Here’s Massachusetts Congressman Michael Capuano yelling at today’s Capitol Hill hearing with eight big bank CEOs, who demanded that Congress give them a second set of keys to the U.S. Mint (just to make it more convenient during the all-nighter printings, right?) He asks if their companies invest in credit default swaps (“hell fuckin’ yeah”), and then adds, “So basically all or most of you engaged in all or at least some of the activities that actually created this crisis, in my opinion. Because every one of those activities, especially the SIVs [structured investment vehicles], ESPECIALLY the SIV’s — to me, I think they’re illegal. I cannot believe no one’s prosecuted you on this.” Rah rah rah!

These public theater hearings with the various failed assholes of the Financial Sector get more grating as they go along. Congressmen will deliver their best outraged, populist rants — usually glazed with this sort of “HOW DID BAD STUFF HAPPEN?” bewilderment — but several days later will almost certainly vote to give these people hundreds of billions in loans under the “preconditions” that they must use it wisely! and not be greedy! because there will be an oversight panel!, all of which is useless grandstanding because they will never include actual legal, binding tools in the terms of the loans with which to punish these people for reckless usage of taxpayer funds. This is a crucial point! A five-minute lecture on Morality & Greed will not stop Wall Street from taking the most vulgar, possibly nation-destroying risks to inflate their bonuses by a few million dollars, as long as those risks are in any way legally justifiable!

Which leads us back to Michael Capuano’s rant today, about how he “thinks” credit default swaps and such are “illegal” — it is his opinion! — and “cannot believe” that people who’ve used them haven’t been prosecuted. Well let us help you figure out why, Mister Congressman! Here’s the roll call for a House bill called “Making Appropriations for Labor, Health and Human Services for Fiscal Year 2001” that President Clinton signed into law on December 21, 2000. You voted for it! And included in this package was something called the “Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000,” the one that — thanks to Alan Greenspan’s weird, intrusive lobbying efforts — completely deregulated the derivatives market. So that is probably why these bankers haven’t been prosecuted.

Capuano To CEO’s: “America Doesn’t Trust You” [TPM]

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  1. So, if a Congressman appears to give the smackdown to a panel of sniveling banker shitcans, but then a blogger gives the smackdown to that Congressman, do we need to see a statement tomorrow from AIG ripping the fuck out of Wonkette for this to come full circle

  2. “How many of you engaged in credit default swaps”
    Hands raised
    “Uh, how many of you directly engaged in credit default swaps”
    Hands raised

  3. Great research, Jim. I mean that seriously. David Denby should pay attention. This is the way you clobber a target, without even being snarky.

    Congress reminds me more and more of various neighbors in borderline abusive relationships–‘you never do this or that and how I am supposed to blah blah blah’. Instead, let the fuckers go under and nationalize them on the way down. It’s going to happen anyway. Save us a trillion dollars by skipping these ‘why are you wasting the money I’m handing out to you’ bailouts.

  4. The era of creative accounting is over. Just like it was when Enron went under. And when the tech bubble burst. And after the Reagan-era accounting nonsense blew up. We’ll have a brief era of enforced integrity, after which the financial giants will start complaining that restrictions on their ability to speculate on margin (’cause that’s all this has ever been, fancy terms aside) are limiting growth, making us less competitive and hurting the economy. And the wondrous cycle of greed begins anew. For Nature, I’m David Attenborough — goodnight.

  5. If you start lopping off a thumb from each CEO who comes asking for help that should cut down on bailouts or at least make for great TV.
    Two thumbs up.


  7. Having a few CEO’s and executive VP’s turn up floating face down in a river will be a good example for all those bright MBA students and good entertainment for the rest of us. So put the Mafia in charge of the economic bailout. They’ll be cheaper and more efficient. Only downside is revitalizing a dying criminal organization, which repeats the same mistake made electing Reagan in 1980.

  8. Actually sir, gambling is illegal for me unless I go to Vegas or one of them Indian joints to do it.

    But somehow, perfectly legal for Wall Street.

    Also illegal: gang banging, but fine when it’s done by the Federal Government and enforced by the U.S. military.

  9. …times like these make me reminisce about the French Revolution. A time when you could march all the aristocrats out into the middle of town and hang them from the gallows. The fact that these utter failures have the testicles to come before congress with their beggars cups out makes me physically ill. These are the same sons of bitches that essentially told us to fukk ourselves 3 weeks ago when they were asked to account for the money they already pilfered. What is it going to take for government officials to realize that the economy isn’t created by multi-national corporations? The economy is fueled by individual human beings! The sole purpose of all modern businesses is to squeeze another penny out of its workers and consumers. And for those same motherfukkers to turn around after single handedly summoning the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse and ask for a no strings attached bailout is beyond outrageous. My opinion is, FUKK IT! Socialize the banks, prosecute all the officers and regulate all the rest to hell and back. All this bullshyt about “talent” leaving because they cant make 10 milliion dollars in bonus is the weakest bluff I have ever seen. I would like to see what their resumes would say:

    -I ran my last company into the ground!
    -I Single handedly lost more money than is actually in existence at this time
    -I Created an imaginary banking system that caused the collapse of western civilization

    Those are just few suggestions for their resumes when they are waiting in the unemployment line. Im tired of giving these fukk-ups all of our money just for them to turn around and use it to buy foot long steel studded dildos for them to ass rape us with!

  10. [re=241632]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Well, many of the true Islamic Banks (that didn’t get caught up in the Dubai bubble) are doing just fine. Maybe Allah has something useful to say about finance?

  11. I like it when Capuano self-righteously says, “I don’t have any of my own money in any of your banks.” I guess that’ll teach ’em a valuable lesson! No Capuano money — oh no!

  12. Mercifully, the bailout has prevented the grisly spectacle of destitute CEOs on street-corners with “Will Destroy The Global Economy For Food” signs.

    When it comes to the timely tossing of some corporate salad, bipartisanship is truly alive & well in America.
    When it comes to fixing anything, not so much.

  13. They say the neon light are bright, on Wall Street.
    They say there’s always money in the air.
    I don’t need to explain a thing,
    Because I got more than any king,
    And Congress will always give me more, on Wall Street.

  14. I do hope Ms Peggy Nooninghamshire invited them over for cocktails after this unfortunate experience. Poor things, having to put up with the great unwashed’s questions and rants.

  15. [re=241631]annieB[/re]: Jimmie; [re=241641]rocktonsammy[/re]: :
    “You [wild and ranting libtard Representative Capuano] voted for it [Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000]!” As did all, except four members of the House, each a Repug. {See below.]

    Jimbalayne, now I know why your grad school application in fashion design and interpretative dance was rejected.
    H.R. 5660: 106th Congress 1999-2000 – Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000

    The bill [HR 5600 of 2000] died in House committee and never became law despite the backing of Phil Gramm’s allies in the House. It concerned dereg of on-line energy trading companies [e.g. Enron], which made their dough thru shorting energy futures. IMO, they pumped up the futures, sold high, bought low, and then started the cycle again.

    Not to be undone by the democratic process, Satan’s minion Phil Gramm then snuck the language of the previously DOA HR 5600 Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (including words deregulating credit default swaps – side bets on the performance of the U.S. mortgage markets) without debate or committee review in either the RepubliBorg controlled House and Senate into page 262 of an umpteen page appropriations bill (Appropriations for Labor, Health and Human Services for Fiscal Year 2001) put to vote the day before 2000 Xmas.

    Despite not embracing Christ Our Redeemer, both Waxman and Frank (and all but 4 House members) voted for the appropriations bill on December 24. Who would expect? Reform Jews, who can tell what they‘ll ever do? Such nutty, nutty guys.

    Summary; Details, details, so dull, Jimbalayne.

  16. [re=241696]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: In their defense, the steel-studded dildoes are usually a part of both their standard bonus package, not to mention their standard severence package, though I suppose to get fired by these criminals you would have had to do something irredeemably deplorable, like give a hobo a nickel.

  17. [re=241790]S.Luggo[/re]: Yes, Gramm “snuck it in” to this major budget bill after the act alone died in Congress, right before the Christmas holiday. Phil Gramm is terrible, yes. But does this excuse anyone from not reading the final stuff they’re voting on? Do you think someone like, say, Schumer didn’t know this was happening? About 99% of people in Congress did whatever Alan Greenspan told them to do for years, and we’re willing to overlook that. But enough with the useless, uninformed lectures in committee, where you basically admit that you don’t understand what you voted for.

  18. Believe it or not, my dear fellow hot-chick Wonketteers, there actually is some recourse available – but only if Senatrix Harry Reid (D?-Fail) can sack-up and make it happen. According to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), their is a clause buried in the first TARP legislation that allows Congress to change any part of of the law and retroactively enforce it… so, as Congressman DeFazio said, Congress could pass a law today to order the TARP-grabbing bankers to return the lavish TARP-funded superFAIL bonuses the gave themselves, and they would have to comply or run afoul of the law…

    But or course, this would require brave and bold congressional leadership in both houses… sigh…

  19. Lets make them all sleep with Andrea Mitchell and then force them to endure her stutering kitchen table stamering ramblings the next morning.

  20. [re=241804]Jim Newell[/re]:
    “About 99% of people in Congress were under the sway of Ayn Rand’s cabana boy Alan Greenspan? You really haven’t done your research. You are speaking of the free-marketers: the Repugs and the [DLC] centrist Clintonians (these days, the Hopeyites.).
    Representative Mike was one of 86 House members to vote against the [Phil] Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, deregulatory, free-market legislation which repealed the oversight and the restrictions of the New Deal’s Glass-Steagall Act and which allowed the subprime mortgage mess and the collapse of subprime holders, e.g., Lehman Bothers and WaMu, and has lead to TARP 1 and 2 and the need for hobo camps.

  21. [re=241804]Jim Newell[/re]: Representing Manhattan and the financial industry as robustly as he has Schumer has as much blood on his hands as anyone in this deal, no question. [] You have to believe that at the very least he knew what was going on, and as a good congressman, was representing the interests of his constituents, and getting assloads of campaign contributions as a special benefit. If Gramm and is ass pirate failure monkeys in the house slip something into a huge appropriations bill, that’s the Repubs doing what they all do – gaming the system to get what they want. No surprise there. But that does not abdicate the legislature’s responsibility to know what they are voting for. Moral outrage from a body that wouldn’t even investigate a diaper wearing whore lover for ethics violations gets what they deserve, which is no respect and the venom of all of us.

  22. Congressmen that grill CEOs for the sake of the teevee (hey Keith O, look at my spittle!) seem to have lots of bark but very little bite. And short memories. Also.

  23. This is one of the best threads in a long long time. Thank you all!

    But it’s all so complicated. Who do we get to despise? Is Pogo ALWAYS right?

    Economies happen…

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