Tag Archives | Financial Crisis

Are Skyscrapers Linked With Financial Collapse?

DubaiTowersSo says the BBC. On various continents, and going back for over a century, the construction of new record-nearing skyscrapers seems to be a consistent canary in a coal mine indicating that an economic bubble exists and a financial crash will soon occur in a given society:

There is an “unhealthy correlation” between the building of skyscrapers and subsequent financial crashes, according to Barclays Capital.

Examples include the Empire State building, built as the Great Depression was under way, and the current world’s tallest, the Burj Khalifa, built just before Dubai almost went bust. China is currently the biggest builder of skyscrapers, the bank said. India also has 14 skyscrapers under construction.

“Often the world’s tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction,” Barclays Capital analysts said.

The bank noted that the world’s first skyscraper, the Equitable Life building in New York, was completed in 1873 and coincided with a five-year recession.

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Why No Wall Street Prosecutions? It’s ‘Just Too Hard’

lloyd-blankfein-successorAre the architects of the financial crisis immune to prosecution simply because it would be too complex? So says an ex-official from the Justice Department. ProPublica writes:

Years after the financial crisis, there have still been no prosecutions of top executives at the major players in the financial crisis. Why’s that? Well, according to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.

David Cardona, who recently left the FBI for a job at the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the Wall Street Journal that bringing financial wrongdoing to account is “better left to regulators,” who can bring civil cases:

While at the FBI, Mr. Cardona oversaw dozens of criminal probes of large financial firms. The FBI’s probes haven’t led to any successful prosecutions of high-profile executives in relation to the financial crisis, despite demands from some lawmakers and angry Americans.

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Five More Countries For Goldman Sachs To Take Over

octoNow that Goldman Sachs has achieved coups d’etats in Greece and Italy, DJ Pangburn at Death and Taxes lays out five additional countries ripe for bankdom to install leaders:

We present five other countries where Goldman Sachs could install bankers as heads of state.

Where to begin, though? Originally, I considered Ireland to be a prime candidate for some Goldman Sachs coup d’etat action, but it seems that Ireland already got the old Goldman Sachs in/out in the form of Peter Sutherland, a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs, as well as a non-executive at BP. Here are five countries that could use a little Goldman Sachs in/out.

Spain: With concerns in Italy lessening amidst the installation of ex-Goldman man Mario Monti as PM, bankers and investors in the eurozone and abroad are looking to Spain, which the BBC is calling the “weaker link in the eurozone chain.”

This is obviously the first country that requires a Goldman Sachs premiership.

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Bankers Undemocratically Installed As Heads Of Italy And Greece

Pg-12-eurozone-graphicIn case you missed it, over the past eight days, the prime ministers of two major European nations stepped down. The newly appointed, not elected, leaders of Italy and Greece will be Mario Monti (formerly of Goldman Sachs) and Lucas Papademos (formerly head of the Central Bank of Greece). A signal that marriage between capitalism and democracy is coming to an end? The Independent writes:

The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By replacing the scandal-surfing Silvio Berlusconi, Italy has dislodged the undislodgeable. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, it has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic.

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Congress Got 25% Richer During Height of Recession

Rich CongressSeems like time to Occupy Congress … Paul Singer and Jennifer Yachnin report on Roll Call:

Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members’ financial disclosure forms.

Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress.

Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.

According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion.

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We’re Facing Worst Financial Crisis Ever – Bank Of England

When uber-establishment figures like Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (UK central bank) warn of an impending financial apocalypse, you know things are out of control. The Telegraph has the bad news:

The world is facing the worst financial crisis since at least the 1930s “if not ever”, the Governor of the Bank of England said last night.

Sir Mervyn King was speaking after the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put £75billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession…

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