Thursday, December 8, 2011

European Mess Smashes Stocks; How Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson Screwed America

Yesterday in this space, an ancient Wall Street adage was invoked: "Never short a dull market."

We fairly dismissed the idea that, since the US market was basically on hold until the Europeans meet, greet and decide the economic fate of the continent, US stocks would wallow in hopeless delusion, because the Europeans, somewhat like our very own beloved congress, seem incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Most of them could not get arrested at a bong party, either, but the various inabilities of the ruling elite are not a primary concern. What they're doing to your money, your economic present and future, are.

And they're making a god-awful mess of it.

Just before US markets opened, the ECB announced a rate cut of 25 basis points (0.25%) to one percent, which was annoying to the majority of traders, who, as always, wanted more. A 50 bip reduction would have satiated their appetite for freer money for the while, but the ECB also announced that they would be extending loans of up to 36 months (that's three years for the mathematically-inept) to banks on the continent.

That was met with some enthusiasm, but within minutes, newly-appointed ECB president Mario Draghi dashed hopes at the press conference, claiming that the rate cut vote was not unanimous, signaling a lack of conviction on the part of ECB participants.

Stocks plummeted at the open in the US and only partially recovered late in the day as news leaks from the EU summit meeting beginning tomorrow indicated that a fiscal pact would be pursued by EU member nations, but even that news was short-lived as the major indices closed near the lows of the day.

Europe has become the focal point of global equity and commodity trading as it grapples with the potential for debt contagion among sovereign states and bank failures across the European Union. While difficulties in Europe may not directly affect the economy of the United States and other countries, it will have a pass-through effect, as pain anywhere in the global financial system is felt - to varying degrees - everywhere else.

Hope is now high that the crisis summit - a macabre circus in its own right - will produce some lasting, positive resolution, but the more one looks at the condition of Europe, the less one believes that there will be a positive conclusion short of destroying the Euro as a currency, an outcome that may have more benefits than downsides.

Until tomorrow, at least, stocks took a beating, as once again, the bulk of traders were hoping for positive results from another gang that can't shoot straight.

While on the topic of governments and their follies and foibles, an article by John Crudele in the NY Post should be at the top of the discussion of just how corrupt and obnoxious Wall Street has been and continues to be.

Crudele has been saying for two years that Paulson and other elements of the government were corrupt. In today's story, he finally gets confirmation from Bloomberg Markets that then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson was passing along insider tips to his buddies at Goldman Sachs (where he had served as CEO prior to being named to head Treasury by President Bush) and others.

Crudele says:
Under former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, confidential government information was regularly leaked to select people on Wall Street.

That's all one needs to know about how tightly intertwined Wall Street and top officials of the federal government are intertwined, but it brings up an essential question, or questions: Where are NBC, CBS, CNBC, ABC, FOX on this story, and why hasn't Attorney General Eric Holder announced an investigation?

The answers are simple. Bit players like Martha Stewart and Rob Blogojeich go to jail. Fat-ass scum-bags like Hank Paulson, the architect of TARP and god-knows how many other deceitful financial scams sail off into retirement sunset.

No wonder there is an ugly undercurrent of dissatisfaction and distrust in America. The people at the top have been screwing the public for years, yet not a single one is even investigated. Instead, we are subjected to daily wild market swings and the spectacle of former congressman, former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine explaining to a congressional panel how he didn't know what was going on while his firm, MF Global, raided the coffers of client money to the tune of $1.2 billion.

Corzine won't see the inside of a prison; that you can count on. Neither will Hank Paulson. But some ghetto kid who sells a bag of weed because it's the only way he can make a buck, will receive the full extent of what now humorously is called "justice" in America.

Face it, people, with the thieves and connivers we have in government, we're all royally screwed and the wake-up call is probably a few decades too late.

Thanks to John Crudele and the NY Post for his ground-breaking and tireless reporting efforts. It's amazing he hasn't been fired yet.

And seriously, isn't Ron Paul the only Republican presidential candidate that is electable? The others are either pandering flip-floppers (Gingrich, Romney) or wing-nuts (Santorum, Cain, Bachman, Perry). That leaves only Mr. Paul nd Jon Huntsman as viable candidates. But the mainstream media, which relies upon access to the corrupt political machines running the country, will have no part of either of them.

The best advice is to ignore all of them and fend - as best one can - for oneself and one's family, but, eventually, unless the liars, cheaters and thieves of Wall Street and Washington are rooted out and made to pay for their crimes, America is doomed.

Dow 11,997.70, -198.67 (1.63%)
NASDAQ 2,596.38, -52.83 (1.99%)
S&P 500 1,234.35, -26.66 (2.11%)
NYSE Composite 7,369.52, -190.19 (2.52%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,843,290,125
NYSE Volume 4,222,942,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 774-4842
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 100-89
WTI crude oil: 98.34, -2.15
Gold: 1,713.40, -31.40
Silver: 31.54, -1.09

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