It was exactly one year ago today that Lehman Brothers executives agreed to file for Chapter 11, and Merrill Lynch executives agreed to sell themselves to Bank of America for $50 billion plus change, and the rest of us agreed to learn what the hell "collateralized debt obligations" are.
Since then, of course, we have largely forgotten about the collapse of the U.S. financial system, on account of the collapse of the debate about the U.S. health care system, but today is the day we start remembering. So says President Obama, who headed to Wall Street this afternoon to give the fat cats a piece of his mind…
"We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses," Mr. Obama said.
That's very- what's the phrase I'm looking for? Oh yes.
Tags: Bank of America, Banks, Barack Obama, Economy, Merrill Lynch, Wall Street
* Bank of America did nothing wrong in conjunction with its purchase of Merrill Lynch. Nothing! Nothing! Okay, maybe a little something.
* Barack Obama says he won't raise taxes on the middle class — a clear sign that he's about to raise taxes on the middle class.
* Sarah Palin still hasn't Twittered since leaving office, but she has stirred some gun-loving hearts.
* Meanwhile, conservatives continue to Photoshop their feelings about the president.
* Why is this week different from all other weeks? Because it's Shark Week! Hoo boy, sharks! Last year our resident shark nerd Dennis insisted on celebrating with a Shark Week Sharktacular, but he changed his tune after that bull shark (or was it Maureen Dowd?) ate his arm.
Tags: Bank of America, Barack Obama, Merrill Lynch, Pork Barrel, Sarah Palin, Socialism, Taxes, Twitter
Quick recap, for those who've been distracted by steamier matters: Last September Bank of America was in talks to buy flailing investment bank Merrill Lynch, but then an intern looked at his spreadsheet and realized that Merrill had taken $55 billion in writedowns and was basically effed, so Bank of America was all, "Hmm, maybe we could find a better use for our money, like burning it."
At which point — according to Republicans, especially — Ben Bernanke sank his tusks into BoA execs' buttocks, saying, "Sorry dudes, you are gonna buy this thing so it doesn't collapse, here, we will lend you $20 billion and Tim Geithner will do all the photocopying himself."
Which brings us to this morning, when the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform summoned that scoundrel Bernanke to their offices so he could fess up…
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Federal Reserve officials acted with the "highest integrity" during tense negotiations with Bank of America Corp. over the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, unequivocally stating that he did not threaten to replace management if they walked away from the deal.
"I did not tell Bank of America's management that the Federal Reserve would take action against the board or management," Mr. Bernanke said in his prepared remarks.
"Moreover, I did not instruct anyone to indicate to Bank of America that the Federal Reserve would take any particular action under those circumstances," Mr. Bernanke said.
Why would Ben Bernanke indicate that he might filet their testicles with a steak knife when he could just go ahead and filet their testicles with a steak knife?
Tags: Bank of America, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Merrill Lynch