Photo: Peter G. Trimming
Dave has been thinking about getting some chickens. You know it’s trendy, having your own chickens. Dave has the perfect property for putting up a chicken coop and Dave would most definitely need a coop because he has his own fox (if you can have a fox). Specifically, Dave is pretty sure he has two foxes because Dave’s wife took a picture of two foxes preening each other out in Dave’s yard about a month ago. Dave is certain that there is at least one fox and if there was a lot of preening going on Dave is pretty sure he’ll have a few more foxes shortly.
Dave saw his fox as recently as a week ago. Most of the time when I see the fox it is like ten o’clock in the morning and he’s jogging across the yard like some ten year old kid who is taking a short cut back to his house. No worries. Just jogging and sniffing quite confidently with very little concern about any threats. Dave’s fairly sure that his fully intact male Portuguese Water Dog might have a problem with Mr. Fox jogging across his his official dog Frisbee chasing area, but so far the two have not met to Dave’s knowledge.
There’s a problem with the trendy chicken coop thing however. Dave likes to travel and somebody would have to take care of those chickens and I’m fairly certain that Dave’s wife isn’t volunteering and that Mr. Fox, well, he’s about as welcome in the hen house as Lanny Breuer is at the criminal division of the United States Department of “Just us” this morning.
Instead of spending $1,500 on a custom built chicken coop that Martha Stewart, Dave’s neighbors and the hens looking out through the panoptic chicken wire at Mr. Fox could be proud of, I think Dave will continue to take the fifteen minute trip to that Amish farm just across the Pennsylvania border. The “no Sunday sales” unatttended roadside stand where Dave stuffs his money through the slit in the wooden box, gets his eggs, his cheese and the milk for Dave’s “cat” from the propane powered cooler doesn’t meet the standards of the Food Safety Modernization Act, thank goodness. You see Dave really misses that cat but if that cat comes back Dave wants to have the milk ready and transporting milk across state lines for human consumption is a crime. What was that cat’s name? I’ve been very forgetful lately…. “Heeeeere kitty kitty kitty… Heeeeeere kitty kitty kitty.”
Dave would never steal food from the unmanned Amish food stand (I’m fairly sure it happens), but that didn’t stop somebody at the White House from stealing Dave’s blog post scheduled for this morning. You see when Dave was reading about the firestorm surrounding the Public Television release of the documentary The Untouchables and Lanny Breuer’s declaration of dependence on our country’s Too Big To Prosecute financial institutions, Dave knew exactly what he was going to write about this morning. Dave was going to write about the time he got pulled over three years ago for turning right on red (after a full stop) and how it cascaded into a year of traffic probation, assignment of a social worker, an FBI background check and ten hours of community service picking up dog poop at the human society (a truer story of my 3o+ year perfect driving was never told). That was the single moment in time when Dave decided that he had to start blogging about his suspicions that something had changed; that something being that the balance of power had shifted away from of the people, by the people, for the people and was now to the government in an Isaiah Berlin surgical separation of one Lady Liberty into two King Solomonized versions of an otherwise single “concept” of the beauty of God-imbued freedom.
Dave had it all planned out. I was going to write about how Lanny Breuer’s video statements from the movie were proof positive that everything Dave had written about the TBTF banks, the CFTC (Gary Gensler and Bart Chilton) and the entire fiat banking industrial complex was true. Dave was going to show how his journey into the space-time of trading ideas based on conjecture that started three years, over 1,600 blog posts and millions of page views ago had come full circle and was roosting at the home of a government of men rather than a government of laws (aka the White House’s Department of Justice).
So Dave gets up with the chickens at 4:00 a.m. for his constitutional, fully planning to head back to bed for another hour when he makes the fatal error of using the same cell phone screen that serves as a flashlight illuminating Dave’s pathway to the W. C. (pronounced double vay say in French) only to discover that Lanny Breuer is P. N. G. (pronounced persona non grata in Latin as opposed to Proctor & Gamble) at the Department of Justice throwing Dave’s blogging plans entirely under the bus. When something big like this happens inside the beltway what’s the logical reaction? It’s time to turn to the people that turn the presses while Dave was tossing and turning in his covers finally giving up and getting up before the cock crowed, namely the Washington Post.
“Breuer is widely credit with aggressively going after white-collar crime in the aftermath of the crisis.”
“He stepped up the division’s involvement in money laundering cases, launching a series of criminal investigations that resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements.” (Wow! multi-million. That’s big. At least two million.)
“Critics has also decried Beruer’s routine use of deferred prosecution, which gives the agency the right to go after a company in the future if it fails to comply with terms of the agreement. They say the use of such tactics amounts to a slap on the wrists of companies that have engaged in egregious behavior. Breuer, however, has argued that the agreements result in greater accountability for corporate wrongdoing.”
“And he has been accused of being soft on Wall Street for failing to throw senior bank executives behind bars for their role in the financial crisis.”
“Breuer is not only known for being the bankers’ lackey: his fingerprints are also all over Fast and Furious:”
You can read the article for yourself here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/doj-criminal-division-chief-stepping-down/2013/01/23/e4331e32-64e0-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html
Did this entire thing sneak up on Dave? No way. Dave was on the case as readers will recall.
As long as you were able to make the payments to Fannie, Freddie and Angelo in a timely manner you may have been operating under the belief that an airtight “boundaried” blockchain wasn’t necessary. You and Uncle Angelo could better work things out on your own whether it be going down on your knees in prayer or donating your knee caps to the cause. It’s a free market. Then again maybe you’re the one who called in the Federalis (think Lanny Breuer on the LIBOR case) to avoid the substitution of your ambulatory nature in the form of your personal Magna Carta distraint for unpaid rent. Hopefully Lanny sides with you and not Uncle Angelo’s brown paper sack version of Citizens United Super Mario Political Action Committee of Breuer for Attorney General. Capiche? Who do you trust and what are the chances that your Verizon or Comcast internet connection to your bitcoins gets knee-capped (Facebook gun control censorship style) becomes the question of the day if you happen to be of Persian descent and want to help out the family in the old country.
The full post: http://tradewithdave.com/?p=14493
The idea that a government law enforcement agent, say Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer can proclaim that justice has been done by simply stating “HSBC is paying a heavy price” bifurcates the connection of accountability between the actions of management as personages and the ability of the corporation to pay its debt to society by simply stroking a check. Corporations are “people”, right? Since you can’t throw them in jail, simply make them pay. It’s good business for governments when they can get it. Prosecuting complex cases and throwing executives in jail costs money, whereas simply throwing fines into the U. S. Treasury is a money making proposition. Replacing an entire credit-based “system” that somebody thinks is important (lobbyists for one) would be priceless because it is essentially paying for everything else with an unlimited fiat Mastercard.
So what exactly was this “heavy price” that HSBC paid?
1. replaced “virtually” all of its senior management – virtual management replacement… a neat idea
2. clawed back deferred compensation bonuses – technically speaking it’s not a clawback if it was deferred, but good try
3. partially deferred bonus compensation for its most senior officials – Wow! that’s gotta hurt.
4. we reserve the right to fully prosecute if they don’t comply (i.e. pay the non-paid bonuses)
Measuring virtue is indeed a difficult endeavor and culture plays heavily into what is understood to be virtuous. Whether you dispute Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s claim of “doing God’s work” or Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker’s capitulation of “when it becomes serious you have to lie,” when those charged with carrying out justice only judge the merits of a case rather than allowing a jury to judge both the merits of the case and the merits of the law, you no longer have the rule of law. If twelve people agree that HSBC is too important to be allowed to fail and that the institutionalization of moral hazard at the systemically important level is the order of the day, then so be it. Dave doesn’t see that happening. Not when those twelve individuals have more at stake in maintaining the republic than they do in maintaining their jobs such as Lanny Breuer, Gary Gensler or Bart Chilton. There’s been more than one key government official that like a Goldman Sachs laptop has turned up in an (outside) garbage room, but unfortunately for them unlike the laptop they were not “fully functioning.”
The preposterous concept that a corporation can even break the law without the complicity and culpability of it’s management and employees is highlighted by William Cohan in his Bloomberg article that calls for the death penalty for UBS and their involvement in the LIBOR manipulation. To even use the words “death penalty” relative to a corporation is laughable. Like you can kill a corporation. Sure you could fine them out of financial existence, but you can’t kill something was never alive in the first place regardless of what you believe about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. FEC decision. Corporations are a piece of paper and I’m yet to see a piece of living paper (including the U. S. Constitution) or a piece of paper that you could kill even by successfully throw a pair of scissors in a Rock, Scissors, Paper throwdown. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-23/ubs-libor-manipulation-deserves-the-death-penalty.html
Are you seeing the pattern from the heavy hitters in the media? The New York times focusing on the “terrorism” of a corporation and Bloomberg calling for “the death penalty” for a corporation? Does that sound like justice or merely a diversion? They prosecute a few middle managers or low level (relative to the corporate leadership) traders, charge a fine that is equally low level relative to the corporate earnings and call it a day. Is that justice? That depends on if you believe that Hank Paulson did the right thing when he described his own bailout actions on behalf of the U. S. Treasury as “We had no choice but to fly by the seat of our pants, making it up as we went along.” (pg. 254 On The Brink)
The full post: http://tradewithdave.com/?p=14578
Is Dave somehow satisfied by the fact that a prosecutor goes on television and proclaims that due to “ripples” in the systemically important financial institutions (i.e. bank runs/failures) that the law is selectively enforced and then he gets fired? Not really. When you consider that Lanny will probably get a raise as he passes through the revolving door and turns up as a high paid defense attorney and simply moves to the other side of the table, you understand that this “living” version of the constitution is strictly business, not personal. The office pool of bets on which firm Lanny lands at and what bank they are currently defending against the A.G’s office is interesting, but it’s not the whole story. This rabbit hole goes deeper than that. If it wasn’t deeper then the fox wouldn’t be answering the night watchman’s emphatic “Who goes there?” inquisition into the darkened corners of the chicken coop with the proverbial “There’s no one here but us chickens” in his best chicken-imitating voice.
Here’s what is most interesting about all this to Dave. Tim Geithner, long time Obama associate (we’re talking grade school here) departs from the United States Treasury post on January 25, 2012. Ultra-liberal PBS Frontline airs their documentary “The Untouchables” on January 22, 2012 and Breuer is quoted on TV stating emphatically that the Justice Department does not enforce the law against systemically important financial institutions. A fascist firestorm breaks out on websites from the likes of ZeroHedge.com (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-23/assistant-attorney-general-admits-tv-us-justice-does-not-apply-banks) to MaxKeiser.com (http://maxkeiser.com/2013/01/23/financial-terrorism-laid-bare-in-other-words-no-criminal-charges-can-be-levied-against-anyone-who-engaged-in-the-crimes-leading-to-the-great-financial-crisis-of-2008-because-get-this-the-implicati/)
Dave even sent a link of the Breuer story to the chairman of his local county commissioners who ultimately had to non-robo-sign off on the robosigning scandal settlement for all the missing deeds at our local courthouse in the big multi-state attorney general’s settlement cram down. All the while Max Keiser is sending an e-mail to Dave invoking John Locke’s broken social contract and the “people must revolt” bringing to Dave’s mind the stark contrast to the still farm fresh innauguration invocation that “people must believe.”
Which is it? Do I have a dream or do I have a drone, or do we have one dead Schrödinger cat waiting in a shoe box for Dave to deliver some Amish milk and revive it so it can run up the Tree of Liberty and Dave can call 911 to get that dead Tom cat bounced out of that tree before all this hooliganism turns into a modern day Jeffersonian cat box fertilization of the roots of non-tree-lined 33 Liberty Street and the Fed’s vault filled with gold that is measured in German Shepherd dog year deliveries rather than ounces? Phew. I feel better now. I’m going back to bed as soon as I find that cat. Hopefully the fox didn’t get him. Heeeeeere kitty, kitty, kitty, kittyyyyy.
Dave said as much about the timing of all this and the boss of President Obama’s mother’s son, NY Fed Pres turned SecTreas here: http://tradewithdave.com/?p=14803