Friday, January 15, 2010

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!"

Imagine being on an extended unemployment stint and just after having spent another day writing fifty-plus resumes, wondering if you'll be in your house in six-months and then switching on the news and seeing this shit, REUTERS: "JP Morgan Investment Bankers See Record Payday."

Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends
It's one thing to hit the jackpot fair and square, but these investment bankers still have a source of obscene amounts of wealth due to the trillions of dollars handed over to them by the U.S. Congress, the political class complicit with the mega-banks in the destruction of the real US economy over the past decades. Think about it, huge lumps of cash in compensation for creating nothing of tangible value. Now perhaps the smug bankers, especially at the lower levels (the one's who only receive the paltry six-figure hush-money bonuses), haven't figured out that the financial economy cannot exist indefinitely without a real economy (mining, manufacturing and agriculture). Not unlike the US Dollar, their very existence is built/leveraged upon a fraction of perceived worth and as we have witnessed, the inflating and taxing power of the Federal Reserve (the real power) on declining main street revenues. Could Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan be the major shareholders of the Federal Reserve on this side of the Atlantic? Sure seems like it.

You also have to wonder how the asshole politicans gave the Big-Three automaker executives such a hard time for arriving in Washington D.C. in private jets in November 2008 to beg for less than one-thirtieth of what the Wall Street masters of the universe investment bankers received.

Automakers actually build tangible products which add value to the United States economy and yet they were practically told to get on their knees while at the same time the Wall Street bankers were figuratively (or not) offered a free blow-job by the Potomac dirt-bags while they handed over the nation's loot.

Who's running who? These bankers actually devised the financial vehicles which are responsible for the smackdown and are still receiving cash rewards for being so clever as to make money for producing nothing but the noise of computer keystrokes and paper shuffling. If anything, these boys are economic and market vampires using methods of profiting which includes skimming money from the markets using computer programs or "flash trading"

"Bloomberg reports in the SEC filings that Goldman only lost money on 2 days out the entire quarter. So they are now hitting something like .900 for 3 months in baseball terms. Folks, there are 13 weeks a quarter, with generally 5 weekdays. That is 65 days. They made money 63 days. That's a 97% win percentage."

Now..after having traded this market for the past 15 years and being able to call consistent gains a viable second monthly income, 97% winning trades is pretty fucking amazing.

"Doing God's Work" 0r Screwing Their Own Clients?
"A Congressional committee questioned Goldman's CEO, Lloyd Blankenfeld about packaging risky assets and then selling them to clients, even though Goldman was betting against those same assets. Thus, Goldman was making money even as their clients were getting killed. I quote Blankfein. 'I do think the behavior is improper. We regret the consequences that people have lost money in it.' (Source: Dow Theory Letters dated 14 January 2010).

The Reaping
Would it surprise you to hear that a bunch of these investment banker types are gunned downed someday by perhaps a once proud family man who thinks he's got nothing to lose after losing it all? A desperate and tragic criminal act perhaps a year or so after losing his job and having written his last check. Maybe he's been put through a divorce from the woman who not only promised "until death do us part," but had made sure that he signed that option-arm mortgage contract with her for that pretty $750,000 McMansion with a four car garage and walk-in closets bigger than the size of their former home's master bedroom. And you know what? When the public someday hears the news of this human tragedy, I'll bet more than a few will be discreetly sporting a small grin of glee on their faces.

It is said that there was a time when a famous monarch stated, "Let them eat cake!" The difference between those days and today, is that the guillotine has been replaced with 500 million firearms, more or less evenly distributed throughout the country. Come to think of it, maybe the boys at Goldman already know not to bring a knife to a gunfight:
Arming Goldman Sachs With Pistols

Of course I would never advocate any violence whatsoever.....but I would understand.

JPMorgan investment bankers to see record payday

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton ...
By Steve Eder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM - News) on Friday announced a record $9.3 billion payday for its investment-banking employees, setting the stage for competitors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS - News) to also make eye-popping payouts.

On a per employee basis, JPMorgan investment bankers, sales staff and traders, on average, are set to make about $379,000 for 2009, up more than $100,000 from 2008, when the broader financial sector was mired in crisis.

"People looking at it from the outside look at the dollars and say they are high," said Kenneth Raskin, the head of law firm White & Case's executive compensation practice. "There is no question the dollars are high. The question is whether they were deserving."

Median U.S. household income in 2008 was $50,303.

Michael Cavanagh, JPMorgan's chief financial officer, told reporters that even though pay is up overall, its investment bank still reduced the percentage of revenue that it set aside for pay, to 33 percent, from 62 percent for 2008 and historical averages of about 44 percent. Its investment bank had one of its strongest years.

Analysts also expect Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS - News) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS - News), which report their results next week, to show an upswing in pay. Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C - News), however, could pay commercial and investment banking bonuses for 2009 that are similar to 2008 levels, sources told Reuters.

Banks across the industry have changed their compensation plans to give managers more of their pay in the form of stock that must be held for multiple years. This sort of deferred compensation is meant to curb traders and others from taking short-term risks that could harm the investment bank several years later.

Changes in compensation plans, however, have done little to bring down overall pay figures and quell public outrage over pay.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that the top 38 U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people $145 billion, based the newspaper's analysis.

The public anger over banker pay led the New York Times to call on Congress to pass a one-off windfall tax on banker bonuses. Britain plans a one-time tax of half of banker bonuses above 25,000 pounds ($40,675).

Banks, which now face President Obama's bailout tax, have so far been successful in beating back other reforms, including plans for a consumer protection regulator.

The resistance of the banking industry to roll back pay is infuriating and short-sighted to some, especially with high unemployment and people losing homes to foreclosure.

"These people need some perspective on where we are and what they have done," said Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University.
(Additional reporting by Elinor Comlay, Clare Baldwin, and Dan Wilchins; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)