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Social Justice Shorts

March 18th, 2009 by Celeste Fremon

justice-with-scales.gif


FACING LIFE WITHOUT…..FOR KIDS


In 2008, the U.S. became the sole country
in the world that still sentenced youth under age 18 to life without parole. A bill recently introduced into the California state legislature, SB 399, would take a step toward ending that practice, at least in California. (In 2007, I covered some of the issues surrounding kids doing life. And last year Human Rights Watch released an excellent report on the kids in California serving Life Without.)

Certainly kids are capable of committing terrible crimes.
And under State Senator Leeland Yee’s bill, juveniles can still be given Life Without. But is allows for the sentence to be reviewed after 10 years with the idea that certain kids might have earned the possibility of a resentencing hearing.

Juveniles are not adults.
Everything we have learned in the last two decades about brain development has made that clear. Various groups in the juvenile justice world are gearing up to support this bill. I hope the California state legislature is intelligent enough to pass it. Perhaps one day we can join the rest of the world and do away with Life Without for kids altogether. SB 399 will not accomplish that goal. But a step in the right direction is better than none.

**********************************************************************************************************

THE RED CROSS TORTURE PAPERS

Journalist/Author Mark Danner got his hands on unreleased report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that detailed the torture of prisoners in the CIA’s so-called black sites and published what he learned in the New York Review of Books.

The accounts and the analysis are extremely credible
, and the writing is excellent. Here’s how it opens:


We think time and elections will cleanse
our fallen world but they will not. Since November, George W. Bush and his administration have seemed to be rushing away from us at accelerating speed, a dark comet hurtling toward the ends of the universe. The phrase “War on Terror”—the signal slogan of that administration, so cherished by the man who took pride in proclaiming that he was “a wartime president”—has acquired in its pronouncement a permanent pair of quotation marks, suggesting something questionable, something mildly embarrassing: something past. And yet the decisions that that president made, especially the monumental decisions taken after the attacks of September 11, 2001—decisions about rendition, surveillance, interrogation—lie strewn about us still, unclaimed and unburied, like corpses freshly dead….

********************************************************************************************************
MAUREEN DOWD UNLOADS ON AIG.…AND SOME MEMBERS OF OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION

I hate to belabor the issue, but MoDo makes some sharp points and draws blood:

…As Andrew Cuomo pointed out on Tuesday, 11 of the A.I.G. executives who received retention bonuses of $1 million or more — including one who received $4.6 million — were not even retained. They’re no longer working at A.I.G. Bonuses were paid to 52 people who have left the company. [Aaarrrgggg!]

[SNIP]

What President Obama should have said to the blood-sucking bums at A.I.G., many of them foreigners who were working at the louche London unit, was quite simple: “We stopped the checks. They’re immoral. If you want Americans’ hard-earned cash as a reward for burning up their jobs, homes and savings, sue me.”

[SNIP]

Geithner, who comes from the cozy Wall Street club, and Liddy believe it’s best to stabilize the company and keep on board the same people who invented the risky financial tactics so they can unwind their own rotten spool.

Isn’t that like giving bonuses to the arsonists who started a fire because they alone know what kind of accelerants they used to start it?

********************************************************************************************************
ALASKA PIPE DREAMS?

This isn’t a social justice story per se, but it’s quite intriguing,
and it is making a stir. I’d heard that best-selling author and journalist Joe McGinnis had been spending a lot of time in Alaska working on a hot Sara Palin-related business story.

The resulting piece came out yesterday in the April issue of Portfolio magazine
and it has already pushed Palin to schedule a press conference for this morning.

McGinniss has written about Sara Palin’s
relationship to state’s proposed $40 million natural gas pipeline that she has bragged that she fought to bring about. The heart of the matter may be found in this ‘graph:

Barack Obama wants the pipeline. It says so right on the White House website, in the section about energy and the environment: prioritize the construction of the alaska natural gas pipeline. But Obama might not realize that one of the biggest obstacles in its path—all Palin’s rhetoric notwithstanding—is the woman who wants to take the presidency from him in 2012, Governor Sarah “Drill, Baby, Drill” Palin.

it’s intriguing, controversial… and definitely worth reading.

***********************************************************************************************************

Posted in juvenile justice, National issues, National politics, Social Justice Shorts | 39 Comments »

39 Responses

  1. reg Says:

    I don’t want to comlicate Maureen Dowd’s world (Disclosure: I detest the self-satisfied Dowd and her approach to Beltway journalism, even given that its “opinion journalism” – she totally gives me the creeps) but the more I read about the AIG bonuses elsewhere, the more I realize it’s (A) a done deal that we can make noise about, but little else (B) a sideshow, and (C) a bit more complex – in the sense of hard to unravel retrospectively – than Maureen’s soundbite journalism. The best reporting and news aggregation on this right now is at TPM. Contra Dowd, I’ve learned there that the AIGFP division is NOT in fact being run by the same guy who created this mess – they changed horses in November and Cassano, the real villian of this story who was also wildly over-compensated AFTER he blew things up, has been replaced by a guy named Passuicco brought in specifically to “pick through the rubble” as Josh Marshall puts it. So the notion that the situation is simply that the same people who took the company down are tasked with cleaning things up isn’t factual – at least at the management and strategy level, there is a completely new guy hired expressly to deal with his predecessor’s disaster. That’s a more important detail that’s been obscured in this fiasco than what almost anything one garners from Dowd’s faux outrage. It’s also a possible relevant fact that AIGFP is based in London, not the US – which Dowd notes in passing when she magniloquently tags this rogue division “louche.”

    Something I learned at TPM that makes me crazy is that in 2004 Cassano was criminally charged by the DOJ with helping another firm hide assets and were allowed to settle for $80 million – peanuts, of course, for these guys. So there was at leat a possible opportunity to look deeper into the AIGFP operations five years ago and they got a wrist slap for criminal behavior. And, of course, the government bail-out relationship with AIG was originally established by the Federal Reserve which operates at a high level of uber-elite murkiness (maybe even “louche”). It was not an act of Congress nor even the Bush White House and Treasury (although they were obviously consulted). Obama is, in fact, pushing to do whatever little can be done after the fact on this as the attempt to keep AIG afloat goes forward – but Dowd’s desire for him to perform like a populist demagogue to her satisfaction is kind of pathetic and far too typical of the limits of her lazy perspective as keeper of one of the most high-profile pieces of journalistic real estate left in the country. Her contributions are an embarrassment because she always goes for the easiest shot – whether she’s writing about Dick Cheney or Obama.

    Has anyone actually ever learned anything reading a Dowd column ? David Brooks, I hate to say, is less shallow and layers his columns with more evidence of being informed and thoughtful. And some of her writing in that column simply doesn’t make any sense (“his own boiled carrots acted shocked” ??? or connecting this to the budget bill and the “earmarks” discussion, about which she’s waxing idiotic). Like too many Dowd columns, one comes away knowing more about Dowd’s attitude-du-jour than about the subject at hand. But enough about my predictable, long-running contempt for Dowd’s predictable snark.

  2. reg Says:

    sorry for not proofing that bit of mangled prose

  3. reg Says:

    I just figured something out – Larry Summers and Tim Geitner are the boiled carrots who were used to bar the door, per Dowd’s dad’s advice not to, and now they’re acting shocked. Maybe she shouldn’t have linked their names so quickly with a basketball simile after the “boiled carrots” setup. Or maybe I’m just not perceptive enough to be part of Dowd’s intended audience. Whatever…

  4. reg Says:

    Better outrage, with real reporting, here:

    http://firedoglake.com/2009/03/17/treasury-attempts-to-blame-dodd-for-aig-bonuses/

  5. don quixote Says:

    Sorry to disagree Reg but I absolutely have to read Maureen Dowd when she writes her column at the NYT. I think she is not only informative with her witty, yet surgeon-like commentary’s on the powers that be, but refreshing and old school in the best sense of the word.
    Dowd has a style of writing that is reminiscent of both Mike Royko and Dorothy Parker and this makes for informative, humorous, and yes, accessible reading that appeals to everyman and every-woman everywhere.
    Dowd’s column today was spot on and takes on Obama’s financial three musketeers Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and poker face Bernanke as the apologists and enablers for a failed laissez faire Capitalist system that they are keeping alive with blood donated in good faith by the US public.

    BTW, does anyone else see Tim Geithner as I do whenever he is on TV speaking, like a man waiting on death row, hoping for a last minute reprieve, but knowing the Governor won’t be calling with a pardon, walking the last mile to the hangman’s noose. Geithner’s composure and dour countenance doesn’t instill much confidence I would think.

    I got this from the Daily Koz and Bill from Portland Maine

    Everything I Learned About Business I Learned From AIG’s Financial Products Unit

    >> Think outside the box. Specifically, the box where you keep your morals.

    >> Overpromise. Underdeliver.

    >> An ounce of ethics is worth a pound of dirt.

    >> To avoid injury, keep your knees springy when dancing on the restaurant tables during your Sunday Eggs Benedict & mimosa brunches.

    >> Oh, and if the egg yolks are too hard, throw your plate at the server like a frisbee.

    >> Performance reviews are for sissies.

    >> Becoming “too big to fail” is the Holy Grail of success.

    >> Government deregulation is orgasmic.

    >> Laughter at the gullible is the best medicine.

    >> A stitch in time saves nothing. Just have the butler buy you a new Armani suit, for god’s sake.

    >> Nobody moves your cheese. You eat theirs.

    >> Don’t be messy. Spread the risk around to ensure that every country collapses at once.

    >> All for one, and one for moi!

    >> A bonus isn’t just a bonus. It’s The Precious.

  6. Ishmael Says:

    reg has a strong point about having too much outrage over the bonuses. Not that the bonus issue shouldn’t provoke rage, it should: http://tinyurl.com/dfnysa
    But more important than the hundreds of millions in bonuses is the tens of billions AIG is passing out to other bad actors.

  7. reg Says:

    I read Royko religiously when I lived in Chicago during the Daly years and I have to disagree – Dowd doesn’t even come close. Hard to imagine Studs Terkel hanging out with her. I have no problem with criticism of Geithner, et al, as you might note from the link I put up – I just have no use for Snark a la Mode.

  8. Celeste Fremon Says:

    The focus on the bonuses is, I think, symbolic. It is a way in. Americans feel increasingly helpless, and increasingly furious—sensing they/we have been royally had by the way much of the bailout has thus far played out, but lacking the information (due to the aggressive non transparency) and the expertise to know exactly how, why, and by whom.

    The bonus-grubbing AIG-ers are at least an identifiable villain.

    Obviously I’m not saying anything original. Jon Stewart said it better last night on the Daily Show.

    Yet, rather than simply a focus for outrage, it is possible that the AIG bonus issue may be some sort of tipping point, as the folks at The Baseline Scenario suggest.

    http://baselinescenario.com/2009/03/18/the-tipping-point/#more-2914

    If viewed as a tipping point, rather than a misguided focus for impotent outrage, the bonus anger takes on a different color.

    Thanks for the Firedog Lake link, reg, and to DQ and Ishmael for the ongoing discussion.

    There is so much about all of this that is deeply alarming, because so much is still at stake.

    That’s why it is so essential that we have these discussions—and keep having them.

  9. Ishmael Says:

    Actually, that is a great point (& link) Celeste. If the AIG bonus issue sparks the purifying fire, so be it.

  10. reg Says:

    I think the bonus outrage is legitimate, but it begs the question of whether or not AIG should have been bailed out because of the domino effect. I, frankly, don’t know, but I’m not so derisive of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers that I can just assume they have no idea what they’re doing. The discussions of the bailouts need to be more rooted in analysis and less in the obvious fact that undeserving assholes will benefit from them. There is, frankly, no way around that. I’m more interested in whether this decision – roughly and no matter how sloppily or offensive-to-my-delicate-sensibilities it has been carried out – is necessary to make sure that we don’t end up in even worse shape.

    Robert Reich poses the political problem here and suggest that, at least so far, the bailouts are another bust:
    http://tinyurl.com/c7ntor

    I’m still trying to sort this out. I don’t think most people understand the degree to which we are structurally beholden to some huge entities that have been totally outside the norms of accountability in a democracy. This can’t be resolved overnight, but it’s the longterm problem of under-regulated, opaque financial oligopolies we need to address in order to guarantee the future of a democratic society in which socially responsible, entrepenurial capitalism is the driver of productivity – a system I happen to believe in.

    Sorry to harp on this, but I have to re-assert that I think Dowd gets to the heart of exactly nothing in helping her readers to understand the most important questions on the table. I doubt she’s even capable of engaging in any discussion of the issues on the table at greater length than a couple of soundbites. I get the feeling that among Times columnists even Frank Rich has a more informed grasp of broader policy questions. Dowd never touches anything until it’s at least reached the level of Beltway cocktail party talk – then she weighs in, secure in the conventional wisdom. She’s David Broder with attitude.

  11. reg Says:

    I’m inclined to agree with this…

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/03/what_if_we_hadnt_done_the_bailouts.php

  12. reg Says:

    Another view, from David Corn, on whether the AIG bonus outrage is actually focusing people on the right questions:

    http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/davidcorn/2009/03/is-aig-rage-convenient-for-wal.html

  13. don quixote Says:

    I don’t know Reg I read Dowd’s column again to see if I was missing something or if her charming, satirical, humorous, critique on Obama and team of Summers, Geithner, Bernanke was some sort of charade as you suggest. I must say that I still found her column right on in it’s criticism of Obama’s tough talk as a kind of speak loudly and carry a little stick.
    I do think that what we are witnessing, and what Dowd suggests, is the attempt to diffuse the AIG situation by being outraged at the crass greed of the AIG executives bonus money and not realizing what a serious situation we are in due to AIG (and they are just one of many Robber Barons who got fat on CDS), executives rolling the dice to the tune of Trillions, and themselves making billions in commissions paid on the spot. The credit default swaps that the “supply sider’s” engaged in has brought the Monopoly Capitalist, world economy to it’s knees, and it probably is too late to attempt a blood transfusion to resuscitate the body.
    I have heard legitimate and knowledgeable economists estimate that the total cost to the world economy due to the trading in derivatives and credit default swaps is probably close to 45 trillion dollars. It’s astounding to even consider this figure.

    “The spread of a CDS is the annual amount the protection buyer must pay the protection seller over the length of the contract, expressed as a percentage of the notional amount. For example, if the CDS spread of AIG Corp is 50 basis points, or 0.5% (1 basis point = 0.01%), then an investor buying $10 million worth of protection from CITI Bank must pay the bank $50,000 per year. These payments continue until either the CDS contract expires or AIG Corp defaults.”

    It very probably is the meltdown of Capitalism as a system of economics used by modern national economy’s.
    I think what Maureen Dowd is being so humorously cynical about is the preposterous sideshow being performed by the Wall St. three musketeers, Geithner,Summers, and Bernanke.
    President Obama’s tough talk about the ludicrous bonus’s taken by the AIG executives may unfortunately be nothing but a smoke screen for our benefit.

    It’s no wonder Geithner has that sick look on his face all the time.

  14. Ishmael Says:

    I dunno. I guess I’m somewhere between the purifying fire notion of bringing out the pitchforks & torches

    http://tinyurl.com/c5f7tm

    and trying to give Geithner & Summers at least some time to make sure we get a new regulatory regime going forward, right.

  15. Woody Says:

    Oops.

    Obama: Hey! What’s that over there?! (Heads turn and Obama creeps away.)

    - – -

    Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that he was responsible for adding the bonus loophole into the stimulus package that permitted AIG and other companies that received bailout funds to pay bonuses.

    Dodd is falling on his sword for Obama and the Democratic Party. They’re all guilty.

    - – -

    AIG’s largest recipients of campaign contributions….Chris Dood #1 and Barry Obama #2.

    - – -

    President Obama knew about the bonuses and he knew that they were going to be paid out and he did nothing to stop them beforehand. The president is now claiming that he didn’t realize the bonuses were going to be paid out until two weeks ago, still time to stop the bonuses but yet he didn’t bother to try back then.

    - – -

    Fannie Mae plans to pay retention bonuses of as much as $611,000 each to key executives this year as part of a plan to keep hundreds of employees from leaving the government-controlled company.

    - – -

    Far Worse News: Former US President Jimmy Carter departs following a visit to the West Wing of the White House in Washington March 18, 2009.

  16. Woody Says:

    Social Justice? Obama endorses UN gay rights text

    Well, that sucks.

  17. Robb Lye and Cheatham Says:

    Woody is correct, Fannie Mae disclosed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it’s planning bonuses of $470,000 to $611,000 for four top executives, on top of their base salaries this year. Freddie Mac has a similar retention plan in place, but has yet to disclose how much money top executives are in line to receive.

  18. Robb Lye and Cheatham Says:

    Corporate cronyism at its best. If Giethner was involved in this, he needs to step down. Dodd and Geithner are looking like the first to go.

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. AIG’s Ponzi scheme leaves Bernie Madoff looking like the worst he did was to forget to excuse himself from the dinner table.

    2. Chris Dodd didn’t change his story today – he merely clarified his political double-speak from yesterday: “Did you WRITE this clause?” “No! (tee-hee… I typed it – but the Treasury-Department-Devil made me do it.)

    3. Who’s computer generated the FINAL version that contained the AIG retainaige bonus clause? Obama is a tekkie – and has a tech czar – Vivek Kundra. Can’t Vivek Kundra figure out who authored this thing?

    4. Any and all elected or appointed persons or groups who were involved in or benefited from the AIG Ponzi fraud – or profited from AIG’s ill-gotten gains from same – should be removed from their position(s), imprisoned for Crimes Against the State (TREASON), and never again allowed to hold office or have influence over any governmental official, and lose the entitlements of their office(s) (benefits) for life. FOR EVER.

    5. Our collective bucket should be used to bail out AMERICANS – not foreign banks and investors. At least Bernie’s investors invested, and investing contains free will and an element of gambling/loss. We didn’t invest – AIG and our government just plain STOLE our bucket. No free will involved.

    Anyone have a problem with this? Anyone?

  19. Robb Lye and Cheatham Says:

    Dodd definately needs to go, he also signed that abberant bankruptcy bill. He’s a tool for the banks.

  20. little Sadie Says:

    Dodd: Treasury Officials Insisted On Weakening Bonus Provision.

    We know it was not one person working alone. We know it was a series of hand jobs, in a circular formation, and it appears our job is to pick up the used condoms afterwards. I want the money back from the people who took the bonuses. If they truly are just account managers, then they would be the ones to put pressure on because they do not have the resources to form another circle-jerk in a congressional cloak room to make a new deal.

  21. little Sadie Says:

    Petition for Dodd and Geithner to step down, then add Pelosi to that list. She is very sly about staying “clean”, but SHE is a power hungry control freak and SHE was leading that meeting that Dodd refers to when the language in the stimulus bill was changed to say the bonuses would not be affected.

  22. Robb Lye and Cheatham Says:

    Remember, Timothy Geithner was known, in 2008, as ‘the architect of the AIG bailout plan”. Obama made a mistake hiring him. But I sense a bus coming ….

  23. quick buck Says:

    So Chris Dodd once again is in the middle of a scandal, shouldn’t he have resigned after the whole Freddie and Fannie fiasco? And now he is pegged as the man behind the bonuses. Obama and co. tried to cover it up? Somewhere in all of this government buffoonery there is a lot of money to be made by the people with the right skills and connections. Especially if Dodd and Barney Frank are part of it.

  24. quick buck Says:

    Here’s Obama outraged at the AIG bonuses, “choked up with anger”, one month after having the Treasury Department remove the limits on bonuses. Doh!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owzZcv17FJ4

  25. reg Says:

    “Anyone have a problem with this? Anyone?”

    The fact that you’re a blithering idiot spouting mindless drivel ? Oh, no. That’s cool.

  26. Woody Says:

    reg is totally lost on rational responses.

  27. quick buck Says:

    Reg, you come on this blog like a vulgar pig.

  28. reg Says:

    “reg is totally lost on rational responses”

    This is the funniest post yet coming from a little runt who ran away from any discussioin of “mark to market” Enron accounting…claiming he was too smart and well-informed to comment. LOL!!!

    The rest of this crap is almost equally embarrassing foaming at the mouth…pathetic. The thread is dead.

  29. reg Says:

    sorry – that should have read “mark-to-model”

  30. Huffington Post Says:

    GEITHNER ADMITS TREASURY PUSHED FOR BONUS LOOPHOLE…
    Tells CNN He Takes Full Responsibility For The Situation…
    Fed Failed To Tell Obama About Bonuses…
    Dodd: Treasury Insisted On Weakening Bonus Provision…
    Obama On AIG Bonuses: “I’ll Take Responsibility”…

  31. Woody Says:

    reg, you’re calling me “stupid” or “chicken” is a pretty weak way to get around the fact that I don’t care about the issue, that I don’t want to waste my time on it with you, that it has nothing to do with the post, and that you’re not educated enough to understand accounting theory.

    Maybe you would like to explain why you like Marxism so much.

  32. reg Says:

    As usual, you’re slinging shit that exists only in your fantasies. I don’t believe you can make an argument defending mark-to-model accounting or even attempt to explain why it’s not total bullshit. That this kind of phantom accounting existed is a total scandal. You’ve got nuthin. You’ve embarrassed yourself.

  33. Woody Says:

    Excuse me. Was that the subject of the post there or here, and do you think that I care about your false smears?

  34. Woody Says:

    Here, Jerk, just to shut you up, is a simple discussion of the theory supporting different valuation methods. The subject is much more complex when one considers auditing standards and basic postulates of accounting. It’s like explaining brain surgery to someone who can’t put on a bandaid.

    Yale School of Management — Explain the differences among amortized cost, mark to market, and mark to model accounting?

    The accounting profession works for the fairest presentation of financial data in an ever changing and more complex world of business. The people at the AIPCA aren’t crooks.

    If you claim to really understand this, as simple as it is presented, without a better background in accounting, then you’re lying, which wouldn’t be the first time.

  35. reg Says:

    You’re link wouldn’t be embarrassing to you IF the guy didn’t make precisely my point:

    “But, basically, the fewer market-related inputs you have, the more you’re just making stuff up.”

    Like I need a degree in accounting to have figured that obvious fact out – which I already had !!!

    It’s obvious you don’t have a clue.

  36. Woody Says:

    With your own remarks, you proved my point…it’s far too advanced for you. You are so stupid on this that you don’t see how stupid that you are.

    Do you know how difficult it is to make standards? Do you know the process? Do you even have a BASIC understanding of accounting–not bookkeeping, but accounting? Don’t answer it back. The obvious answer is “no.” So, next time you want to play that you’re smarter and have more integrity than the experts who make the rules, don’t waste my time with your foolishness.

    I pulled an article without regard to “points” but to information that it provides.

    The expert said that the mark to model works to a point, and then it doesn’t. He didn’t say that it never works. It’s not the primary method of choice. It comes around to the most reliable methods given different levels of evidence.

    The article ended by saying:

    But the primary responsibility has to lie with the people who are designing, valuating, and executing transactions — if they can’t agree on values, it is too much to expect accountants to do it. If we want to make it the accountant’s job, then we have everything backwards.

    Accounting has a lot of limits in its ability to head off big problems or anticipate too much. It’s more a process that lets everybody know what the rules are — what’s legit and what’s not. I don’t think accounting rule makers will ever be able to be out in front of something like this.

    Suppose some of these securities had really gone up, and the accountants had insisted that they use historical prices. You’d have people screaming from the woodwork “You idiots, just look at the market price. The value of this thing is way higher than the historical cost! Why are you doing this to us? We have much more capital than you’re showing because you’re not letting us mark up the assets, and you are just holding us back.”

    You sorry piece of white-trash. It’s no wonder that you couldn’t get a college degree. Besides being stupid, you already decided that you knew more than the professors and the professionals.

    To reference your closing remark right back to you, “It’s obvious you don’t have a clue.”

    Get lost, Loser.

  37. reg Says:

    Woody – the expert said that when you don’t have adequate market valuations you are making stuff up. Business reality dictates that if you make investments that are difficult to evaluate according to a market, you’re engaging in gambling – pure and simple. That financial institutions were doing this at the highest level – and demand a return to non-market based accounting methods in order to justify their risks. Sorry asshole, but the good professor makes my point. And, yes, as he notes, there are major areas of the economy where “everything is backwards” and accountants can’t keep up with the bullshit. “Mark to model” is an example of jettisioning market valuations in favor of bullshit.

    Is quoting from this link really the best you can do ? Obviously you’re too chickenshit or too stupid to discuss this or you wouldn’t have boxed yourself into this corner, kickikng and screaming.

  38. Woody Says:

    reg, as I’ve said before, you don’t know enough to know how little you know.

    You have no idea what is involved in setting standards, and cheating the public isn’t one of the criteria. Quit acting like you really understand this rather than repeating left-wing, anti-capitalist memos. You’ve never read how the valuation method was accepted and what alternatives were offered before this was accepted. You only see the surface without a true grasp of the matter.

    Call me chicken or stupid (both wrong), but what is correct is that you bore me with your infantile yammering.

  39. Woody Says:

    No matter what standards are approved, someone at sometime wants it changed.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123785319919419659.html

    Mark-to-market (MTM) accounting is under fierce attack by bank CEOs and others who are pressing Congress to suspend, if not repeal, the rules they blame for the current financial crisis. Yet their pleas to bubble-wrap financial statements run counter to increased calls for greater financial-market transparency and ongoing efforts to restore investor trust.

    Financial institutions had no problem in using MTM to benefit from the drop in prices of their own notes and bonds, since the rule also applies to liabilities. And when the value of the securitized loans they held was soaring, they eagerly embraced MTM. Once committed to that accounting discipline, though, they were obligated to continue doing so for the duration of their holding of securities they’ve marked to market. And one wonders if they are as equally willing to forego MTM for valuing the same illiquid securities in client accounts for margin loans as they are for their proprietary trading accounts?

    But these facts haven’t stopped the charge forward on Capitol Hill.

    MTM accounting isn’t perfect, but it does provide a compass for investors to figure out what an asset would be worth in today’s market if it were sold in an orderly fashion to a willing buyer. Before MTM took effect, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) produced much evidence to show that valuing financial instruments and other difficult-to-price assets by “historical” costs, or “mark to management,” was folly.

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