EppsNet Archive: Banks

George Orwell: “I Told You So”

25 Jun 2016 /

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met.

Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said that Clinton “has always made an effort to be transparent since entering public life.”

In addition to the unrecorded meetings with donors, this effort at transparency includes setting up a private email server to use as Secretary of State, and giving speeches at $200,000 per to Wall Street banks and investment firms, foreign governments and other special interest groups under a contract that prevents anyone from releasing a transcript of what she said.

Merrill went on to say, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”


Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson Endorses Hillary Clinton

25 Jun 2016 /
Hillary Clinton

I’m seeing a lot of headlines today on Henry Paulson’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, in all of which Paulson is identified as “President George W. Bush’s treasury chief Henry Paulson,” or “ex-GOP Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson,” or something to that effect.

There are certainly other ways of identifying Henry Paulson, e.g.,

  • Former Goldman Sachs chief executive Henry Paulson
  • Architect of TARP and “Too Big to Fail” Henry Paulson
  • Wealthy Wall Street goon Henry Paulson
  • Henry Paulson, who used his position as Treasury Secretary to bail out his Wall Street friends with taxpayer money

It’s hard to see how an endorsement from Henry Paulson is anything but a nail in the coffin of the Clinton campaign . . . I took millions of dollars for speeches to Wall Street banks and investment firms, including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs (see New York Times), and now they’re all endorsing me! (Shocking.) Also: I am the candidate best positioned to hold the financial industry accountable for its practices.

Clinton -— as the Times piece linked above helpfully notes —- has run through a series of bad answers about why she gave the speeches and why she is now unwilling to authorize the release of the transcripts of them.


Teaching Prisoners to Code: What Could Go Wrong?

22 Feb 2016 /

What could go wrong here? Criminal minds + coding skills = ???

One of my favorite Mr. Boffo cartoons shows a gang of robbers in a bank in the Old West . . . one of the robbers says to another, “Someday this will all be done by computer.”

What an inspiring program to solve a big and growing U.S. problem.

Posted by Code.org on Sunday, February 21, 2016


How Would You Like to Share This News?

18 Sep 2015 /

New Yorker cartoon


Greece is Going Out of Business

9 Jul 2015 /

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries.

The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov

What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences?

According to the government debt chart below, the next countries in line for a day of reckoning are two more small countries (Ireland, Portugal) and a medium-sized country (Italy). Further down the chart are two big countries.

The United States, the biggest of the big, is not shown on the chart but is currently at 100 percent debt to GDP.

Government debt


We Save Things Around Here

5 Dec 2014 /

What do I mean by “save things”? My wife was tidying up the garage and found this checkbook. The date (Dec. 19, 1991, the month after we got married) and the check number (101) tells me that it’s the first check we ever wrote on the first joint checking account we ever had.

First check


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


Ocean’s Trilogy

1 Apr 2013 /

My wife and I rented Ocean’s Eleven and enjoyed it, so we rented Ocean’s Twelve and enjoyed that too.

After we watch Ocean’s Thirteen, we’re planning to rob a bank.

Tags: ,

The Problem With Debt

16 Nov 2010 /

These are all from today’s headlines:

Thirty years ago, we had the savings and loan crisis. Those were the good old days, when investors were only nervous about small banks.

Investors have since become nervous about big banks, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries — Greece, Portugal, Ireland . . .

That’s the problem with debt — bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

What’s next? Medium-sized countries, obviously — Italy, Britain — and eventually the biggest of the big: the United States.


Will Financial Regulation Make a Difference?

26 Jun 2010 /

Banks are expected to find ways to offset the impact of the new financial regulations on their earnings, though they face a potentially complex process of adapting to the new requirements, analysts said on Friday.

The share prices of some of the biggest United States banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, were higher in afternoon trading, hours after a House-Senate conference committee completed work on a bill that would toughen financial regulations.

Analysts pored over the specifics of the deal as they emerged on Friday and expressed a wide array of views about the impact it would have. Some saw the bill as more of a political statement than a practical measure that could prevent another financial meltdown. Others said banks’ costs would increase, but banks would pass the increased costs along to consumers.


We Don’t Keep Our Money in Banks

23 Jan 2010 /
Lightning Epps

Security fears dog online banking

Now that’s what I call lazy reporting. If they’d bothered to interview an actual dog, they would have found out that we don’t keep our money in banks because banks are run by Wall Street fat cats and we don’t trust Wall Street fat cats. Actually, we don’t trust any kind of cats.

There may be dogs online barking but there are no dogs online banking.

— Lightning paw


The Capitalists Failed Us

31 Jul 2009 /

There are some things that one just didn’t do. That’s the way I was brought up. It’s not gray; it was black and white.

Now the ethical standard seems to be if everybody else is doing it, I can do it too. Carry that over into the banking. Everybody else is doing these funny loans and having earnings grow faster, building up their margins, leveraging those margins.

The more leverage A gets, the more leverage B feels inclined to get. So the system fed on itself and drove bankers to making decisions that they, presumably, should have known better than to make.

I don’t blame government for this. I was at a meeting of CEOs, even though I haven’t been to one for quite a while, and someone asked me to sum up the morning. This was a bunch of bankers and other CEOs. They said, what do you think about all this?

I said, you know, what I’m hearing here is you’re blaming the government for allowing you to do what you should have had enough brains not to do in the first place.


Bank Error in Your Favor

25 Feb 2009 /

A Swedish woman got the shock of her life when she found $US1.13 billion ($1.76 billion) more than expected in her bank account.

Hmmm . . . where have I heard of this before? Oh yeah, I remember now . . .

Bank error in your favor! Collect $1.13 billion!


I Get All the Holidays — And Then Some!

16 Jan 2007 /

Here’s how I spent the MLK holiday: My son went over to a friend’s house and I stayed home and read a book. When the boy came home, we threw a football around for a while, and then I took Lightning to the dog park, where he fended off an inappropriate advance from a giant black pit bull.

So all in all, a jam-packed day of doing nothing . . .

A friend of mine tells me he doesn’t get a day off for the King holiday. In fact, he doesn’t get another paid holiday until Memorial Day!

HA HA HA! I work for a company in the banking industry. If you work for a bank, you get all the holidays off! In fact, between now and Memorial Day, we get Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo and spring break. Plus a floating holiday.

Oh, I almost forgot — National Safe Boating Week.

WOO-HOO!