Daily Money Matters

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It’s amazing.  The financial collapse of 2008 seemingly has dozens of nooks from which all types of shady individuals are emerging.  The culmination of greed, corruption, and endless amounts of “money” has created an unprecedented black hole.  Sometimes I am left wondering whether we have crossed the event horizon.

1.)  Spoiler Alert!!!

Big brain wiz kid makes his name and fortune at a young age.  Gets appointed to an obscure regulatory committee and proceeds to block the very regulation that would have prevented our current collapse.  Instead of being forced to toil in obscurity and ponder the consequences of his terrible decision making, he is instead handed the chairmanship to said committee ten years later.

Barack Obama picked Garry Gensler to head the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.  This commission trades the futures for oil, precious metals, and grain among others.  In addition, CFTC also regulates the controversial derivatives and credit default swaps markets.  As a member of the commission a few years ago, Gensler blocked the regulation of these markets.  These unregulated markets were an integral reason why the financial bubble grew so big and eventually collapsed.  Obama promised that his administration would completely overhaul the banking and financial markets.  He then picked a guy that had the “foresight” to fight against such regulation when it would have helped.  Nothing succeeds like success.

2.)  No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

According to an article in the New York Times, Clinton era tax breaks that were designed to help homeowners may have inadvertently contributed to the housing market collapse.  The tax break eliminated the capital gains tax on home sales.  The removal of the capital gains made real estate a very lucrative investment.  Money poured into the housing market and the bubble continued to expand.  Obviously, there are a multitude of factors that contributed to this recession.  It’s a shame that the one tip of the hat to the middle class contributed as well.

3.)  Here, There, A Scandal Everywhere

Bernard L. Madoff admits to swindling friends and investors out of $50 billion dollars.  Marc Drier’s hedge fund scam blew up in his face.  Mathew Devlin stole secret information from his own wife in order to profit from mergers that had not been announced to the public.  He made over $5 million dollars from insider trader and now faces a prison term.  Wall Street has taken the “Greed is good” mantra to heights that would make Gordon Gecko envious.

Keep up with your daily money matters.  Because, money matters.

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