Citigroup Not Off the Hook Just Yet, Barney Frank Announces Retirement the Only Way He Knows How: Frankly
Real American Hero Judge Jed Rakoff of the US District Court in Manhattantossed out a proposed SEC settlement after charges that Citigroup had bet against the very mortgage securities it was selling its customers.
Rakoff hasn't tossed out the settlement entirely, but is asking for a resolution where Citigroup isn't allowed to "neither confirm nor deny" their wrongdoing, a sort of public interest fact-finding he identifies as the SEC's role in uncovering the truth, but which the SEC traditionally shies away from because it doesn't have the resources to handle protracted trials. Because, right, of course Wall St. would have more legal firepower than an agency in a city populated with 94% lawyers. In any event, Rakoff has this crazy idea that part of the SEC's job is to actually discover the truth behind these accusations and not just let Wall St. cop a plea as part of "the costs of doing business." What a dreamer, this guy.
Welp, Barney Frank is done, a rather devastating development for those of us who relied on him to be the only guy in Washington willing to make fun of pretty much everyone else in Washington. But at least he's going out swinging! "I do not think I have lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the nominee," he joked, and while he says he's done with elected office he's not done with politics, which gives us hope we'll stil have him to kick around Newt Gingrich.
Pakistan is still pretty pissed at us for that cross-border strike over the weekend that killed two dozen of their soldiers. Relations have reportedly "frayed," as they say in diplomatic parlance, with Pakistan closing off a border crossing that serves as a vital route for the NATO supply chain in addition to (and we're not so sure this is a bad thing?) closing off American access to a base used for launching all those unmanned drone attacks that all too often result in a few guys in Idaho with Playstation controllers killing a bunch of innocent civilians (yeah, no, this might not be a bad thing at all).
Today's developments on the Euro Zone death watch aren't looking so good, with Italy's borrowing costs ticking steadily higher and France the latest country to be facing a downgrade, and basically everyone starting to refer to the Euro Zone's collapse as "inevitable."
But look over there! Shiny object! Facebook is going to maybe again sometime in the next year IPO! (And maybe even for real this time, as opposed to the last who can even count anymore how many times they've maybe sometime been supposed to IPO over recent years.) [READ MORE AT GIFZETTE]