Friday, April 17, 2009

Terminator Banks: Nothing Can Stop Them!

It actually got into the high 60 degree range today. Still a bit breezy which kept it cool, but nice anyway you slice it. Of course this being Massachusetts it is going to be in the low 40's for the next 5 days. Too bad I will beheading out to the Bahamas on the 25th. How will the loyal readers survive without Economic Disconnect? How will I survive without posting? Big questions indeed.

Sorry to hear the news for Loyal reader G, but keep on keeping on my friend and it will work out!

Terminator Banks: Nothing Can Stop Them!
I was going to write about the Citi C) earnings report but really if you thought the Goldman Sachs trickery was something you would have to give C the top honor. I thought I would focus instead on a recurring theme so far through the bank earnings parade.

After reviewing the conference calls by JP Morgan (JPM) and C I came away with a particular mental image. Here it is:

The Terminators!

Where the more naive of us, myself included, thought that the banks were in bad shape and were in need of billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to survive, to hear them tell it there is nothing that can phase their bullet proof business. As the character Kyle Reese would say about the banks path to record earnings:

"Listen and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. Ever."

To see what I mean consider the following items from the past two days:

- JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon says they have no "toxic assets" they want or need to sell in the PPIP program. JPM also can pay back the TARP anytime and wants nothing to do with government partnerships.

Treasury Head Timmy G was so sure the PPIP was the touchdown pass the banks needed, yet JPM will not even run their receiver route to get to the ball. They are a machine! Coated with living tissue!

Now perhaps JPM and GS are just the two best banks on the block. Maybe they are in a better spot than others as GS is the government and JPM is the FED's bank of choice. fair enough. But what about the red headed step child of the finance sector, Citi?

If you thought they were in trouble, you did not review the conference call from this morning! Consider these items relayed by C CFO Ned Kelly (CFO Vikram Pandit did not participate for some reason?):
- 9:00: Questions and answers begins. Kelly begins by saying he's been through an immersion process that might make it difficult form him to answer some of the questions.
9:01: Guy M. first, as always. Asks about credit card reserves, which have declined. How's that happen? Kelly tells Guy that credit cards came in better than expected, outpacing loss reserves already made.

Citi's credit card business is doing better than expected? Even JPM said theirs was going south in a big way. Capital One as well. Maybe Citi is collecting payments in person in full robot terminator mode?

Then there was this one:
- 9:10: Meredith Whitney asks about the trends in the mortgage portfolio. How much was the effect of foreclosure forbearance? Not much at all, Kelly says.

A 2-3 month mortgage foreclosure moratorium made no substantial difference to C's bottom line? That has got to be the biggest whopper this earnings season! We will revisit that one now that the foreclosure wave is rolling after the moratorium have ended.

In short, the banks are all powerful machines right now. Nothing can stop them and business has never been better. How long can this charade go on? The terminators power cell in the movie was good for 10 standard years. I will guess that the bank days of sunshine will not make it even 1/10th that time.

Friday Night Entertainment
Home a bit late, and so on to the fun!

Film Scene
The great book "The Red Dragon" by Richard Harris is an all time favorite. The first time it was made into a film it was called "Manhunter". In this scene dtective Will Graham (played by William Petersen) uses pure brilliance in deductive reasong to figure out how the serial killer "the tooth fairy" is selecting his victims:

Music for One and All
My father (now passed on) used to play this song on his 12 string guitar all the time and I never knew who's song it was. While my Dad's 12 string version was better, listen to Don Williams and "I Believe in You":

If you can never get enough Steve Perry vocals, and really who can, try out "Oh Sherry":

The band Quarterflash is a Youtube "embed disabled" offender, but I was able to find this live version of "Harden My Heart". I love saxophone!:

Last one!
Iron Maiden is a live show phenom. Take a listen to the powerful cryptic lyrics and all around rock out performance of "Revelations":

Have a good night.


Lisa said...

Ok, except for the "Beatles" thing, we have almost identical taste in music. This is the most incredible collection you put together yet. I really, really enjoyed these tonight. Thank you, GYSC, for bringing back some grand memories for me! :) You're the best!

Lisa said...

By the way, did I say thank you? Steve Perry is one of my favorites. I love "I Believe In You" :) and not to sound schmaltzy, but you inspired me- In honor of your dad, I'm going to learn that song on my guitar.

Have a great weekend!

watchtower said...

I haven't thought of Don Williams in over a decade.
My best friend in high school always liked him and called him by his own made up nickname which was the "lonesome cowboy" instead of what the country music people labled him i.e. the "gentle giant".
Thanks GYSC, Don Williams brings back some good memories.

getyourselfconnected said...

Wow! I did not know you played the guitar Lisa! I rememebr singing "I believe in you" and John Denver's "Country Roads" (my dad was a coal miner from West Virginia, transplanted to Boston to work the railroads) to the tune of a 12 string guitar. Good stuff. Sadly I have ZERO talent for the guitar, and yes I have tried!

Glad the Don Williams song was well liked. The words are soothing to me and always make me feel good.

I hope the Maiden tune was well liked. Some terrific guitar work and the lyrics are pretty moving as well. People think hard rock is mindless banter, but if you listen you can hear, ya know?

Thanks for the kind comments, I needed a lift tonight (personal stuff) and that this post was fun makes me feel alot better.

Anonymous said...

Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday that economic polices of countries which issue global reserve currencies require closer supervision as part of building a diversified international monetary system.

His comments, an apparent reference to U.S. economic management that Beijing has blamed in part for the global financial crisis, were twinned with a pledge to promote more international use of the yuan, China's currency.

Wen did not mention the United States by name but he has expressed concern in recent months about the safety of Chinese investments in U.S. dollar assets.

"We should strengthen the supervision of the economic policies of the main reserve currency economies and push forward the establishment of a diversified international monetary system," he said in his opening address to the Boao Forum for Asia, held annually in the southern Chinese province of Hainan.

Bucky is running on fumes.

Anonymous said...

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs recruit lawmakers’ ex-aides

By Carol Eisenberg
April 15, 2009 at 12:52pm
Lavishing lawmakers with six-figure campaign donations is not the only way banks and investment houses influence the legislative process.

They also hire the top aides of those lawmakers, who can trade on relationships with their old bosses to pick up the phone and, say, arrange an impromptu session with Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, or Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Banana republic


getyourselfconnected said...

Great links Kevin; Things are getting so bad that even my "fiction" headlines do not stray too far from the real ones.

Anonymous said...


I guess we could all go over to the cop blog and turn them in. Just like the congressional budget office which has been warning for years that SS and Medicare were going broke the system is so corrupt it wouldn't make any difference but I guess one could give it a shot.


watchtower said...

I thought that the opening lines of Revelations seemed kind of strange for a hard rock group, but I found out that the first verse was an English hymnal that Bruce D. had learned in school.
Who would have thought it?

getyourselfconnected said...

Bruce D was opera schooled and sang in a tabernacal choir, so I am sure he knows the material! Check out "Hallowed be thy Name" for more scripture references.

Thanks for all the comments!

Anonymous said...

A top advisor to President Barack Obama said on Sunday that stress tests of the top 19 U.S. banks would expose some "very serious problems," but the administration has what it needs to confront the challenge.

Bendover here it comes again.
Non stop looting.

GawainsGhost said...

GYC, check this out.

It's Downsize's first single "Dow Jones." Pretty good really.

Anonymous said...

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday that stress tests for the country's top banks would show some need more public help than others, but he vowed not to pour taxpayer money into a "black hole."

Alrighty then, this guy is one funny dude.


Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says Americans need to sharpen their financial know-how to help them best use their money, especially during the current economic crisis.

I need to outside and hit something.


Anonymous said...

After going out and hitting the side of the garage a few times I relized Ben might be on to something.

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
-- Henry Ford


Anonymous said...

NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - American International Group Inc (AIG.N), which has received more than $150 billion in taxpayer support since last September, has closed a deal to access nearly $30 billion in additional federal funds.

The non stop looting continues unabated.