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Showing posts from July, 2012

Geithner on the Hill

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before the House Financial Services Committee this morning. Most of the questioning concerned the growing LIBOR scandal. 
Representative Mel Watt noted the declining number of African American car dealers and asked if there was anything Treasury could do, given its large holding of GM stock, to reverse this situation. Rather than giving a solution, the Secretary promised to get back to him. 

We suggested a solution as far back as 2008: there is nothing to stop Treasury from filing a shareholder resolution with GM on the matter. 

On LIBOR, Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ) noted that "Geithner had four years, and meeting after meeting, to bring the LIBOR issue to Congress' attention and it just wasn't done."
Mr. Geithner appeared unflapped. He has, after all, done this before. He noted, in prepared remarks, that “The American financial system has regained its footing since the crisis of a few years ago but is still thre…

Bernanke on the Hill

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Chairman of the Fed Benjamin Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee today. In his prepared remarks he hewed closely to his July 17th testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
A surprising number of questions focused on the LIBOR scandal. One question in particular seemed to go to the heart of the matter. A Committee member read a transcript of a conversation between a Barclay's trader and a staff member at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. The transcript seemed to show the trader acknowledging his complicity in the commission of fraud. The Congressman then read the definition of fraud to the Chairman. This matched what the transcript revealed.

The Committee member then asked the Chairman if he thought this combination was enough to justify a charge of fraud against Barclays. The Chairman was, predictably, reluctant to agree.

Fiscal cliffs, twists and sequesters are irrelevant in the face of this type of clearly defined unethical behavior. 

It is this typ…

Financial damage from subprime implosion will impact African Americans for a long, long time...

As we have noted for some time, "For blacks, the picture since the recession has been particularly grim. They disproportionately held subprime mortgages during the housing boom and are facing foreclosure in outsize numbers. That is raising fears among consumer advocates, academics and federal regulators that the credit scores of black Americans have been systematically damaged, haunting their financial futures." The Washington Post has a good article describing the problem.


And keep in mind that banks like "Wells Fargo targeted black communities for shoddy loans." Which means this did not have to happen.


Free market, indeed...