t quite make sense to us. It’s because it doesn’t quite make sense.”

In both books, the protagonists’ disconcerting conclusions are backed up not only by subjective observation, but also by the kind of objective math anybody with finance training could duplicate, but which most chose to ignore for fear of what the conclusions might portend. In each case, the result was a generally-accepted delusion and limitless lessons on the shortcomings of human nature and how these – when aggregated on the market level – are ripe for exploitation.

Lewis maintains as his primary target the investment banks that peddled the deeply-flawed subprime mortgage-backed CDOs all the while planning (as we’ve been reminded today) to make money on their inevitable failure, as well. Markopolos expends most of his ammunition on the SEC, while saving some fire for uninspired business reporters and the culture of greed-induced blindness that permeates the hedge fund industry.

In terms of style and mechanics, I much preferred The Big Short, as it is one of the most masterfully woven works of non-fiction I’ve ever experienced. Lewis paints compelling pictures of his players and their circumstances, making them feel quite familiar. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so unhappy to reach a book’s final page.

Markopolos, on the other hand, is a numbers person by profession, not a writer. And while his is a superb first effort, it’s afflicted by a few awkwardly executed patches that left the book feeling about 30 pages too long; much the same way I suspect Markopolos’ frequently-acknowledged eccentricities likely result in conversations with him lasting just slightly longer than they should.

While The Big Short offers near perfection, if forced to pick one work over the other for readers of Deep Capture, I’d have to recommend No one would Listen, for two reasons.

First, as culpable as the banks are, their behavior is merely a product of the regulatory environment in which they’ve operated for the past 20 years. To understand why criminals abound, you must start by understanding why the cops are absent, and this is what Markopolos accomplishes.

Second, because readers of this blog seem drawn to stories marked by a clear delineation between right and wrong, I suspect No one would Listen will be the more satisfying read in the end. Indeed, throughout The Big Short, I was nagged by the feeling that while those who anticipated and profited from the bursting of the CDO bubble were likely smarter than those who profited from its inflation, they’re not necessarily better people. This was made especially clear to me through the story of Howie Hubler, a Morgan Stanley bond trader whose narrative – but for a single poorly-conceived trade (which ended up costing Hubler’s firm $9-billion) – would have followed an arc comparable to that of the heroically-portrayed Michael Burry or Steve Eisman. Harry Markopolos, on the other hand, is obviously a different kind of person and, of the many characters across both books, the one I’d want to have as a neighbor or meet over lunch. Where Lewis offers a limitlessly captivating story about economics, Markopolos offers a deeply endearing if slightly flawed story about character.

Fortunately, I don’t have to pick one book over the other. I can – and do – recommend both as great reads and invaluable reminders that it’s the system that’s insane, not us.

Chapter 1 of a book-length story about the financial underworld and the vulnerability of the U.S. markets to deliberate attacks
Mark Mitchell
0 sec read

The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out: Preface

In some respects the financial crisis is what the Mafia calls a "bust-out", but on a gigantic scale.
Patrick Byrne
56 sec read

Barry Minkow’s short trip from ex-felon to current-felon

Barry Minkow’s sudden return from ex-felon to current-felon has come as a surprise to some, but not to the Deep Capture team; for we...
Judd Bagley
5 min read

41 Replies to “Two must-read books for any market reformer”

  1. Another good guy who wrote something profound, that also was ignored. This writer shows a great concern for freedom and a fair system.He also seems to be a man with the ability to see the future we inhabit today.

    http://www.fame.org/PDF/buffet3.pdf

    Question I have is did his apple fall far from the old tree? GS and this Senator/writers son’s involvement is a great mystery to me as they, GS’s, have played the other side in actually opposing any gold/money connection. What would this late,great man say to his son today?

  2. I can give links back to the 1880’s about Wallstreet corruption and control of politicians and the media, but my favorite is anything to do with Richard Ney.

    Dead now, but he was one of the earliest to fight share counterfeiting.

    http://speculationrules.com/books/jungle.php

    My favorite quote was when mobsters said they envied the corruption of Wallstreet.

    Don’t despair, the internet has created new rules and democracy of ripped off investors looking for revenge will win this time.

  3. I also read Lewis’ _The Big Short_ and was impressed. The shame of it is, of course, that he was there for the 1980s S&L bust; many of the financial industry’s failings then were not corrected. Quite the opposite – “structured finance” instruments that had been invented in the 1980s did not reach their full destructive potential until the early-mid 2000s, and some of the proteges of the 1980s-era convicted felons had risen to prominence in the current subprime-CDO/MBS disaster.

    One cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a decades-old structural inability to “fix” Wall Street. Louis Brandeis’s 1912-1913 serialized book, _Other People’s Money,_ while dated in many details is also painfully contemporary.

  4. Why Markopolos ruins his book with a foreward by master-thief Einhorn eludes me and leads me to think Harry is a bit of a flake regardless of the noble intent of his quest.

  5. jim –
    maybe because markopolos dosesn’t share the perception of einhorn.
    or maybe he hasn’t done any research on einhorn the way he did on madoff.
    markopolos sounds like an honest guy, so i would be interested in hearing his views on einhorn (or if he has any substantive information on him)
    anil

    1. The very same market for Markopolos’ book, fairminded American investors, doesn’t perceive Einhorn as any kind of white knight, I assure you.

  6. ron doc –
    you raise a good point. i have often wondered about buffett and gs as well. one of my colleagues met buffett – i wish i was there with her – i would have asked him his opinion on gs, and whether or not he has done any diligence the fraud angle before he made his $5b investment.

    (he did get burned on salomon many years ago, but the general perception i heard/read was that everyone that was involved with him/salomon through that whole saga said he never compromised on his ethics through the whole episode)

    maybe this is the beginning of him having to get involved with gs as well ?

    hope i can get to omaha soon and get to ask him this question myself.
    cheers,
    anil

  7. The markets are dead. Confidence has disappeared. Nothing will change until those who plotted and assisted in the destruction of the financial system are locked away behind bars for the rest of their lives.

  8. And, to scrape the barnacles off the brain of any would-be reformer, I highly recommend “The Value of Nothing” by Raj Patel. It’s a tour-de-force of the evolution of thought that brought us the “market” as we know it today, and gives the reader a chance to re-think a whole lot of assumptions.

  9. Lewis`s first book “Liars Poker” was very entertaining and informative. I read it for the first time about 15 years ago and still recommend it as a peek into the mindset of wall street that never changes. I look forward to reading both of these new books you mentioned, even though I already know how they end. While these books describe events concerning the top tiers of our economy, I believe this most recent “bubble” of fraud we have experienced started out small, in microcap stocks (where it was easy to get away with it) and grew from there. Perhaps any meaningful reform will also follow this pattern. (“What ye do to the least of these” etc.) Green shoots come from the lowest level.

  10. So what are the next book to be written. WHY THEY DIDN’T FIX IT? OR HOW THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT? I’m sure both of the beforementioned books are a great read. I’d prefer to fix this problem them be addresssing it in another form a handful of years from today. How? Well the first step might be that when Senator Shelby sits on a CNBC show being interviewed and defending his votes and actions one address him point blank and play the tape of him saying there was no such thing as NSS. OR recently as Jim Cramer did his segment defending GS that in his opinion they did not do anything wrong. Watch how often the words capatilism are use to defend fraud. I’m all for educatinoal books. Yet most here do not need to be told what happened. We know what happened. Most of us have known about if for a long time. It’s how to prevent it and fix it. AT this time it’s real simple. Put them in jail. Isn’t going to happen though as Dirk wisely points out. So an alternative choice is to exploit it as Dr Jim Decosta points out. However isn’t that what many were doing as they took BSC down while also jumpoing on the Wynn’s on the way up. Prosperity on both sides yet perp walks anyone? Thanks for the well written article.

  11. Maybe the answer is to fight fire with fire. We establish our own Deep Capture hedge fund. Exploit the current system as is currently being done by other big money hedge funds, with the sole purpose of taking out the criminals. Money is THE ONLY THING THAT TALKS on Wall Street (and Captiol Hill), as I’m sure many of you here have come to realize. All the yapping does nothing, you must carry a BIGGER STICK than the other guy in order to take him down; with the obvious metaphor being that your pool of capital is your stick.

    1. If you want to step into the dark side let me offer a better idea, hypothetically speaking, of course: vigilant death squad.

      The concept would be to target the supporting rings of the miscreant network to fracture and destroy it. This organization would likely work parallel to, and sometimes in conjunction with “good” law enforcement and regulators. It would be ruthless and in no way represent the rule of law; I do not like to even consider it, but…

      Case Study: Los Pepes (Colombia – early 1990’s), See “Killing Pablo” by Mark Bowden

  12. al,

    You’re heading down the right street as nothing is going to substantially change. The oligarchs running our country and financial system are getting stronger not weaker. The next meltdown will be worse than the last one. That’s why I prefer to “rescue” the most heavily beat up corporations in the junior mineral exploration sector that are soon to be producing gold and silver which as Mark Mitchell’s piece revealed are the commodities most heavily naked short sold.

    THE CRIMINALS’ PLAYBOOK:

    1) Their entire foundation is based upon one irrefutable reality. Corporations like sandcastles are much easier to destroy than to build. In case you haven’t noticed the oligarchs on Wall Street now DESTROY things for a living.
    2) The goal of abusive short selling criminals is to leverage their financial superiority as well as their superior knowledge of our complex markets over Main Street “long” investors while destroying corporations through abusive short selling attacks or “bear raids”.
    3) Their first task was to unite themselves into a difficult to prosecute “alter ego” that is too complex and too critical to the market system to ever do away with. This body has financial and political critical mass beyond comprehension to look after the financial interests of its short selling “members/participants” and their hedge fund guests i.e. the establishment of the DTCC.
    4) This critical mass, complexity and inability to be done away with will serve as the source of leverage to utilize against the financial interests of those Main Street “long” investors that these “securities intermediaries” and SROs are supposed to be providing investor protection to and acting on behalf of.
    5) Their next move was to appoint themselves as the “surrogate legal custodian” and “surrogate legal owner” of all shares held in the ever so handy to utilize “street name”.
    6) Then it became time to target for destruction corporations deemed to be an “easy prey”. Typically these are yet to be cash flow positive development stage corporations that can easily be forced to raise money to pay their monthly “burn rate” by selling shares at often steep discounts (because of the implied high risk) to easy to induce plummeting share prices.
    7) Next they would contract with the blindfolded purchasers of U.S. securities to deliver that which they were selling to them by T+3.
    8) Then they’d simply sell immense numbers of nonexistent “share look-alikes” and willfully REFUSE to honor that delivery contract by absolutely refusing to deliver that which they sold.
    9) The NSCC subdivision of the DTCC would then allow this “failure to deliver” (FTD) to be “cured” by the NSCC’s totally corrupt self-replenishing “Stock Borrow Program” (SBP) wherein the shares borrowed to “cure” FTDs can be immediately placed right back into the very same SBP lending pool from which they just came out of by the purchaser of these “recently borrowed” securities. Here this one parcel of IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY shares stands ready to “cure” yet another failure to deliver and then another, and then another, etc. This atrocity can occur when financial assets are held in an impossible to identify “anonymously pooled” format which the DTCC insists on utilizing. Dozens of previously blindfolded investors having purchased the same impossible to identify parcel of shares gives rise to yet another source of “leverage” which can augment any criminal act.
    10) The unknowing lender of the shares from whose margin account the shares were “donated” into the SBP lending pool will then have his margin account credited with a readily sellable share price depressing “security entitlement” that looks and must by law (UCC-8) be treated just like a legitimate “share” seen on a monthly brokerage statement. Meanwhile the purchaser of the “borrowed” shares walks off with the “legal owner” title which handily gives him the right to re-donate them back into the very same SBP lending pool from which they just emerged.
    11) Since these readily sellable “security entitlements” exist above and beyond the number of legitimate registered shares already “outstanding” then the “supply” of that which must be treated as being readily sellable goes up and therefore the share price must go down.
    12) Since the DTCC only mandates that the sellers of undelivered shares (even if that which was sold never existed in the first place) “collateralize” the monetary value of that failed delivery obligation then as the share price predictably drops the funds of the purchasers of the nonexistent shares actually flows to the seller of the nonexistent shares that willfully broke the contract he entered into.

    THE WAY TO COMBAT THIS: Simply take a page out of the crooks’ play book and turn it 180-degrees.

    1) Market reform advocates unite themselves into a body with significant critical mass and a superior knowledge of how our clearance and settlement system actually operates.
    2) Their market professionals thoroughly vet victimized corporations trading at perhaps 5-10% of their BVPS or “book value per share” (assets minus liabilities divided by the # of shares “outstanding”).
    3) This committee targets worthy corporations for “rescuing”. Corporations with large amounts of victimized shareholders are preferred in order to alleviate the maximum amount of human financial pain.
    4) Since the DTC illegally acts as a “legal custodian” operating on a “fractional reserve” basis shareholders are encouraged to demand delivery of their paper-certificated shares AND BECOME THEIR OWN “LEGAL CUSTODIAN” that will obviously not facilitate the efforts of those trying to bankrupt the invested in corporation.
    5) Management of the corporation chosen to rescue is trained on a variety of defensive measures to thwart these attacks including raising cash by the sale of assets and repurchasing their own shares especially when they are trading at steep discounts to their book value per share.
    6) With each and every share repurchased at a discount to BVPS the always attainable BVPS goes up a “notch”. The size of the “notches” is proportional to the disparity between the price per share and the BVPS.
    7) BVPS is always attainable because all a corporation has to do is to sell its assets, pay its liabilities and divide up the spoils amongst its shareholders while “going private” in order to escape the clutches of the corrupt “legal custodian” known as the DTC.

    1. The problem with this scenario is the company goes private at a low price, which benefits the major shareholders that take it private and the shorts that get to cover at a low price, at the expense of the investors that believed in the company.

      They might have risked their money for twenty years, only to be forced to sell in a private transaction at a low price.

      Other problems:

      – market makers stop processing orders, so the bid is above the ask, but they won’t let the sale go through

      – people ask for their shares, but can’t get them

      – no matter how much buying there is, the bid will plummet and the ask will sky rocket, with the goal of the market makers to stop trading in the stock. It might be bid $.05 and ask $1 or something. They know that will stop buyers.

      They are betting that whoever gets control of the corporation will get greedy and pay themselves first by taking it private, letting the counterfeiters off the hook.

  13. From http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/18/obama-launch-public-campaign-wall-street-crackdown/

    Okay, Obama, let’s see you walk your talk here and prove this is not just political theater for the November elections. If the entire sub-prime mortgage melt-down was the result of a fraud, then the TARP and other bailouts represent proceeds from illegal act. RICO applies here. All assets of the banks up to and including the Federal Reserve are subject to seizure in order to reimburse the victims of the crime, which includes every American who has lost a home in the last four years and every American who has footed the bill for the bailouts.

    So, we have two choices. Either refund those trillions of dollars directly to the people, or stand exposed as just another bovine excrement artist in an election year!

  14. Have you ever bought anything? Have you ever bought anything expensive? How would you feel if you spent thousands of dollars for an item, and the seller never delivered what you’d bought? Now, how would you feel if the quasi governmental agency responsible for the integrity of the transaction was the very reason your seller never delivered your item? What if you were left, now out thousands of dollars, with no item to show for it, and no authority that will listen to your complaint? How would you feel? Angry? Confused? Betrayed? Powerless?

    Unbelievable? Impossible? Could this happen in America? You bet it could, and it did, to about fifteen hundred people who bought a little known stock called Bancorp International Group (BCIT), back in 2005.

    What follows on this website is the incredible account and explanation of what happened, is currently happening, and yet needs to happen for these very people.

    http://www.let-bcit-trade.com/

  15. Jim,

    This is FANTASTIC NEWS!!!!!!!!!

    Lehman subpoenas hedge funds Greenlight, SAC

    * Lehman seeks information on fund activities

    * Attorneys investigating possible ‘illegal activity’

    By Emily Chasan

    NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) – Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK) wants to investigate David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and other hedge funds over whether they took improper actions that damaged Lehman’s business ahead of its collapse, court documents show.

    On Friday, attorneys for Lehman Brothers filed notices of subpoena for hedge funds Greenlight, SAC, Citadel Investment Group, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Goldman Sachs & Co (GS.N), seeking access to documents and employees to conduct an investigation.
    …..

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1911590020100419?type=marketsNews
    ________________________________________

    QUESTION:

    Why has the SEC NOT done this?

    Why has the United States Senate NOT done this?

    Why has the United States House of Representatives NOT done this?

  16. And those IStand are great questions. That was the first thing that came to mind. Remember Cox said that Congress would be please with the results of their (the Sec’s) investigation. Well I am not pleased. How about you? Non existent.

  17. They buy insurance and the premiums work out to 4.5 times what they were insuring.

    There’s a giant sucking sound as the world’s money flows to a few crooks.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=143057

    “The small 800-year-old town of Saint-Etienne in France has just defaulted on a $1.6 million contract owed to Deutsche Bank. The city entered into a complex currency swap arrangement to reduce the cost of borrowing some $30 million.

    To cancel all 10 derivative contracts Saint-Etienne currently holds would cost the town approximately $135 million, more than six times the amount initially borrowed, largely because no bank or institutional investor would want to purchase contracts that are now on the losing side of the bet.

    Saint-Etienne is only one of thousands of EU municipalities that bought into derivative contracts as a way to cut the costs of municipal borrowing.”

  18. Schwab settles mortgage-backed securities suit

    Charles Schwab reaches deal to settle 2008 suit over bond fund drained by mortgage meltdown

    Eileen Aj Connelly, AP Business Writer, On Tuesday April 20, 2010, 9:53 am EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Charles Schwab will pay $200 million to resolve a federal class action lawsuit filed by investors who say the financial holding company misled them over the safety of mortgage-backed securities.

    If approved by the court, the settlement announced Tuesday will result in a retroactive charge that would nearly eliminate the first-quarter profit that the discount broker posted last week.

    The fund that angered investors, the YieldPlus Fund, shriveled from nearly $14 billion in 2007 to less than $1 billion in early 2008, as investors bailed out and managers were forced to dump their holdings cheaply.

    The U.S. District Court in California will decide if Schwab can avoid trial with the settlement, yet the fund’s collapse is still the subject of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
    ……. Continued ……

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Schwab-settles-mortgagebacked-apf-4120582331.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

  19. great read
    article by Eric Fry – http://dailyreckoning.com/goldmans-trading-success-rate-more-than-just-a-coin-flip/

    If you flip a penny 1,000 times, it’ll land “heads” about half the time and “tails” about half the time. If you bet on “Even” 1,000 times at a roulette table, you’d win a little less than half the time (thanks to the “0” and “00” slots on the wheel). These probabilities are relatively simple and intuitive.

    Stock market probabilities differ somewhat. Insight improves the odds. Lots of insight improves the odds greatly…over a long-term timeframe. But over the short-term, insight provides a very limited and unreliable benefit. “The markets can stay irrational,” John Maynard Keynes famously observed, “for much longer than you can stay solvent.”

    That said, successful stock market traders tend to “win” about 55% to 60% of the time. This win percentage is not so different from that of successful sports bettors. Again, these probabilities make sense. If you possess relevant insights into the “markets” you are trading – be they S&P 500 futures or professional football games – you can improve your odds of success…a little. Chance and pure, dumb luck still play a prominent role…unless you happen to be a trader at Goldman Sachs. For reasons that neither logic nor probabilities can explain, Goldman’s trading desk “wins” more than 90% of the time…or at least it did during 2009.

    The inexplicably successful Wall Street firm lost money on only 19 trading days last year, which means it made money on 244 days out of 263. And Goldman did not simply make some money, it made lots of money. The firm booked a daily profit of more than $100 million on 131 trading days – that’s almost ten times the number of $100 million days it booked in 2004.

    Even during the rough and tumble days of 2008, Goldman still managed to amass an implausible record of success by booking a daily trading profit 63% of the time and racking up $100 million profits on 90 trading days. A cynical observer could easily deduce that: 1) the “level playing field” on which Goldman purports to operate is as crooked as can be and that; 2) Goldman’s miraculous trading success in 2009 may have something to do with the disappearance and/or emasculation of former competitors like Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros. and Merrill Lynch.

    “Traders are supposed to live by their wits, making judicious bets on the market,” observes financial commentator, Sean Paul Kelley. “Good traders who don’t have inside information tend to win about 55% of the time and lose money 45% of the time, the difference being their profit resulting from their trading acumen.

    “Goldman Sachs doesn’t work this way,” says Kelley. “They have bright people no doubt, and somewhere on the trading floor these people on occasion make good and bad judgment calls. From what it looks like, however, their traders are benefiting from two advantages: information not available to the market, and muscle. These two things give the firm an edge that almost guarantees substantial ‘trading profits’ quarter after quarter.

    “The information part comes from a variety of sources,” Kelley continues. “We’ve seen the scandal over High Frequency Trading, where Goldman and other firms have computers positioned at the New York Stock Exchange, getting information on trades a millisecond before they are posted publicly. Goldman sees where the market is going second by second, positions itself for very short term profits, and in effect extracts a tax on trading by individual investors and mutual funds. Goldman Sachs is the biggest player in this business… For credit products, mortgage securities, and equity derivatives, Goldman Sachs extracts similar information from its clients interested in buying or selling these products…

    “None of these information sources or uses are illegal at this point,” Kelley concludes, “but this is hardly the profile of your typical day- trader pitting his wits against the fickleness of the market; this is the profile of a hedge fund with critical information and size advantages, using them to maximize profit.”

    As Kelley correctly observes, none of Goldman’s known trading practices are illegal. On the other hand, legal trading practices have never before generated such a sustained record of improbable success. So just maybe, Goldman’s brilliant trading record emerges from something other than gee-whiz computer programs and the brilliant instincts of trading jocks.

    Remember, Goldman generates its trading results from the activities of hundreds of traders, operating in dozens of different financial markets. And yet, somehow, the collective activities of this gun- slinging diaspora produce a daily profit 93% of the time. That’s either very impressive or very illegal.

    The truth will come to light eventually.

  20. What’s funny is that on one hand Judd lauds a book that shows that the value of MB CDOs were clearly mismarked. Yet his same site dismisses the idea that the owners of these CDOs mismarked their CDOs.

    What an asshole

  21. Funny Judd how whenever anyone takes you down the comment is deleted.

    You have claimed in the past that it wasn’t the fall in the value of assets but rather naked shorting that left Lehman insovlent. Lehman was a big owner of CDOs and you just lauded a book that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the collateral behind the CDOs wasn’t worth the amount originally paid for the CDOs or anywhere close.

    If that’s the case, then it wasn’t naked shorting that caused Lehman’s bankruptcy because Lehman was insolvant. Lehman was levered 25 to 1 so a 5% drop in assets would make them insolvant. The Big Short shows that these CDOs fell in value a lot more than that.

    1. Greenday, the only comments we remove are those that:

      Are obvious spam
      Far exceed 500 words
      Are exact duplicates of other comments
      Contain overt bigotry
      Contain personal threats or advocate harming specific people
      Contain extreme obscenity or profanity
      Are responses to comments removed for the above reasons

      And that’s it.

      Here’s a question for you:
      Given that that, in a market free of manipulation, share prices are moved by new information, and given that the audit revealing Lehman’s apparent balance sheet problems didn’t enter the broader market until well over a year after Lehman’s bankruptcy, how could Lehman’s balance sheet problems have had anything to do with its share price tanking? Nobody but insiders had that information!

      David Einhorn claims to have known something, and he was very vocal about it for months. But for all his talking and shorting, the share price didn’t move much. It wasn’t until the naked shorting got underway on a massive scale that the bottom fell out. That you cannot deny.

      Let me take that back…a reasonable person could not deny it. I’m sure you’ll take a shot.

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At the time much of the content on DeepCapture.com was written, the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 was either on the verge of happening or had just occurred. In those days, emotions among this publication’s contributors were raw and, in an effort to get their warnings noticed and appropriate blame placed, occasionally hyperbolic language and shocking imagery were employed.

Were we to write these entries today, a different tone would most certainly prevail.

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