There’s No Bubble In Stocks

No, this isn’t 1999 — or February of 2000.
It’s not middle of 2008 either, when Countrywide’s “Tan Man” was making nearly-daily parade appearances on Communist News Bull **** proclaiming how he was going to “take share” from collapsing subprime lenders, pumping his share price. The company subsequently collapsed in a smoking heap.
I know, I know, stocks are cheap. I just had someone run that crap on me with Micron in the bar last night, pointing to their TTM earnings P/E and “forward estimates.” He of course ignored the ~400% price rise in the last 18 months or so, the rather-high price:sales ratio and the proved, 20+ year cylical nature of the DRAM and NAND chip sector, along with the fact that they’re in a commodity products business which means that as soon as you start getting >10% pretax margins (which Micron is achieving at present) someone will come shooting at you — because you have no “moat” and they can.
I wished him the best of luck in buying it at $45.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-21.

US Embassy In Russia Halts Issuance Of Non-Immigrant Visas, Moscow Vows “Retaliation In Kind”

The latest escalation in the deteriorating diplomatic relations between the US and Russia was unveiled this morning, when the US embassy in Russia announced it was scaling back its visa services in Russia after Moscow ordered it to sharply cut its diplomatic staff in retaliation over new U. S. sanctions, and would suspend all non-immigrant visa operations in Russia starting August 23, although visa operations will be resumed on September 1, but only in the main embassy building in Moscow.
As disclosed in the US embassy statement, “as a result of the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the U. S. Mission, all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations across Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017. Visa operations will resume on a greatly reduced scale. Beginning September 1, nonimmigrant visa interviews will be conducted only at the U. S. Embassy in Moscow…. As of 0900 Moscow time Monday, August 21, the U. S. Mission will begin canceling current nonimmigrant visa appointments countrywide.
The greatly reduced US mission in Russia also said that “the U. S. Embassy in Moscow and three consulates will continue to provide emergency and routine services to American citizens, although hours may change.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.

Mortgage Crisis 2.0: BofA CEO Wants To Slash Down Payments To Help Poor Millennials

Among a host of other issues, one the critical things that contributed to the housing crisis of 2008 was the fact that speculative borrowers had nearly no “skin in the game.” Anyone who decided they wanted a piece of the rapidly inflating housing bubble could go out and buy multiple houses with no money down or, in some cases, even do “cash out” purchases whereby banks would finance more than 100% of the purchase price leaving ‘buyers’ to pocket the excess.
Shockingly, such terrible underwriting standards was a really bad idea. Turns out that offering investors infinite returns on capital, given that they could purchase millions of dollar worth of assets without ponying up a single penny, causes wild speculation resulting in devastating asset bubbles.
But, in the wake of one of the worst asset bubbles in history, new legislation came along requiring traditional mortgage borrowers to put 20% down when purchasing a new home.
Ironically, the new owner of one of the worst mortgage lenders of the 2008 era, is now arguing that down payment requirements should be slashed in half. Speaking to CNBC, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, the proud owner of Countrywide Financial, said that his mission is to reduce mortgage down payment requirements to 10% for traditional loans. Per CNBC:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 19, 2017.

French Cops Claim They’re Too Tired To Keep Policing Massive Protests

Months of mass demonstrations and violence linked to the Euro 2016 football tournament have left French police begging for mercy. A heated combination of protests against controversial changes to France’s employment laws and outbreaks of violence by Russian and British football fans has taken its toll, leading a union leader to beg for a reprieve for French law enforcement.
Protests opposing Francois Hollande’s proposals to relax France’s labour code began in March and have been called the largest and longest-lasting since the French Revolution. While the government argues the changes are crucial to lower unemployment, protesters claim they are bad for workers’ rights. Countrywide protests have included strikes and blockades of oil refineries and hundreds of fuel depots. Workers also downed tools at the state-owned rail company.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 24, 2016.

Too Orange To Jail? US Government Drops Suit Against Countrywide’s Mozilo

U. S. prosecutors have abandoned their case against Angelo Mozilo, the over-tanned character at the center of the risky subprime mortgages that fueled the financial crisis, after a two-year quest to bring a civil suit against him. As Bloomberg reports, The Justice Department has decided not to sue Mozilo, according to people familiar with the matter, ending a decade-long hunt for someone, anyone to jail over what happened.
As Bloomberg reports,
In 2014, the Justice Department began trying to build a civil case against Mozilo, using the same anti-fraud laws it had employed to extract more than $37 billion from Wall Street banks. The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, known as Firrea, gave the department a low threshold for bringing civil suits and a long period to bring cases.
The Justice Department used Firrea to reach a $17 billion settlement with Bank of Bank of America over how Countrywide and Merrill Lynch & Co. — which Bank of America bought in 2009 — marketed mortgage-backed bonds to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden – Jun 17, 2016.

Rent In London Is Consuming 57% Of Millennials’ Income

While the luxury housing bubble has burst in the UK, one-bedroom rentals that are popular among millennials are still putting a dent in their discretionary cash flow.
A new study by Countrywide Plc, the UK’s largest realtor, reports that a one-bedroom apartment in London now consumes 57% of a millennials net income on average, up 16% from 2007 which saw rent consume 41% of income.
The average cost of a small home in London now stands at $1,609 a month, up 48% in the past nine years, and well surpassing wage growth of 11% over the same period Bloomberg reports.
In Great Britain overall, one-bedroom apartment rents are taking up over 45% of income for millennials, up from 2007 levels as well.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 14, 2016.

John Embry: The Next Big Financial Collapse Can Happen At Any Time

Every day that life goes by and there’s no disruption I consider that a bonus. – John Embry
We are currently sitting on the edge on another housing and commercial real estate market disaster. The financial system was never ‘fixed’ or ‘reformed.’ The banking sins which led up to the big housing bubble crash were merely erased with taxpayer funds and printed money. The laws passed were not designed to protect us from them but to better protect their ability to hide the continuation of the fraudulent banking activities that serve to transfer wealth from the general public to the elitists.
The Fed and U. S. Government have successfully succeeded in reflating the housing bubble. Housing prices have been fueled by low to no down payment Government sponsored mortgages and by the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policy. Go ahead raise rates, Janet, let’s see how quickly you explode the current housing bubble your people have blown.
The financial media heralded the announcement of Wells Fargo’s 3% down payment mortgage program like it was a new way to split to the atom. Lost in the hoopla was the fact that Wells Fargo’s program is just now catching up to the times. Fannie and Freddie have been sponsoring 3% down payment mortgages since early 2015. The Government agencies also signficantly reduced the required monthly ‘insurance’ payment on low down payment mortgages. Same with the FHA, which has been doing 3.5% down mortgages since 2008. Th Government has become the new version of Angelo Mozilo’s Countrywide Mortgage company.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on May 29, 2016.

Bank of America’s Winning Excuse: “We Didn’t Mean To”

Back in the late-housing-bubble period, in 2007, Countrywide Home Loans, which was then the largest mortgage provider in the country, rolled out a new lending program. The bank called it the ‘high-speed swim lane,’ or HSSL, or, even more to the point, ‘hustle.’ Countrywide, like most mortgage lenders, sold its loans to Wall Street banks or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two mortgage giants, which bundled them and, in turn, sold them to investors. Unlike the Wall Street banks, Fannie and Freddie insured the loans, so they demanded only the ones of the highest quality. But by that time, borrowers with high credit scores were getting scarcer, and Countrywide faced the prospect of collapsing revenue and profits. Hence, the hustle program, which ‘streamlined’ Countrywide’s loan origination, cutting out underwriters and putting loan processors, whom the company had previously deemed not qualified to answer borrowers’ questions, in charge of reviewing loan applications. In practice, Countrywide dropped most of the conditions meant to insure that loans would be repaid.
The company didn’t tell Fannie or Freddie any of this, however. Lower-level Countrywide executives repeatedly warned top executives that the mortgages did not fulfill the requirements. Employees changed data about the mortgages to make them look better, sometimes increasing the borrower’s income on the forms until the loan looked acceptable. Then, Countrywide sold them to the mortgage giants anyway.
At one point, the head of underwriting at Countrywide wrote an alarmed e-mail, with a list of questions from employees, such as, does ‘the request to move loans mean we no longer care about quality?’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/27/2016.

Wells Fargo Reintroduces 3% Down Mortgages

In the wake of its recent $1.2 billion settlement with the government, whereby Wells Fargo admitted to deceiving the government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages (yet nobody went to jail), the bank has decided to break with the Federal Housing Administration and offer its own minimal down payment mortgage program.
The new program partners with Fannie Mae in order to allow borrowers with credit scores as low as 620 to make as little as a 3% down payment and use income from family members or renters to qualify. Naturally, the intent is to make more loans to low and middle-income borrowers – in the process pushing up home prices countrywide – without going through the FHA.
As a reminder, the FHA insures mortgages made to buyers who would otherwise have a hard time getting loans, but it has been shunned by banks following a wave of lawsuits by the Justice Department that alleged poor underwriting.
Wells Fargo made $6.3 billion in FHA-backed loans last year, and is a top 20 originator for the FHA according to the WSJ. It’s not just FHA however: as we have shown previously, Wells’ own mortgage origination pipeline has been slowing down in recent years, and as such the corner office of the country’s largest mortgage originator is desperate to find new and innovative ways to boost lending.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/26/2016.

One Forgotten Document Casts Embarrassing Light on Krugman’s ‘Sanders Over the Edge’ Column

Economist Paul Krugman has repeatedly attempted to recast the 2008 Wall Street collapse as triggered by shadow banks rather than the biggest banks on Wall Street. Krugman refuses to let the facts on the ground get in his way. (Later in this article, we’ll produce a document to show just how ridiculously off base Krugman really is.)
On December 14, 2014 Krugman wrote in his column at the New York Times: ‘In fact, I’d argue that regulating insured banks is something of a sideshow, since the 2008 crisis was brought on mainly by uninsured institutions like Lehman Brothers and A. I. G.’ Apparently, Krugman, like his colleague Andrew Ross Sorkin, is ignorant of the fact that both Lehman Brothers and AIG owned FDIC-insured banks at the time of their failure, backstopped by the U. S. taxpayer. (When Wall Street On Parade asked the Public Editor, the Publisher, and the Editor of the New York Times to correct the gross misrepresentations made by Ross Sorkin on this issue in his 2012 article, it ignored each and every one of our requests. That suggested to us that this is an intentional false meme at the New York Times – otherwise known as propaganda.)
Last Friday, Krugman was back at his propaganda desk again, this time attacking Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders in the process. In his column perniciously titled ‘Sanders Over the Edge,’ which the New York Times has generously decided not to put behind its pay wall, Krugman attempts to undercut Sanders’ pledge to break up the big banks by regurgitating the same set of false facts. Krugman writes:
‘The easy slogan here is ‘Break up the big banks.’ It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?
‘Many analysts concluded years ago that the answers to both questions were no. Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on ‘shadow banks’ like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Helicopter Money Arrives: Switzerland To Hand Out $2500 Monthly To All Citizens

With Citi’s chief economist proclaiming “only helicopter money can save the world now,” and theBank of England pre-empting paradropping money concerns, it appears that Australia’s largest investment bank’s forecast that money-drops were 12-18 months away was too conservative. While The Finns consider a “basic monthly income” for the entire population, Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of around $2500 per month, with authorities insisting that people will still want to find a job.
The plan, as The Daily Mail reports, proposed by a group of intellectuals, could make the country the first in the world to pay all of its citizens a monthly basic income regardless if they work or not. But the initiative has not gained much traction among politicians from left and right despite the fact that a referendum on it was approved by the federal government for the ballot box on June 5.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 01/29/2016.

‘The Big Short:’ 2008 Repackaged Into 2016

History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page. – Lord Byron
‘The Big Short’ is a must-see movie. Adapted from the Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book, ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,’ it brings to life Walls Street’s fraud-infused world of credit default swaps (CDS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs, which were at center of the collapse of the housing market and the financial system in 2008.
Now that the Ben Bernanke has ‘successfully’ saved our system from its demise (sarcasm intended), it’s easy to bury the past and disremember the degree of fraudulence and criminality that had engulfed mortgage and housing markets. It still blows my mind and angers me to think that people like Angelo Mozilo not only never went to jail, but they were never properly investigated for their role in fomenting the biggest fraud – up to that point in time – in history.
The movie brought back a lot memories for me. I used to pour through the financials and the footnotes to the financials of several of the mortgage companies and banks that underwrote the bulk of the fraudulent mortgage securities. I had concluded that all of the big banks plus Countrywide, if forced to market their mortgage holdings to market, were technically insolvent. They were all sitting on the ticking time bombs of home equity loans, CDO inventories and the wrong side of credit default swaps (in the movie we meet the people who bet against the mortgage and housing markets by taking the other side of the credit default swaps sold to them by Wall Street).
I remember sending my analysis of JP Morgan, Bank of America and Washington Mutual to several business publication editors and journalists, including Al Lewis (one-time editor of the Denver Post business section, nationally syndicated journalist and multiple appearances on cable financial news networks), the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and many other publications. My work, which proved to be correct, was completely ignored.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on December 25, 2015.

Subprime ‘Alt’-Mortgages from Nonbanks, Run by former Countrywide Execs, Backed by PE Firms Are Hot Again

Housing Bubble 2 comes full circle Mortgage delinquency rates are low as long as home prices are soaring since you can always sell the home and pay off the mortgage, or most of it, and losses for lenders are minimal. Nonbank lenders with complicated corporate structures backed by a mix of PE firms, hedge funds, debt, and IPO monies revel in it. Regulators close their eyes because no one loses money when home prices are soaring. The Fed talks about having ‘healed’ the housing market. And the whole industry is happy.
The show is run by some experienced hands: former executives from Countrywide Financial, which exploded during the Financial Crisis and left behind one of the biggest craters related to mortgages and mortgage backed securities ever. Only this time, they’re even bigger.
PennyMac is the nation’s sixth largest mortgage lender and largest nonbank mortgage lender. Others in that elite club include AmeriHome Mortgage, Stearns Lending, and Impac Mortgage. The LA Times:
All are headquartered in Southern California, the epicenter of the last decade’s subprime lending industry. And all are run by former executives of Countrywide Financial, the once-giant mortgage lender that made tens of billions of dollars in risky loans that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
During their heyday in 2005, nonbank lenders, often targeting subprime borrowers, originated 31% of all home mortgages. Then it blew up. From 2009 through 2011, nonbank lenders originated about 10% of all mortgages. But then PE firms stormed into the housing market. In 2012, nonbank lenders originated over 20% of all mortgages, in 2013 nearly 30%, in 2014 about 42%. And it will likely be even higher this year.

This post was published at Wolf Street on December 1, 2015.

Deutsche Bank’s Balance Sheet Is Toxic Waste

Deutsche Bank has $1.5 trillion of declared asset value on top of $67 billion of net worth. But a large portion of its assets are loans and related financing vehicles and trading positions connected to Glencore, VW, the energy sector, emerging market companies, high yield and a highly unreliably valued net derivatives position. It Deutsche Bank has ‘mismarked’ the value of all these assets by just 5% its net worth is wiped out.
It’s more likely that the bulk of its assets are overvalued by at least 20-30%. And that’s in the context of the current financial and economic environment – both of which seem to be quickly deteriorating. In other words, DB is technically insolvent. I performed a similar analysis on some big bank balance sheets in late 2007/early 2008 and my model predicted the collapse of Countrywide, Wash Mutual and Wachovia. All of the big Wall Street banks should have collapsed but we know how that ended.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 9, 2015.

Why Bank of America Just Cut Its Year End S&P500 Target To 2,000

Last week, at the same time that Gartman was calling for a “bear market” set to push stocks to 1420-1500 and where “rallies are to be sold” (leading to a face-ripping market rally), Goldman finally capitulated on its year end 2100 price target for the S&P, downgrading both its EPS forecast for the S&P500 and its price target for US stocks for the next two years.
In addition to this being another clear interim market bottom call, what Goldman – which traditionally is at the forefront of the Wall Street penguin brigade – did, was to break the seal on bearish calls by all other sellside “strategists” who are nothing more than glorified trend followers, especially once they have the cover of Goldman. Which is also why we concluded our post from last week documenting Goldman’s call by saying “expect the rest of the sell-side penguins to follow shortly with their own year-end S&P price target “revisions” lower.”
Sure enough, moments ago Bank of America did just that when in a note by Savita Subramanian, the bank also known as the Bank of Countrywide Lynch as a result of its “successful” pre and post-bailout mergers, cut its S&P500 target from 2100 to 2000, saying “Today, we are further lowering our 2015 year-end target to 2000 (-5%) and are cutting our 12-month return forecast from 14% to 8% chiefly driven by a higher equity risk premium” apologetically adding that “while most of our models still point to further upside for US equities, we see increasing risks to our bullish outlook.”
And just like Gartman had a “bold” forecast earlier, so does BofA: “the next 12-18 months could see a rebound in global economic growth, or could see an economic shock.”
And just in case hedging every possible outcome in a world in which central banks have lost credibility isn’t enough, here is one more: “a third scenario might be something we have seen so far this year, significant downward revision by a thousand cuts, which has hardly been good for stock returns.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/05/2015.

Existing Homes Sales Fantasies

Seasonally adjusted, annualized numbers are in no way the actual number of housing units sold during a given month. The National Association of Realtors takes samples from every region, statistically infers the number of homes sold countrywide during the month, ‘seasonally adjusts’ that number, then computes an ‘annualized rate’ based on its estimates and its adjustment to its estimates.
Not much different than Emeril Legasse taking a handful of this and a handful of that plus a pinch of his seasoning and ‘BAM’ we got our stew.
Having said that, I have no doubt that there was a bounce in home resales in the late spring, early summer. Why? Because of this…

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on August 20, 2015.

No Sundrenched Islands In New Meaning of Greek Holidays

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here.
The debt crisis intensified this weekend in Greece. Capital controls were the short-term answer.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Greek officials reached that decision:
Friday, Greek Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras called for a referendum on terms of a new bailout deal, asking for an extension of the existing bailout terms. Saturday afternoon, Eurozone ministers refused to extend existing bailout terms beyond Tuesday. Saturday night, Greece’s parliament backed a plan for a July 5 referendum. Sunday afternoon, the European Central Bank said it will not increase emergency assistance to Greece. What all that means is that the debt-ridden Mediterranean country is set to miss a 1.55 billion euro ($1.73 billion) payment due Tuesday to the International Monetary Fund, a key Greek creditor.
It also means that a Greek default on Tuesday makes an exit from the 19-member Eurozone a very likely possibility.
In a move to prevent a countrywide collapse, Greek officials have closed banks in the cash-strapped country this week, with capital controls in place. CNBC reported Monday that banks will open Thursday, July 2. Banks were originally to stay shuttered until July 7.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 29, 2015.

The Obama Housing Plan Is A Complete Joke

Obama presented his plan for the FHA to reduce the down payment requirement for an FHA loan to 3.0%. Big deal. The FHA has been offering 3.5% down payment loans for quite some time now. In fact, since 2008 FHA has been underwriting low credit quality mortgages, replacing the risky market niche vacated when the likes of Countrywide and Wash Mutual blew up. FHA is now nothing but a giant giant taxpayer bailout waiting to happen. And Obama just made it worse by further lowering the credit quality bar and reducing the amount of PMI insurance the future dead-beat borrowers have to pay. Doesn’t matter anyway because the pool of reserves funded by PMI is miniscule compared to the eventual default liability taxpayers face. 2008/2009 vintage FHA paper is already experience close to 30% delinquency rates.
But Obama’s latest scheme to fleece the taxpayers won’t stimulate home sales Why? Because mortgage rates and down payment requirements have already been near historically low levels anyway. Low rates have not stimulated home sales. In fact, the latest weekly mortgage applications report filed yesterday showed that mortgage purchase applications were down 33% from two weeks earlier and down 8% year over year. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.5% a year ago vs. 3.85% right now. When you strip away the seasonal adjustments used to manipulate the numbers, both new and existing homes sales have fallen almost every month since July 2013.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on January 9, 2015.

This Time Is Different – – For The First Time In 25-Years The Wall Street Gamblers Are Home Alone

The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. The proximate catalyst back then was the sudden recognition that the subprime mortgage problem was not contained at all, as Bernanke had proclaimed six months earlier. The evidence was the surprise announcement by the monster of the mortgage midway – – Countrywide Financial – -that it would be taking huge write-downs on its $200 billion balance sheet.
At the time, it had not quite invented the term ‘fortress balance sheet’ per JPMorgan’s later hyperbole, but the market overwhelmingly believed that the orange man – – Angelo Mozillo – -ran a tight ship; that the proponderant share of its business was in ‘safe’ Freddie/Fannie originations and guaranteed paper; and that any losses from the sketchier subprime mortgage business that it had recently entered would be covered by its loan loss reserves and the massive earnings on its GSE book of business. Only now do we know that Countrywide was a house of cards that has cost(so far) its reluctant suitor, Bank of America, upwards of $50 billion in write-offs, losses and settlements.
It is in the nature of bubble finance that markets do not recognize disasters lurking in plain sight. Prior to the August 2007 swoon, Countrywide still had a market cap of $15 billion. Indeed, at that point the combined market cap of Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, AIG and GM, just to name the obvious, was upwards of one quarter trillion dollars!
Markets were most definitely not in the classic ‘price discovery’ business. That is, they were not discovering information about the speculative rot under housing prices or the dealer lots bulging with unsold cars or freshly minted subdivisions where subprime residents were delinquent on both their mortgage and car loans or the adjacent strip malls that had no tenants and no customers.
Instead, the stock market had discovered the ‘goldilocks economy’ – – a pleasant place of subdued inflation, measured growth and perpetually rising stock and real estate prices. The most notable point was the belief that the Fed had delivered this salutary state of affairs owing to its enlightened management of the macro-economy, and that this condition could be sustained indefinitely.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on October 14, 2014.

Angelo Mozilo Responds To Charges:: ‘No, No, No, We Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

If Angelo Mozilo’s lawyers are to be believed, the former orange head of Countrywide can not be sued by the government (for civil purposes obviously, no former banker in the US can ever be held criminally liable under the Obama administration) because he is, well, sick. However, the same disease apparently does not prevent the 75 year old from giving 30 minute telephonic interviews, such as this one he granted to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson before Labor Day from his 12,692-square-foot house in Santa Barbara, California.
A brief tangent: “interviews with Mozilo, 75, and three friends show what retirement looks like for a chief executive officer linked to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Remaining out of public view like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Richard Fuld or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns Cos., Mozilo has submitted plans for Old West-style offices in California, taught students in Italy about finance, invested in a building in the Arizona desert that houses a Taco Bell and written about his life so that his grandchildren will ‘know the truth.“
So what is the truth?
Here are some of the choice excerpts from the man who is “baffled by a new effort to punish him, proud of past triumphs and incensed by criticism.“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/02/2014.