Corruption, Lies, and Stupidity All Around

I've always paid attention to current events and politics, but I don't think I've ever witnessed so much blatant corruption, stupidity, and double talk in such a short period (apart from news out of the various banana republics around the world).

We've got Bernie Madoff (government regulators asleep at the switch), the Governor of Illinois, before that the former New York Governor, New Mexico's Governor, and Tim Geitner's taxes, among many others.

Then we have the wholesale fraud/idiocy on the part of the government and the financial industry that got this crisis started.

The government's supposed to be doing stuff to solve the crisis (more borrowing to solve a problem caused by too much borrowing!), but what's it doing with the bailout funds? It certainly appears that Hank Paulson's actions are influenced by his Wall Street ties, and so on.

Now it appears that Government Regulators Aided IndyMac Cover-Up, Maybe Others. No wonder IndyMac wasn't on the troubled banks list!

Citigroup (C), bailed out by the government, is now splitting itself in two and is selling whatever assets it can, including Smith Barney, which it said it wouldn't sell.

Bank of America (BAC), which said it didn't need money when the government forced it to take billions, was involved in back room talks to get more money.

Wells Fargo (WFC) also complained about not needing bailout funds, then it proceeded to sell shares.

General Electric (GE) said everything was great, then borrowed billions from Warren Buffett at 10% interest and sold billions worth of new shares.

Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and WaMu all said they were fine before they went bust.

Now Barclays (BCS) says it doesn't know any reason for its stock being in free fall (i.e., "everything's fine"). Should we believe them? We'll see.

Amid all this, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, when the government is spending money it doesn't have, Barack Obama's inauguration is, by some accounts, the most expensive in history.

There's a lot more, and it keeps piling up each day. And that's just what's happening in America (BCS is a UK bank). The rest of the world isn't much better.

Disclosure: I owned WFC at the time of writing.

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