Chinese-Taiwanese Cooperation

Taiwan will be joining the World Health Assembly as an observer. Commentary available from The View from Taiwan and The Weekly Standard.

LIkewise, China and Taiwan are signing an extradition pact, that is necessary as business and travel between the mainland and Taiwan are increasing. Interestingly, while Taiwan will be obliged to return corrupt Communist Party officials to China, China will not be obliged to return corrupt Nationalist Party officials to Taiwan. The View from Taiwan thinks this was at the suggestion of the KMT itself. (Like Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department or the politburo, the KMT is very comfortable with corruption among friends.)

Meanwhile, the American Republicans try to stir up trouble by suggesting China spend more on national defense.

Relatedly, Tom notes that Chinese banks may be coming to Taiwan. Many of these banks (such as the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the China Construction Bank) are not zombies, unlike America’s financial insitutions.

While the 5GW volume churns…

I received another revision of a chapter for the upcoming, edited volumeon 5GW, and I am just more and more psyched.  It is going to be great.

It is going to be the first edited handbook on 5GW available anywhere, and I am glad the community is taking the time to do it right. It is going to be a valuable resource, and I am very proud to be a part of the process.

While we wait for the last few chapters, I have been busy using Structural Equation Modeling and Monte Carlo simulation to test this model:

mplus_model_21

 

I’m not sure if that sounds cool to you, but it sure does to me!

More money to Citi shareholders!

You would take it requires a pretty incompetent Treasury Secretary to so badly oversee the transfer of trillions worth of loans, grants, and guarantees to financial institutions that, even after those trillions, two of the largest are still insolvent.

You would be right.

April 28 Bloomberg — Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. have been told by regulators that they may need to raise more capital as a result of U.S. stress tests on lenders, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bank of America’s shortfall comes to billions of dollars, the newspaper reported. Both banks plan to mount a detailed rebuttal to the Federal Reserve’s preliminary report following the tests conducted on 19 large financial companies, and Bank of America may appeal today, the Journal said.

via Fed Questions Citi, Bank of America on Capital, WSJ Reports – Bloomberg.com.

Timothy Geithner has already given trillions worth of loans, grants, and guarantees to his friends in Manhattan, and the shareholders who enabled them.  Considering where this has got him (a promotion to DC), why should he stop?

A bubble, bursting

Some commentators have said that there really was not much of a housing bubble, because buying a house is a major decision in an individual’s life, and the responsible homeowner would not walk away.

We’re back down to 2000 levels of homeownershp.

Not that the bubble has burst yet.

us_home_ownership_rate

More info available at  Calculated Risk.

The National Recovery Trust

A comment on this blog implied (if I understood it  correctly) that the Treasury has constructed an hidden, unwritten, informal, and illegal trust.  This National Recovery Trust, a 21st century analogy to the National Recovery Administration, discourages banks and financial institutions from competing against each other, as they would have to make up for each others losses, if those losses imperiled their ability to pay back their TARP loans.
national_recovery_administration

The National Recovery Trust is not the only criminal activity the Treasury department is being accused of engaging in:

STEVE HENN: If Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke really told the CEO of Bank of America to keep quiet about losses at Merrill Lynch, they were probably breaking the law. That’s according to Lynn Turner, former chief accountant at the SEC.

LYNN TURNER: If these allegations are proven true, both Bernanke and Paulson should be prosecuted by the SEC to the fullest extent of the law.

Paulson told investigators that he threatened to have Ken Lewis fired but that he didn’t instruct Bank of America to withhold material information. Ken Lewis says he did.

This isn’t the only time officials have allegedly pressured companies concerning SEC disclosures. Regulators reportedly leaned on Freddie Mac executives not to reveal that an administration foreclosure prevention program could cost the company $30 billion. John Coffee, a securities expert at Columbia University, says there’s an inherent problem when firms are privately run in name only.

via Marketplace: Did government block transparency?.

My idea for prosecution of officials in the Treasury Department is becoming less fanciful with each passing day.

The Geithner Approach

Calculated Risk has a great post with graphs, illustrating Tim Geithner’s plan to stabilize America’s financial system into a constellation of zombie banks and welfare queens.

The Geithner approach is to keep injecting capital into the banks to cover the losses. This is known as the “Zombie” bank approach.

In essence the balance sheet looks like this with liabilities greater than total assets. To make the zombie balance sheet “balance”, I’ve added “??????” to the assets.

These “??????” assets are either future retained earnings or additional money from the government. Although the bank is balance sheet insolvent, the bank will never be business insolvent because the government will continue to provide money to cover losses.

via Calculated Risk: Bank Balance Sheet: Liquidity and Solvency, Part II.

A “Part I” is also available,

All the cool bloggers have home offices

Tom’s by far has the most envy-worthy, but Mark’s and Dave’s contributions are admirable as well.

Mine, I have to say, was slightly prepped. In particular, the micro-library was assembled from two different collections: a large gathering of three-ring binders (which are in the corner between the color printer/copier/scanner and the desk) and books (which are at the front bookshelf, out of the picture).

tdaxp_desk

The micro-library:

tdaxp_desk_my_photos

What goes around comes around

Tom agrees with me:

But post-dating criminal behavior is wrong, and any attempts to do so will inevitably come back to haunt the Dems and Obama.

via Don’t criminalize after the fact Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog.

You can bet Republican lawyers are quietly building cases with intent to arraign Tim Geithner’s deputies for manipulation, in 3 or 7 years.

The consequences of Democratic attempts to increase the severity of sentences for white-collar criminals will be interesting to see as well.  As a consequence of successful liberal attempts to curtail the death penatly, there will be no negative consequences (and many positive ones) for convicts to shiv, maime, and rape Treasury officials.

I dislike how much Obama is willing to let Geithner get away with, but I hardly think that Obama’s indictment-baiting has the best interest of Treasury officials and bureaucrats in mind.