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October 03, 2009

Taibbi: Short-selling criminals destroyed Bear-Sterns, kicked off depression

Depressions don't just happen, and there is no such thing as a "free market." Rolling Stone Reports that Naked Short Selling Killed Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers | Deep Capture: exposing the crime of naked short selling
Matt Taibbi has published a story in Rolling Stone magazine that nobody should miss. It’s not yet available on-line, so you’ll have to pick it up at the newsstands, but here’s a quick summary. Taibbi writes:
“On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody – nobody knows who – made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half of their value in nine days or less. It was madness – “like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets,” according to one financial analyst.”
Bear’s stock would have to drop by more than half in a matter of days for the mystery figure to make a profit. And that is what happened. As Taibbi explains, “the very next day, March 12, Bear went into a free fall…Whoever bought those options on March 11th woke up on the morning of March 17th having made 159 times his money, or roughly $270 million. This trader was either the luckiest guy in the world, the smartest son of a bitch ever or…Or what?” Taibbi speculates (as has Deep Capture) that these options might have been purchased by somebody who was abusing the options market maker exemption to engage in illegal naked short selling. And Taibbi goes beyond speculation to state, as an obvious fact, that illegal naked short selling helped bring Bear Stearns to its knees. ... This cannot be stressed enough. Criminals deliberately destroyed two of America’s biggest investment banks, precipitating the greatest financial cataclysm since the Great Depression. And the government has done absolutely nothing to bring those criminals to justice. In fact, as Taibbi makes clear in his story and on his blog, the most likely culprits are feted by top government officials in closed door meetings.

October 02, 2009

InkStop chain closes 152 stores, lays off 550 -- fails to make last three weeks payroll or pay Sept. insurance premiums

The board of directors and upper management need to go to prison. InkStop abruptly closed all 152 retail stores and laid off all workers | Business - cleveland.com - - cleveland.com
InkStop Inc., a specialty retailer of ink, toner, consumer electronics and other supplies for small businesses and home offices, abruptly told its employees that it was shuttering all 152 stores nationwide as of Friday and laying off all workers until further notice. "The company has elected to temporarily close all stores at the close of business today, Oct. 1, to focus on a restructuring plan in an effort to improve the overall operations of the organization," the Warrensville Heights company told employees in a letter sent late Thursday. "Paychecks will not be issued on Friday due to our cash constraints. We are working on a plan to improve our cash flow situation and reopen under better circumstances." The letter, signed by the Inkstop board of directors, went on to say that medical coverage and other insurance had been paid only through Aug. 31. "Your patience during this difficult time is appreciated," it said. That means not only will employees not be paid for the past two weeks, but they will also be financially responsible for their medical benefits since Sept. 1.

October 01, 2009

Montana town fathers who hired "American Police" turn out to be dumb as shit

Someday the Atlantic Monthly or Rolling Stone will write a luxurious feature about this life-long con artist and the Montana dumbfucks who hired him. The Raw Story | ‘American Police Force’ founder a felon with at least 17 aliases
Michael Hilton showed up in Hardin, Mont., last week, presenting himself as an economic savior, the man who would take over the town's $27 million jail — empty since it was built as a development project in 2007 — and provide 200 new jobs in the process. He wore a military-style uniform, and as a gesture to local law enforcement offered up the use of three Mercedes SUVs. But the man who styles himself as a military veteran turned private sector entrepreneur and a California defense contractor with extensive government contracts also has another image, and that one is provided by public documents and interviews with associates and legal adversaries. The record says that he is a convicted felon with at least 17 aliases, a string of legal judgments against him, two bankruptcies and a decades-long reputation for deals gone bad.

I'm Hoping this is Some Sort of Hollywood Promotional Hoax

. . . or new Alternate Reality Game--or even a...