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« Revolution Calling: Young Americans For Liberty | Main | How Do You Put A Title On Such Supreme Douchebaggery »

Timothy Geithner, I Call Your Bluff (By Janet Tavakoli)

Originally appeared at the Huffington Post >>


By Janet Tavakoli

The Treasury responded to reports that the New York Fed asked AIG to suppress and delay facts about the bailout. Meg Reilly, a Treasury spokesperson claimed: "In the transaction at the heart of this dispute...the FRBNY [Federal Reserve Bank of New York] made a loan of $25 billion which is on track to be paid back in full with interest." She claims the loan is currently "above water."

In the first place, that loan is not the heart of the dispute. Nonetheless, the FRBNY should immediately release the details of all of the Maiden Lane III assets backing that loan and show the current prices BlackRock has placed on them. Based on the current market, it is extremely likely that the loan is underwater.

The assets backing the loan are so-called super senior and AAA rated collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Similar CDOs trade for under ten cents on the dollar, not close to the average price of 35 cents for the loan's assets shown in a recent Fed report. The Fed claims prices climbed 4.5%. Yet in the secondary market, prices have dropped.

The Fed awarded no-bid contracts to BlackRock to manage and price these assets (among other things). Given BlackRock's track record as a CDO manager*, I have no reason to believe its prices are reliable. As I mention above, I have reason to question the prices.

If the Treasury wants to publicly claim the loan is not underwater, now is the time to prove it, even though this particular loan is not the key issue.

As Representative Darrell Issa explained in his letter to the Fed, at the heart of this dispute is my assertion that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in his former role as President of the FRBNY, paid 100 cents on the dollar to settle AIG's credit default swap contracts, and he wildly overpaid. Other bond insurers including Ambac, MBIA, and FGIC have settled similar contracts for as little as ten cents on the dollar.

The general public was kept unaware of several politically explosive facts. Risky subprime loans partly backed CDOs that AIG insured. Goldman Sachs played a key role in AIG's distress with both credit default swap transactions and CDOs that Goldman underwrote. The identities of the banks--including some foreign banks--that received payments were not revealed until five months after the bailout. The November 2009 TARP Inspector General's report failed to mention that Goldman originated or bought protection from AIG on about $33 billion of the problematic $80 billion of U.S. mortgage assets that AIG "insured" with credit derivatives, about twice as much as the next two largest banks involved.

The TARP report also failed to highlight the character of the synthetic CDOs underwritten by Goldman Sachs that remain on AIG's books. There is nothing wrong with hedging or taking the opposite view to one's customers. There is nothing wrong with using credit derivatives to accomplish this goal. But there are serious questions about whether residential mortgage backed securities and downstream CDOs were value-destroying and misrated.

Wall Street was chiefly responsible for the "financial innovation" that did massive damage to the U.S. economy. I assert there should be fraud audits of Wall Street's securitization activities.

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding AIGs trades, the global financial crisis, and the AIG bailout, it is time to reopen this issue. AIG's counterparties can repurchase the approximately $62 billion CDOs from Maiden Lane III at full price**. If the Fed really believes they are worth 35 cents on the dollar, then these counterparties will be getting a windfall versus ten cents on the dollar. As for Goldman Sachs's approximately $8.2 billion in CDOs (including synthetic CDOs) that are still on AIG's books, they can be settled at ten cents on the dollar, and excess collateral currently held by Goldman can be returned. This is the value at which other bond insurers have settled similar deals. The return of payments to AIG can be used to pay down its public debt, before banks pay tax-payer subsidized bonuses to their employees.


* BlackRock managed Pacific Pinnacle CDO ($1 billion; closed 1/1/07; event of default 2/4/08); Pinnacle Point Funding ($2B closed 6/7/07; acceleration 12/13/07); Tenorite CDO I ($1 B closed 5/11/07; liquidation 2/7/08); and Tourmaline CDO III ($1.5 billion closed 4/5/07; event of default 3/31/08). (Earlier I wrote a post that included a 2005 Tourmaline deal managed by BlackRock that ended up being part of a CDO bailed out by the Fed.) I highlight BlackRock's 2007 CDOs similar to those in it now manages for the Fed, because in 2007 mainstream media was already reporting on the potential for these CDOs of this type to blow up. I wrote an article for the precursor to Risk Professional in early 2007 warning about the type of value-destroying CDOs that AIG insured. I had also issued earlier warnings on other types of value-destroying CDOs.

**The price can be adjusted for interim principal and interest payments, as applicable.


Janet Tavakoli is the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based firm that provides consulting to financial institutions and institutional investors.  Ms. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She is a former adjunct associate professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.  Author of: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (1998, 2001), Collateralized Debt Obligations & Structured Finance (2003), Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008).  Tavakoli’s book on the causes of the global financial meltdown and how to fix it is: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street  (Wiley, 2009).


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Reader Comments (35)

Didn't people in the real world go to jail for this?
Jan 8, 2010 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterOscar_DeGrouch

friedman is a 1000 TIMES more guilty than martha stewart...

he acted on inside information that aig would be paying goldman $14 billion no strings attached...he cleared millions in just a few months...

geithner deserves to lose his job...pinning a criminal case against him is much more difficult...
Jan 8, 2010 at 3:29 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I repeat, all rants on web are now meaningless, only protest on Streets of USA will make these CRIMINAL RULERS to hear our screams............

They Know , we are coward fucks with no balls....Scream on , bash each other by debating shit hell







The C-SPAN Lies? See Eight Clips of Obama Promising Televised Healthcare Negotiations

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Register your gun on 2010 Income Tax Return or become a criminal!!
This government is completely out of control and has no regard for the Constitution or the God given rights it is intended to protect.

Gun owners... look what's on the 2010 tax return
VERIFIED - TRUE by snopes.com

As if we didn't have enough to get upset about! If you have a gun, I hope it isn't registered!

It begins .... more Freedom gone ... the right to protect
yourself and your family gone! Now ALL GUNS must be listed on your next (2010) tax return!

Senate Bill SB-2099 will require us to put on our 2009 1040 federal tax form all guns that you have or own. It will require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun. This bill was introduced on February 24, 2009, by the Obama staff.. BUT, this bill will only become public knowledge 30 days after the new law becomes effective! This is an amendment to the
Internal Revenue Act of 1986. This means that the Finance Committee has passed this without the Senate voting on it at all. Trust Obama? You must be kidding!
Jan 8, 2010 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen

Praise For Lee And Jackson

Chuck Baldwin
December 8, 2010
January is often referred to as “Generals Month” since no less than four famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth month: James Longstreet (Jan. 8, 1821), Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19, 1807), Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two of these men, Lee and Jackson, are particularly noteworthy.
Jan 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Jan 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Munawar asks govt to shoot US drones
Updated at: 2023 PST, Friday, January 08, 2010
LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Syed Munawar Hasan, condemning US Senator John McCain over his remarks about continuation of drone strikes, demanded the government to shoot down unmanned US aircrafts.

Addressing the Friday sermon at the Mansoora today, he said the government should register a strong protest against McCain’s remarks.

Hasan said the United States was constantly attacking the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. He said the US has turned Pakistan into her colony due to weak policies of the government.

The JI Amir said that the economy was suffering irreparable losses over prolonged power cuts in the country.
Jan 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Employers Unexpectedly Cut Jobs in December- Reuters

U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, cooling optimism on the labor market's recovery and keeping pressure on Obama. The Labor Department said November payrolls were revised to show the economy actually added 4,000 jobs in that month rather than losing 11,000 as initially reported. With revisions to October, however, the economy lost 1,000 more jobs than previously estimated over the two months.
Jan 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Looks like the "burns" have healed, but the facial hair is still missing...

"Gun owners... look what's on the 2010 tax return
VERIFIED - TRUE by snopes.com"

Ken, if I had a penny for every one of these lies that has been circulated in my life by the "ends justifies the means" liars, I would be a rich man. I follow this stuff closely, as I am allowed to own things that others cannot. I have been finger printed, Federally registered, and taxed for years thanks to Bush Sr.

Jan 8, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Why Job Growth Will Be Weak and Painful This Time

On Friday January 8, 2010, 9:43 am EST

The aftershocks of the credit crisis will be a significant drag on job creation during the economic recovery, and those counting on a classic bounce-back may want to get a reality check from the housing and retail sectors.

"We haven't just gone through a business cycle, we've also gone through a major restructuring of the American economy," says Ken Goldstein, a labor economist at the Conference Board. "The workout from all of this will be very long and very slow. This is an awful lot to adjust to."

This was reinforced Friday when the government reported that US employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, cooling optimism on the labor market's recovery.

Jan 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
@S. Gompers

(((((((((((((( It's Easier To Steal With A Briefcase Than A Gun!!!!! )))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Jan 8, 2010 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen

With a quote like that, I don't know if I want you to lead the revolution.
Jan 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergobias

How can I lead the revolution?lol

When you can't lead it?LOL

You must be owning TANKS?MISSILES? too?lol
Jan 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen

Why are you offended by this saying?

Results are rock solid:

WALL STREET Banker Criminals loot with Briefcases and USA gullibles loading up Guns

What will be the end result of Gullibles using Guns in a revolt?lol

(((((((((((((( It's Easier To Steal With A Briefcase Than A Gun!!!!!
Jan 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Jan 8, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
I am not a Specialist Ken, why would anyone consume guns (which are artillary and naval weapons by the way)?

They will not be able to eat those briefcases when it goes belly up.

As to what I have or how much, I don't even tell my wife that, and she is allowed to touch my cock. You are not trying to touch my cock are you? I am legal and not gullable, and I do believe in the rule of law, not wether you or Gobias are leading a revolt. If you two decide, just do me a favor and keep it out of my county, I tend to get agitated easily.

We have a system that allows us to change it, if people would only drop the party cronyisms and try.

I never heard Gandhi style like you going back and forth between violence and non violence.
Jan 8, 2010 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

Your country?lo

Now show true colors

This is how to dig rats out holes.......LOL

My mission complete..................That is the scream I wanted to hear

Now I can say Final Good Bye. here.............

Debate on, scream on, Bash on...............While USA Republic Falls apart

COWARD and Rule of Law?

So the Rulers are OBEYING the Constitution?

@S.Gompers....You are nothing more than coward with no balls to Fight Tyranny
Jan 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen

You rant reveals this:

Migrants riot in southern Italian town
ROSARNO, Italy – Hundreds of migrant workers, most of them Africans, went on a rampage Friday in a southern Italian town in a second day of rioting, with authorities reporting five migrants wounded by gunfire and clubbings.

HISTORY IS A GUIDE...........................

Jan 8, 2010 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
"...government spent a record $14.7 billion on Unemployment Insurance Benefits as of December 30, a 24% jump sequentially from the $11.8 billion in November. Yet the DOL has disclosed a mere 1.7% increase in those to whom insurance benefits are paid: from 9.4 million to just under 9.6 million. To put the $14.7 billion number in perspective, in December the Federal Government paid a total of $14 billion ($700 million less) in Federal Salaries!

And some more perspective: in calendar 2009 the government has paid $140 billion in Unemployment Insurance Benefits. This is yet another economic stimulus that nobody in the administration discusses, yet which undoubtedly has the biggest impact on the economy, as all those millions unemployed can moderate their pain courtesy of a passable weekly check from the government which should just about cover the rent and beer.

Which is why more than anything, Obama is dead set on extending insurance benefit payments in perpetuity: because if the 10 million official and 14 million unofficial people who are on benefits (not to mention the tens of millions of unemployed unlucky enough to even get their weekly allowance from Uncle Sam) start thinking about their true predicament and their real "employability", then a landslide loss by this administration at the mid-term elections will actually be an upside surprise to what it can objectively expect.

Employers are not firing as many as before, but that jobs once lost, are not coming back.
Jan 8, 2010 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen

Your country?lo"

No Ken, I said my county, no "r". I do not give a damn about a southern Italian town in Italy because they do not pay taxes here. By the way, you do not have a clue what I am, and for your own discretion I will not pick that apart on a open forum.

History is a guide, and you are not following it, the Constitution tells you what to do, but partisans cannot follow it.

"@S.Gompers....You are nothing more than coward with no balls to Fight Tyranny "

No clueToto.
Jan 8, 2010 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Ken, you are so right (about Gomp)...the rest you need to put in your own big boy words.
Jan 9, 2010 at 12:29 AM | Unregistered Commentergobias
Video: I Pledge to Join Young Americans for Liberty


The Federal Reserve: A Criminal Cartel In Which the World is Silent About

by Fahim Knight

No one wants to admit, especially not our elected politicians that the problem, which is destroying and ripping the United States and globe apart, is the Federal Reserve System, but this writer suspects that many of those who sit in congress and oversees the federal government has to know that the root of the economic and global woes are inextricably tied to how the Federal Reserve is allowed to function (the Fed functions with no rules and is all sovereign). However, to admit this fact and phenomena would automatically indict themselves and show forth their complicity in this criminal act. How about their oath of office in which they swore to uphold—defend and protect the United States Constitution against all foreign and domestic enemies, as well observed law.
Jan 9, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Ken, do you have any of your own thoughts? The responses that are not copy paste make you sound a lot off your rocker. What's up?
Jan 9, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergobias
"Ken, you are so right (about Gomp)"

Ken and Gobias,

Fear is "an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger." Fear is what brings about cowardice. Not since I faced my own death years ago have I known fear. I accept fate for what it is since I have already had a "trial run". Both of your ravings clearly show fear, maybe you should look in the mirror and address that first, as fear is the mind killer. Fears can be controlled.

Preparation will bring solace and serenity.

Fear comes in many forms;

Phobias (rhymes with Gobias)

No matter what comes, I am prepared, therefore I will not worry about it. You two I feel will have a "rough row to hoe", if they do not get you for conspiracy first.

If only either one of you had a clue, you both may go back to eating your artillery pieces, whatever the hell that meant. And as I said, keep your revolution out of my county, I do not like to get agitated, and you would not like me agitated.

I have seen more than my share of blood.

The system can work.

"The common thread that weaves violent political movements together is fear. It is not the only motivating factor behind political violence, nor necessarily the most obvious, but it is virtually always there. Whenever we ask why people hate, or why they are willing to kill or die for a cause, the answer is invariably fear." -- James F. Mattil
Jan 10, 2010 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Ken, you don't believe all that garbage about men landing on the moon do you?
Jan 10, 2010 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeruda
fire geithner already!
Jan 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSell Short
The United States is rather rapidly sliding into a fascist-type state (you can use the "corporatism" euphemism if the truth is too difficult to swallow). The government and their corporate oligarchy are stealing from the people and no longer care if the people have any cake to eat. The process was gradual at first, then accelerated during George Bush Jr's tenure.

Socialism does not describe what has been happening to the United States at all over the past decade. The military industrial complex, Homeland Security, war against a military tactic (i.e. the "War on Terror"), and unusually aggressive unprovoked invasions into tiny third world countries with no real military are the hallmarks of a more aggressive form of developing collectivism than socialism.

Couple this with the raping of the American taxpayer by corporate bail-outs that were unwarranted and unnecessary, government take-overs of corporations and industries, and the unprecedented infiltration of government ranks by corporate whores and felons like Hanky Pank Paulson and widdle Timmy Geithner (paid your taxes yet this year, widdle Timmy?). Add it up and we now essentially meet the traditional definition of a fascist state, which is a union of the government and large corporations that run the country with military/imperialist overtones. Because our aggressive and out-of-control government is broke and desperate, more measures to steal from the public and debase the currency are coming.

News of a recent major and intentional government-sponsored currency devaluation by Venezuela should send shivers down the spine of anyone paying attention who has their savings in U.S. Dollars. No, I am not saying we are Venezuela, but we are heading in that direction awful fast. Yes, a currency crisis can happen here and it almost certainly will, whether via capital flight or some new currency scheme. The timing is the only real issue.

Now, your retirement savings are at risk. I first commented on the likelihood of a 401(k) confiscation about a year ago. Because the government and Wall Street prefer to trick people and prey on the ignorance that has crept into our once great country, this confiscation it appears is progressing on schedule in a not very subtle form that should pass muster with most of the sheeple.

This article highlights how 401(k) distributions may be "structured" to provide "steady income" for retirees, as Obama and his dedicated administration are concerned over those who are interested, struggling and able to actually save money for retirement. Once introduced to the Congress, these proposals will provide an irresistable source of revenue to the government - just ask Argentina. For those who don't understand what this means, it means that the U.S. government is going to steal your retirement money and put it into government bonds to finance the deficit that they created by giving out money to their corporate friends in the defense, finance, housing and pharmaceutical industries (among others) and promising things to the populace that they couldn't possibly deliver.

Not only will the money in your 401(k)s, IRAs and/or other tax-sheltered investment vehicles be forced into government bonds (i.e. stolen and misappropriated), but this will occur at a time when government bond yields are near historical lows and can only move higher, which means this government lifeline and "guaranteed" income will be a wicked curse on those who "do the right thing." Couple this with the almost guaranteed further devaluation of the U.S. Dollar and you have a recipe for disaster.

If you think this proposal and this "exploration" of the annuity concept to "save" retirees from the volatile stock market are going to go away, then sleep well. Just don't say you weren't warned when your IRA is converted to "something better" that will "protect you." Who do you think will stand up for your rights when the time comes? Do you think that the 50% of the people in the U.S. who pay no federal income tax will come to your aid? Do you think the large percentage of the U.S. population that works for the federal government will come to your aid when their salaries and pensions will be at risk if this money is not stolen from you? Do you think Congress cares what you think when they passed the Wall Street bailout packages despite a deluge of calls, faxes and letters 90:1 against the measure? If you have savings, you are wealthy, and we all know the rich are evil.

The slope is getting steeper and more slippery. Now that the entire U.S. mortgage market is on the taxpayer's balance sheet waiting to explode like a nuclear bomb, now that the baby boomers are needing their Medicare and Social Security in rapidly increasing numbers, now that we have military bases all over the world and are destroying tiny defenseless countries and then paying to rebuild them, and now that the government is heavily involved in the auto, insurance, banking, and mortgage industries (health care is next), our economic future is guaranteed to be grim for the next several years and worse than it needs to be.

Additionally, taxes and fees will be raised significantly at all levels of government. Those who play by the rules are going to get screwed the worst and thus the middle class will continue to evaporate, exactly what is needed to clear the way for more aggressive government policies. The moral hazard has risen to the boiling point for those who play by the "old school" American rules and understand what is happening. Why not walk away from your mortgage? Why not stop paying your credit card? Why not stop paying taxes? Why not ignore the conventional social and/or "moral" constructs of our society when everyone who plays by the rules gets screwed while white collar criminals are rewarded and promoted? How else can you get back at "the system" for leaving you holding the bag short of outright rioting?

Physical Gold held outside the financial system is a good investment during such times because it can be hidden from the insane clown posse that poses as our leadership and the mistaken masses who continue to believe that they can get something for nothing from their government and fellow citizens. The tipping point is getting very close and one can only hope that there are enough motivated and educated patriots available to stop the process at this point. America is no longer very close to a free capitalist society and to think otherwise is ridiculous in my opinion.

Things are going to get darker in America before a new dawn can (hopefully) begin and few are prepared for it. And if you think this is a Democrat or Republican issue, you haven't got a clue what's actually going on right now. Look out for yourself and your friends and family, as those who were paid to do these things for you have done the opposite and they are going to leav
Jan 11, 2010 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
I see there have been some comments lately at the DB that think this is a blue vs. red (dem vs. repub/ conservative vs. liberal) thing. While reading through some of the comments on the article "The Military-Industrial complex is ruining our economy", I came across this excellent comment and link to the kick-them-ALL-out website. Been there all day....very interesting solutions.

Jan 11, 2010 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobertM
That may be your best post to date. Let's add to that list the "Proposed SEC Regulation Cuts Off Access to Money Market Funds During A Crisis"
Jan 11, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobertM
I liked the link Robert M, I agree whole heartedly with the throw the bums out approach. Unfortunately the herd animals will not deviate from the party tickets, and I have been at a loss for 20 years as to what it will take to awaken the silent majority.

I prefer to call them what they are, yellow and red Socialists, and both those paths will meet in the same place in the end.
Jan 11, 2010 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
hey robert...good to hear from you....i know about Kick Them All Out....

i thought we had posted about them but i looked and it's still in draft form from about 3 months ago...thanks for the reminder about the movement...we'll get that posted on the site soon...
Jan 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Don't give up on AMERICANS-as Churchill said " They will do what is right only after exhausting all possible alternatives". We WILL kick their asses OUT and the day of reckoning is HERE.........WE ARE LIVING IN HISTORICAL TIMES and WE WILL make HISTORY with the next election cycle.......Watch and C
Jan 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAint Bullshittin'
I hope you're right, AB. Well said. (How are things? You had mentioned changing professions a while back. Just hoping you're doing alright.)
Jan 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Hanging in there-trying to feed off the crumbs the bankers drop the appraisers way. Thanks 4 asking-Still waiting for the "CHANGE"-got none of that but still got some "HOPE"
Jan 13, 2010 at 2:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAint Bullshittin'
Don't have money to buy a car? Worry no more, because that is achievable to get the <a href="http://lowest-rate-loans.com">loans</a> to work out such kind of problems. So get a student loan to buy all you require.
Mar 13, 2010 at 5:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRogers20ANN

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