Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Can We Prevent a $100 Billion+ BoA Taxpayer Ripoff?

October 19, 2011 3 comments

This story is astonishing.  I can’t believe I am seeing it happen right now.

Bank of America Deathwatch: Moves Risky Derivatives from Holding Company to Taxpayer-Backstopped Depositors

This is a taxpayer ripoff, pure and simple.  If the counterparties need a bailout, let them do it above board.  Don’t give out FDIC money to derivative counterparties.

As Yves points out – why not just post more collateral?

We were ripped off when the feds bailed out AIG’s derivative counterparties.  There was no reason to do this – we can and should have been far more agressive in the negotiations with these people.

(I also suspect that Hank Paulson acted in a criminal manner.  He was CEO of Goldman during the time when these trades were being created, and this division was a major profit center for Goldie.  He knew.  )

[Update: beowulf points out its actually even worse than we thought in a comment over at Naked Capitalism.

ITS WORSE THAN EVEN WORSE THAN THAT. In January, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Slattery v US that FDIC obligations are also direct Tsy obligations. Congress doesn’t even have to vote on it, FDIC creditors may now elect to file suit at their local US District Court against FDIC or in in DC at the Court of Federal Claims against Tsy directly. Geithner might have to mint those platinum coins after all.

Because the majority rules that the FDIC is not a NAFI, the United States is now directly liable for the FDIC’s contractual commitments. Mr. Slattery and future plaintiffs like him can now sue the United States in the Court of Federal Claims… The FDIC, however, has no statutory obligation to reimburse the government for any damages paid out of the Judgment Fund. Accordingly, from this date forth, taxpayers, not the FDIC, shall bear the burden of the FDIC’s contractual commitments… the majority has by judicial fiat created a more direct bailout than the 1989 Congressional bailout of the savings and loan industry

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Unleaded Gasoline vs. Abortion – which caused the drop in Violent Crime?

October 5, 2011 16 comments

This is something that’s bothered me for a long time.  I suspect the drop in violent crime  (in the U.S.) identified by Donahue and Levitt is not due to legalization of abortion in early 1973, but rather the move to unleaded gasoline in 1975.

We know these facts about lead poisoning and kids:

Lead exposure in children is also correlated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorderand antisocial behavior.[97] Elevated lead levels in children are correlated with higher scores on aggression and delinquency measures.[19] A correlation has also been found between prenatal and early childhood lead exposure and violent crime in adulthood.[92] Countries with the highest air lead levels have also been found to have the highest murder rates, after adjusting for confounding factors.[19] A May 2000 study by economic consultant Rick Nevin theorizes that lead exposure explains 65% to 90% of the variation in violent crime rates in the US.[103][104] A 2007 paper by the same author claims to show a strong association between preschool blood lead and subsequent crime rate trends over several decades across nine countries.[105][106] It is believed that the U.S. ban on lead paint in buildings in the late 1970s, as well as the phaseout of leaded gasoline in the 1970s and 1980s, partially helped contribute to the decline of violent crime in the United States since the early 1990s.[106]

Lead makes kids and people dumb, agressive, violent, and anti-social.

Rick Nevin is the person who first proposed this idea and did a series of studies on the effects of lead gasoline across countries.   It seems to be a stronger link than the link between abortion and violent crime.

I just wanted to put this out there, because I was was on the train yesterday going downtown, and everyone seemed so friendly.


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