The Luckiest Bankers the World Has Ever Seen! And They’re Ours! Yay!
Okay, I wrote this on May 21st of last year. Â But, the banksters have done it again… they never have a bad day on their trading desks… they made money everyday… again. Â My comments still apply.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America have all reported that their trading desks made money every day of the first quarter of 2010.Â I heard this news for the first time while watching John Stewart on The Daily Show, which is pretty much the only way I can take in news about the banks these days without putting my health at risk.
To tell everyone the truth, Iâ€™ve become so desensitized to the lies and amount of unadulterated fraud involved in our banking system, combined with our government and our bankers, who have obviously come to believe that itâ€™s perfectly okay, when it comes to our financial system, not to tell us whatever the hell they donâ€™t want to tell us, although when this attitude became standard operating procedure I am unclear, that I am unable to hear or otherwise absorb most of the â€śhappy horse pucky newsâ€ť about the banks that the obtuse talking heads on CNBC like to blather on about most days.
If I do allow myself to actually listen to news of the astoundingly miraculous recoveries being reported by our bankers these days, I become physically illâ€¦ and so angry that I prefer to just stop loving my country, which, although a terrible loss to my psyche, is better than the alternative.Â Iâ€™m certainly not saying that I would ever agree with someone who blew up Goldman’s headquarters, for example, but if it happened, and God forbid it ever does, Iâ€™d understand.Â I might even consider buying a tee shirt with the likeness of the man who did it emblazoned on it.Â See why I canâ€™t talk about this?Â Time to move on.
So, when I heard on The Daily Show that Goldman, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America all had trading desks that made money every single trading day during the first quarter of 2010, I just laughed, partly because Stewart is funny, which is why I have to get my television news almost exclusively from him these days, and also because I just said to myselfâ€¦ so what?Â Even a trained monkey can borrow limitless amounts of money at 0% and then loan it back to the Treasury through the purchase of long-term bonds.Â Thereâ€™s no trick to that.
It does, however, take inconceivable hubris to brag about it by sending out a press release.Â When you consider the colossal amount of crap the banks conceal from us on a routine basis nowadays, why in the world would they possibly rush to tell us something like that?
According to a Bloomberg story on May 13th, written by Jonathan Weil, who is my new hero by the wayâ€¦
â€śGoldman said its daily net trading revenue topped $100 million 35 times last quarter out of 63 trading days. JPMorgan and Bank of America disclosed similar eye-popping stats. Citigroup, too, recorded a profit on each trading day, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed people who knew the results.â€ť
Now, as Weil points out in his story, no one really knows exactly what the banks are being allowed to do to bring home these completely impossible profits because trying to glean anything meaningful from reading their financial statements is simply not possible, I donâ€™t care who you are. And since none of the accounting regulations really apply to banks anymore, thank you Tim Geithner. it’s hardly worth even trying to figure out. Â But, Weil also points out something that’s absolutely worth pointing outâ€¦
Assuming you were such an adept trader of securities that you had a 70% probability of making money on any given trading day, which would, by the way, pretty much make you a God of Wall Streetâ€¦
… the odds that you would make money trading securities 63 days in a row are roughly one in 5.7 billion!
To give you an idea of what that really means, I looked it up and the odds of being dealt a Royal Straight Flush in FIVE cards are about one in 650,000.Â Thatâ€™s ONE in six hundred and fifty thousand.
Well, shave my head and call me baldyâ€¦ these are some extraordinarily blessed bankers, wouldnâ€™t you say?Â Iâ€™m sorry to have to say this, but it occurs to me that if youâ€™re a person of the Christian faith, you either believe in Jesusâ€¦ or these guysâ€¦ because I donâ€™t see how anyone could resolve the conflict required to believe in both.Â Now consider what the Honorable Mr. Weil points out next:
â€śNow consider that four of the biggest U.S. banks just pulled off a quarter-long win streak — all in the same quarter. Why would any of them even want to?Â Do they think the public doesnâ€™t despise them enough? Surely it would have been easy to tweak the values of some illiquid â€śLevel 3â€ť assets lower for a day if they had been so inclined, just enough to avoid looking perfect. Yet none of them did.â€ť
No, none of them did that, now did they?Â Nope, they didnâ€™t at that.Â No, they damn well did not.Â They just didnâ€™t.Â Not one of them did, in point of fact.Â Nary a single one gave it a thought, now did they?Â No.Â They obviously chose not to.
Thatâ€™s enough.Â Iâ€™m out.Â Nobody talk to me about this, donâ€™t send in comments.Â Iâ€™m going to bed where I will devote all of my energies to pretending we never had this little chat.
But first I have to go wash my mouth out and then take a shower, because I don’t know what it is, but all of a sudden it feels like someone just tossed a shovel full of dirt in my face, and then peed in my hair.