January 16, 2016 – I went to see The Big Short today. I encourage everyone to go see it.
After seeing this movie, you will know why I list Banks among The World’s 3 Greatest Evils (I won’t go into the other 2 at this time). You will know why I took on Fifth Third Bank and suffered for 7 years to achieve vindication. And why I look so forward to all of the other whistleblowers out there getting their share of that and many other banks.
For me, it was an emotional movie. I lived it and knew it at the time. I can totally relate to Mark Baum, and really the others who went short, as it was an obvious winning bet – but, to win, the American public had to be decimated and we knew banks and Wall Street would be bailed out by the taxpayer. Corporate Socialism I heard it called recently.
It was good to see the few other people that forecast what I termed in June 2005 The Great Depression II (c). Unlike them, I just didn’t make a few billion dollars:( I am glad they did at the cost of ‘the smart money’ on Wall Street. Yes, a few of us can be right and 99.99% of the World can be wrong. Remember Mann’s Axiom….
Money will be made shorting the current Echo Bubble during this Echo Depression(c). It just won’t be as much as last time since the bullish housing people know what the shorts are doing this time around.
I was interviewing with the OCC in the Summer of 2008 and they asked me if I thought banks had learned their lesson. I said ‘NO’ and that as soon as the pendulum swung back to optimism they would do everything all over again. I have been told things are even worse today than in the bubble years. Scary. The OCC then asked me what it would take to stop banks from being so wreckless. My answer was to enforce the FIRREA penalties that would allow the government to fine and imprison individuals – the corporate veil does not protect employees that violate FIRREA. I won’t give it away, but the movie tells us how many bankers have been arrested for the housing debacle – you won’t be surprised, but should be disappointed in the system.
Today, my solution to get banks to clean up their act is simple – eliminate the FDIC deposit insurance. The public would demand 100% transparency and total safe lending and practices before they would put their money in a bank. Of course, and saying this I sound like Mark Baum for sure, this would just move all of the unethical and greedy people from banks to non-bank lenders. The scum keeps moving to where it can thrive.
Speaking of which, the scum have renamed CDOs today as ‘Bespoke Tranche Obligations (BTOs). Also, a residential lender told me that lenders are starting to do ‘Statement Loans.’ They simply look at your bank statement to see your income and don’t request your tax return. This is the first step in the direction of the old NINJA-type loans.
I encourage anyone in the industry that encounters these products to collect all of the info you can and go to the authorities so these people can be prosecuted when the time comes – I will be glad to advise you on what steps to take. Also, investors should remember a rose is a rose is a rose.
Please go see the movie. Please tell everyone you know to go see the movie.