The smartest guys in the room? I don’t think so…
When Enron fell apart, our nation tried to make sense of it. Congress critters tried to pass laws that guaranteed nothing like that ever happened again. Enron caused, by their actions in CA to manipulate the energy industry, the death of a very good friend of mine. We had rolling blackouts almost daily that summer in San Diego. She was killed when the traffic lights went out and someone t-boned her tiny little car, killing her instantly. But this isn’t really about Enron or my dear sweet friend that died because of their cold, calculating greed.
It’s about the banks and investment houses that shared Enron’s largess..and ultimately their losses as well. Its many of the same banks and investing companies that took TARP funds and/or were responsible for our recession now. Lets call them, the Enron Nine although only eight of them took part in the subprime meltdown. From The Nation link in this paragraph, with additional links added by me to those culpable bastards that still managed to stay afloat after Enron collapsed, only to become a large part of the subprime mortgage meltdown:
The “Enron Nine” (if we may call them that) are J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, First Boston, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch (bought by BofA for pennies on the dollar), Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers (filed largest bankruptcy in history). These financial institutions collaborated with the now-bankrupt energy company in its financial sleight of hand–the deals that enabled Enron to inflate its profits, conceal its burgeoning debts and push its stock price higher and higher. Together and individually, the banks and brokerages raised at least $6 billion for Enron through the debt or stock issues sold to unsuspecting investors from 1996 through 2001, when the Enron illusion finally expired. Another $4 billion or more was channeled into Enron’s “partnerships” like Jedi, Chewco and LJM1 and LJM2, which became the principal mechanism for hoodwinking shareholders. These deals were often hurriedly arranged at year’s end to paper over the company’s true condition and keep the fraud from collapsing.
Why then, would we bail these fuckers out? Why would our government have such a short memory on what many of these banks and investment houses did in the 1990’s? It drives me up a friggin wall to realize that these sumbitches were just as culpable now as they were in the Enron debacle. Lehman Bros, thankfully, was allowed to fail this time around. They surpassed Enron as the largest bankruptcy ever filed in American Courts. Credit Suisse was a major player in the subprime debacle as was Barclays and First Boston. They actually fueled the subprime market as major backers of the subprime lenders.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was the title of a fantastic book written by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, which was made into a documentary by the same name. I watched the documentary again last night. That is when it hit me, that eight of the ten banks and investment houses that played dirty with Enron also contributed to the subprime mortgage meltdown and three or four took TARP funds to stay afloat this time around.
So, the assholes in the banking and investment houses certainly were not the smartest guys in the room…any room.
They were just greedy..real friggin greedy. Below is the amount of TARP monies and/or Treasury monies the two surviving banks and one investment company, which is now considered a bank, have taken so far:
Bank Of America-$52.5 Billion
JP Morgan Chase-$25 Billion
That adds up to a helluva lot of tax dollars don’t it? It should make us all madder than a rat in a tin can. Not only did they play fuck-around with Lay, Skillings and Fastow…many of these same bastards let greed rule the day now.
Evidently they didn’t learn from the Enron debacle. Or they just didn’t give a shit…your choice.
But we had no choice in what corporations the Treasury bailed out or who got TARP funds. So the only way I can rationalize the idiocy of giving money to these same crooks is this:
Our government employees, in charge of straightening this subprime shitstorm out, evidently smoke a lot of pot and they have a real bad case of short term memory loss. Or they just don’t give a damn either.
Below is a trailer for Enron: The smartest guys in the room. You will be surprised at how much of the verbiage in the movie fits today’s nightmare. Or maybe.. you won’t…