25 Feb 2009

Shall we 'modify' away Wilbur Ross' wealth?

Shall we 'modify' away Wilbur Ross' wealth?
During the past few weeks the chorus of experts in politics, academia and business has become noisier by the day. Everyone tries to peddle his own personal solution to the credit crisis. What is being lost more and more is any sense of personal responsibility and accountability. Each and Everyone seems to be entitled to be bailed out by 'society' or the 'community' (especially the 'international community').
Today the American 'Billionaire' investor Wilbur Ross contributed his 5-cents worth of wisdom on CNBC by suggesting that it should be made possible to 'modify' the terms of all residential mortgages in the USA. Effectively he is suggesting that either the taxpayer or - more likely - the mortgage creditors gift a cheque to the homeowner (more likely only those that the rulers consider worthy of public largesse).
One has to wonder what Mr. Ross would think if the legislators and other experts would hatch the idea that his wealth could be used to compensate the losers in the credit crunch? This idea may sound outlandish at first but there is no material difference to the idea of taking away agreed interest payments from those who lent through mortgages in good faith.

21 Feb 2009

Madoff - could he have done it alone?

What is the similarity between the Fritzl case in Austria and the Madoff scam? In both cases it is extremely unlikely that those close to the perpetrator were ignorant of what was going on around them.

10 Feb 2009

More on Mark-to-Market

See also: Former FDIC Chairman William Isaac on some historical perspective on mark-to-market accounting: Market Value Accounting Crippling Economy (American Spectator, 12 Nov 2008)

8 Feb 2009

Regulators too close to Lobbies

Reading that Jay Levine, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland's US Capital Markets Business, has made substantial donations to Chris Dodd, the head of the US Senate Banking Committee, makes one wonder who is more at fault. Accepting money from someone who you are supposed to police must be as questionable as channelling money into the coffers of your regulators. (Sunday Times, 8 Feb 2009)

5 Feb 2009

Failure of Accounting Reform

An interesting article supports our view about the problems associated with Mark-to-Market: Jesus Huerta de Soto: Financial Crisis, The Failure of Accounting Reform (Mises Blog)