Monday, October 31, 2011

Everyone should read this article:

In reading it, I was thinking about a common argument that Bank Defenders (those brave souls) have been making--namely, that the Too Big To Fail Crowd hasn't really been doing anything illegal (I'll accept that for the sake of argument, but let me just titter madly over it for a moment), they've just been taking advantage of perfectly licit loopholes and such. Loopholes that allow little things like this:

"When GM bought the finance company AmeriCredit, it was able to marry its long-term losses to AmeriCredit's revenue stream, creating a tax windfall worth as much as $5 billion. So even though AmeriCredit is expected to post earnings of $8-$12 billion in the next decade or so, it likely won't pay any taxes during that time, because its revenue will be offset by GM's losses."

How nice for them.  I'm sure that little maneuver was the result of months of very careful planning in boardrooms and on conference calls, designed to game the system in the most litigation-sheltered manner possible.

Great.  Those are the rules; these golden boys know how to play the game.  And yeah, I know it sucks to have the rules changed in the middle of a game.  No one likes that.  I can almost feel sorry for the MBA-toting geniuses who are contemplating a world where their tricks won't work anymore.

That's why it's only fair that we warn them.  "Start making new plans, friends.  Re-think your strategies.  That loophole is tightening closed. In a year, five, ten, you'll have to have a brand new outlook, a new way of doing things."  I pray that we have the balls to say this to them soon.

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