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Sunday, December 12, 2010

At least they're not Tweeting yet

Hard to believe, but the U.S. Treasury Department now has a blog.

Comments (4)

This site is potentially useful.

An interesting submission is the "Statement of the Honorable [sic] Eric M. Thorson, Inspector General, Department of the Treasury, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, April 16, 2010":

Over two years of post-seizure research has yielded information and conclusions quite different from Mr Thorson's opinions about WaMu's demise. For example, p.3 of his statement contains this assertion regarding "Causes of WaMu's Failure":

"In September 2008, WaMu was unable to raise capital to counter significant depositor withdrawals sparked by rumors of WaMu’s problems and other high-profile failures at the time."

That WaMu was well-capitalized prior to and at the time of seizure was not in question last April, as confirmed by the OTS. The "rumors of WaMu's problems" appear to have been circulated by the FDIC's Sheila Bair as part of her plan to deliver WaMu to JPM Chase for the risible sum of $1.888 billion.

There is a lot on this site that is not true.

Meanwhile, Treasury minions do appear to be tweeting. Go to this page:
and look at Social Hub in the right-most column. A click on Twitter will take you here:

I saw no tweets regarding Timothy Geithner's kidney stone surgery, including whether he will, indeed, be back on the job Monday. Did I miss him on the Sunday chats, reported on Friday as being still on his agenda?

(Kidney stone surgery, which usually means lithotripsy, is not a minor procedure. General anesthetic is required; a catheter is installed and a collection bag must be used for several days. The patient usually employs Vicodin and other drugs to manage post-procedure pain.)

I doubt Mr Geithner's considerable role, while NY Fed head, in the sacrifice of WaMu to Wall St financial institutions will ever be available on this site.

Speaking of Wall St financial institutions buttressed by the federal government with taxpayer monies, Louise Story offered "A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives" in yesterday's NYT. This piece opens with some intriguing grafs:

"On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan.

The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.

Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk.

In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.

The banks in this group, which is affiliated with a new derivatives clearinghouse, have fought to block other banks from entering the market, and they are also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available."

It is unlikely that anything about this cabal will emerge on the Treasury blog. WaMu, of course, was not a member, therefore prey.

Actually, IRS (a Treasury component) is going to start Tweeting:


If there's anything less amenable to being summarized in less than 140 characters than tax procedure, I'm not sure what it is.

Compute gross income; mail it in #reallyez

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