Money Laundering as a Policy, Not a Crime
I have often referred to Fed/Treasury shenanigans as an advanced money laundering scheme because, well, what else do you call giving Goldman Sachs $10 billion in TARP they did not need and demanding it back? The Treasury insists that it had to distribute bailout funds "equally" among banks lest weaker banks (*coughCitigroupcough*) be ravaged by panicked depositors. As if anyone could even pull "funds" from Goldman Sachs in the first place.
It might be useful here to first define money laundering. So let's do that.
I hate quoting Wikipedia but fuck it, it works:
Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, originated from a legitimate source. It is a crime in many jurisdictions with varying definitions. It is a key operation of the underground economy.
In US law it is the practice of engaging in financial transactions to conceal the identity, source, or destination of illegally gained money. In UK law the common law definition is wider. The act is defined as taking any action with property of any form which is either wholly or in part the proceeds of a crime that will disguise the fact that that property is the proceeds of a crime or obscure the beneficial ownership of said property.
We could easily talk about the $13 billion Goldman Sachs got in return for AIG CDS exposure, that same $13 billion that the New York Fed specifically insisted be struck out of documentation, if we're going to talk about obscuring beneficial ownership, eh?
Money laundering is ipso facto illegal; the acts generating the money almost always are themselves criminal in some way (for if not, the money would not need to be laundered).
Here's to hoping Ben Bernanke really is a fan of Jr Deputy Accountant. If those excessive Board hits I get are any indication, the above goes out to you, homie. The acts generating the money almost always are themselves criminal in some way (for if not, the money would not need to be laundered).
Do I really need to elaborate? Mmmkay, happy to. It doesn't stop with unauthorized intervention on the part of the Fed, everyone has to get a piece of the action. Especially the Treasury, of course.
(h/t reader Bill in Michigan for this article. Bill's a clever guy and summed it up thusly: "This shit is happening real fast, faster than we can keep up or cover our asses. I don't want to be robbed anymore." Bravo, homie, me neither, that's why I'm here up Ben Bernanke's ass every day, I couldn't have said it better myself. Except I might have used "cover our fucking asses")
Should annuities be mandatory for 401(k)s? Fund companies go on the offensive (via Investment News):
Participants in 401(k) plans do not want the government to require them to convert a portion of their 401(k) assets to annuities, according to the results of a survey of about 3,000 households released today by the Investment Company Institute.
The results of the survey aren't surprising, given that the IC I represents mutual fund companies. Some $7.5 trillion is invested in 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, about half of which is invested in mutual funds.
The release of the research indicates that the mutual fund industry intends to resist proposals discussed in Washington to reduce tax breaks for 401(k)s and to impose more government controls on the plans, such as mandating investment options.
“Government should not be making those decisions for them,” ICI president and chief executive Paul Schott Stevens said in summarizing the ICI survey of 401(k) participants, which was conducted in November and December. “They really value the independent control that they have over the way they invest and manage those accounts. They don't like mandates. They don't like government micromanagement.”
Yes but how will the Fed get the suckers to sop up that excess liquidity without some sort of intervention? It's either by law or by divine directive and I think we all know the Fed doesn't have the power of Jesus compelling their heathen asses (and no, that's not a Jewish joke, insert your deity of choice in there if it makes you feel better).
Mandated annuities? That's only one step away from a chip in the back of your wrist, you morons, who is allowing this?
Actually I lied. It's two steps away. The next step is mandated T-bill and MBS purchases, itemized right there underneath FICA and Medicare.
Don't underestimate Tim Geithner, that bastard knows his time in the Treasury is ticking and he's still got work to do as the little second-rate NWO minion that he is. What a bitch.
Now before you people start getting all "OMG JDA you're getting all Republican on our asses!" I remind dear reader that this government couldn't even figure out how to get $700 billion dollars in stimulus money to create a single job so do you really want these people dictating how you will be funded in your Golden Years?
That's what I thought. Lucky for me I'm 29, fabulously broke, and will probably die of BlackBerry-induced brain cancer before the age of 40 so don't really have to trip about these sorts of things. The rest of you have the sympathy of both me and my future brain tumor. Really.