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Actually, it's more like a guy who just conned your family out of their life savings is hanging by a rope, which is breaking. You don't feel inclined to save them, but unfortunately, they're hanging over a crowd of innocent bystanders. You agree to save them, mostly so that the others are not injured. While you do, you make them agree to give back all of the money they stole under shitty terms. They do so by screwing over the guys who helped them pull the con job, who are now coming to you asking for their share of the money they stole from your family.



I like it! Ideally that will come out in court (should it go to trial, although I consider that unlikely). Someone should make a Matrix spoof where the kid at the Oracle's house says,

Boy: Do not try and recover the money. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Boy: There is no money.

Neo: There is no money?

Boy: Then you'll see that it is not the banks that are broke, it is only yourself.

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I think you just wrote the next Cohen Brothers film. ;)

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Not exactly. The key thing you're missing is that AIG weren't actually the main beneficiaries of the AIG bailout, the people who bought CDSs from them were. Effectively, a bunch of other companies convinced AIG to to sell them insurance for way less than it should cost, in many cases on property they didn't actually own, by conning them as to how risky it would be.

To continue the metaphor, it's like if a guy conned your family out of their life savings, and then the Government generously seized your home in exchange for paying the guy who scammed you the rest of the money you owed him which you couldn't afford to pay.

Edit: see, for instance, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/the-cdos-that-de...

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AIG isn't a company run by widows and orphans. The department that issued that insurance was full of the most stereotypical Wall Street shark assholes around, who thought they were smarter than everyone else and getting a big free payday. They got scammed in the way a casino scams the idiot wearing sunglasses at the craps table.

Yes, the government bailout of AIG went towards paying off their counterparties. But those were actual debts that AIG owed because of their own stupidity and greed. Had AIG gone bankrupt instead, the counterparties would not have received anywhere near full payment, and there's a compelling case to be made that that's how it should have been. But this idea that AIG somehow got screwed by having to pay off their shitty bets with our money is laughable and disgusting. If the shareholders want to sue someone, it should be their own board.

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Guess who owned most of the AIG shares that were diluted as part of the Government bailout, though? It certainly wasn't the guys that were running the shop - it was your pension scheme, and everyone else's pension scheme.

Also, I got my analogy wrong. It would be more like if the Government seized 92% of your house in exchange for loaning you the money to pay off the scammer with interest, which they knew you could repay.

Even after the massive swindle, AIG's problem was liquidity and not insolvency - they had enough assets to repay everyone and if they'd actually gone bankrupt, the shareholders may well have come out better in the end, but their counterparties would've been screwed because they'd have had to have waited for the bankrupcy proceedings to get paid.

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By that standard you must also reject legislation that limits interest rates charged by payday loan shops? It is very much the same situation: What is a reasonable interest rate for a loan made to someone or some corporation under duress?

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legislation that limits interest rates charged by payday loan shops

If the government were a payday loan shop and gouging thousands of independent companies everyday, your analogy would hold water. Till then, this is merely a straw-man argument.

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I'm confused about the analogy - who did AIG shareholders con?

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This is standard operating procedure on the internet: everyone who wears a suit is a parasitcal criminal.

Back in reality, most banks have paid back their TARP funds, as did AIG, generating a hefty return over 3 years to the Treasury. You know what bailout is still significantly in the red? The auto industry. But we hear little about that because those guys don't work on Wall Street.

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I seem to remember a number of them didn't need to take the funds, but were arm-twisted into it so that it would look like a general national problem as opposed to bailing out some well-connected (yet incompetent) cronies.

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It wasn't about cronyism: they couldn't "bail out" specific, failing banks or else it would be obvious to stakeholders where the "bad" banks were. Every bank that would have received funds under these circumstances would be susceptible to a run. It was a crafty play, done against the will of the some of the banks.

The industry needed an infusion of cash, and they spread it around a bunch of the biggest players.

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The bad banks got to hide behind the good banks, the good banks can't possibly win under such a scenario, since they get lumped in as "the banks" by the masses that don't care about specific behavior but craft their ideas based on "industry".

Ford ticked up after not taking a handout, larger well governed banks had no such opportunity.

Deposits up to $100K (or thereabouts) were insured by the FDIC, so even under a run, the savers in the bad banks were not going to be left high and dry; and perhaps wiser about where they put their money in the future. Perhaps the Federal Government didn't want to see the FDIC invoked.

Instead, a precedent was set; bad behavior was not punished (by way of market action), and good behavior is tainted by association (via political demonizing).

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> The auto industry

In all fairness, I do not remember "the auto industry" almost bringing the whole capitalistic system (and with it our Western world) close to a grinding halt, according to what we were lead to believe, in the last 5 to 10 years. And after the gang-rape that GM did over here in Germany and continues to do now, oh yes you do hear about them here.

> a suit is a parasitcal criminal.

From what I have seen, the average folks still buy into the opposite extreme where every suit and especially every banker is some sort of god-like being, far removed from our mere mortal realm and surely a gravely respectable person, much more so than the average Joe. Quite frankly, I find the extreme prevalent on the internet to be far more beneficial because it moves things into a direction where the strange money-fetish has to make way for a more realistic view of this profession so prone to scams, frauds, "gamblings", cut-necks and other shenanigans. It will hopefully help people to view a bank not much different from some regular store, a place offering a service, regardless of dress code.

Also, I do not think the auto industry runs Stasi-like intelligence operations where they constantly collect and pool your most private and financial information and credit ratings and use all that to evaluate how they are going to deal with and sell to you - or potentially put you out on the street.

As someone unfortunate enough to be working in IT in this "parasitic" industry I cannot see this industry getting hit and dis-credited hard enough after they have repeatedly gotten away with much more than murder over decades. There is no reason other than money that anyone works in this and it cannot be a coincident that they pay much more than a lot of other industries; and I don't think there are a lot of other industries with a more backward, pre-history corporate and work culture.

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>"In all fairness, I do not remember "the auto industry" almost bringing the whole capitalistic system (and with it our Western world) close to a grinding halt"

I don't care about "could haves". These industries were all bailed out; some returned a profit to the taxpayers, some are still in the red without a chance of paying any of it back. Yet we continuously denigrate the industry that paid the money back as the "criminals".

>"From what I have seen, the average folks still buy into the opposite extreme"

Really? You must be living in a different world than I am. Just skim this thread, or any thread on Reddit...

>"Also, I do not think the auto industry runs Stasi-like intelligence operations where they constantly collect and pool your most private and financial information and credit ratings and use all that to evaluate how they are going to deal with and sell to you - or potentially put you out on the street."

Banks aren't planning to put you on the street. Where does this come from? Banks want to lend money and be paid back, with interest. This whole debacle worked out really well for them. They only had something like 3 trillion wiped from their collective balance sheets.

By the way, the auto-industry parents run huge financial companies.

>"it cannot be a coincident that they pay much more than a lot of other industries"

Sort of like IT? Or medicine?

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>Really? You must be living in a different world than I am. Just skim this thread, or any thread on Reddit...

Yes, I am. And I hope you do realize that neither of those two are even remotely representative for the vast masses of average folks out there.

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"In all fairness, I do not remember "the auto industry" almost bringing the whole capitalistic system (and with it our Western world) close to a grinding halt, according to what we were lead to believe, in the last 5 to 10 years"

Their finance departments were used for much more than car loans.

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