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With all of the news today about the latest Bankster Bailout (aka 50 State Settlement – just read David Dayen’s articles from today at FDL News as well as this and this from Cynthia Kouril and this from Scarecrow), I don’t need to say too much more on the topic.
But what the hell, I might as well offer up a few examples of the Banksters and 1%ers working the refs (the TradMed and low info voters), even as they get their own way.
First up is this little nugget from today’s NY Times on how the 1%ers are “conflicted”:
SOON after the Occupy Wall Street encampment was set up at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan last fall, 26-year-old Ryan Quick told his father, Leslie C. Quick III, a financier, that he might drop by the site.
“Don’t you even let me see you over there,” the father replied.
The senior Mr. Quick later said that he and his son were both “half-kidding” each other. But he need not have worried about any class rebellion. According to Mr. Quick, his son came back from his visit and said: “It just looks like a Phish concert. It’s difficult to get engaged by something that doesn’t really have a purpose.”
Hyuk hyuk hyuk! He make funnee! A Phish concert indeed. The phrase “willfully obtuse” always comes to mind when I read something like this.
Then there’s this one from yesterday’s NY Times Deal Book:
LONDON – Peter K. Levene, a former chairman of the London insurance market Lloyd’s, told a room full of bankers on Tuesday evening that for most people in Britain, getting an invitation to one of their banquets was like being invited to an Al Qaeda conference.
Mr. Levene said he would recommend looking beyond “the present hysteria” and turning attention to performance rather than bonuses. “If I heard people at the water cooler discussing the performance of bankers,” he said, “I would accept more easily a discussion on pay.”
Uh, Earth to Mr. Levene, it is precisely because of the “performance of bankers” in destroying the global economy that people are “at the watercooler” discussing banker pay. Bad performance should not be rewarded.
Of course, in Bankster Bizarro World, it comes down to the PR spin. From Bloomberg:
Lucas van Praag’s departure after 12 years as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s chief spokesman and the possible hiring of a former U.S. Treasury Department aide to replace him signal that Wall Street is ready to change its tone.
Van Praag, whose retirement was announced in an internal memo yesterday, had a taste for dismissing negative press reports about New York-based Goldman Sachs as “chimera produced by a febrile mind” and “effluent.” The 62-year-old British citizen’s style was described in a New York Observer profile as “basically a stiffly extended middle finger.”
“We need to convince people that’s really what we care about, and obviously, those things will be good for our business,” said Viniar, 56. “We have to make sure that those things are more aligned than many had thought they were aligned in the past.”
To succeed, Wall Street has to find a new voice in an era where “people are less interested in what they have to say and question their motives all the time,” said Arena, the former UBS spokesman.
“Even if the message from the firm doesn’t change, sometimes all that’s needed is a shift in tone,” he said. “A tone that seems appeasing rather than instructive, that’s more conciliatory rather than didactic.”
There again, it is never about the actual activities, it is only how the spin is received. It surely can’t be because Goldman Sachs gets caught out once again playing both sides (via NY Times).
I’ll end with this article from Bloomberg yesterday on Bank of America:
Bank of America Corp., struggling to handle mortgage refinancing after a U.S. program boosted demand, is telling some customers to wait 90 days before starting an application, said two people with knowledge of the policy.
The firm began a reservation system last week that asks those who call during high-volume times if they wish to be contacted again in 60 to 90 days, said two people who requested anonymity because the measure hasn’t been announced. Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lenders, said they aren’t stalling customers.
The delays may push borrowers to other lenders or discourage them from taking advantage of record low interest rates. The government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, which helps homeowners lower payments, has increased refinance applications and strained capacity at Bank of America, which exited some mortgage lines last year. The U.S. program, now dubbed HARP 2, was broadened in 2011 so more people qualify.
Yeah, this “50 State Settlement” is really going to help the homeowners all right. Wanna buy a bridge (via NY Times)?
And because I can: