“Rückkauf von Ramschpapieren”

Buyback of junk paper. How Spiegel headlined the U.S.’s Federal Housing Finance Authority’s 23 Aug 2014 announcement that Goldman Sachs will buy back overrated mortgage-backed paper it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. Goldman will pay $3.15 billion which is $1.2 billion more than the investments are worth today.

When the U.S.’s speculation in debt caused the global financial crisis in 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had to be bailed out by US taxpayers for $187 billion.

$1.2 billion is apparently the biggest fine Goldman Sachs has ever paid in its >140-year history, according to the Wall Street Times.

As part of this deal, Goldman will not have to admit any wrongdoing. It can pay this fine from its reserves.

The F.H.F.A. filed a lawsuit against 18 financial institutions in 2011 for selling Fannie and Freddie $196 billion in mortgage-backed securities with inaccurate risk evaluations.

The U.S.’s Securities and Exchange Commission has meanwhile also fined banks hundreds of millions for selling Fannie and Freddie hundreds of billions in bad mortgage-backed securities.

(RICK ow! f   fonn   ROMSH pop ear en.)


Thomas Mann describing his early-twentieth century idea of the “civilization littérateur,” from I think his 1918 essay “Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man”:

“Nothing, I said, was more indicative of the literary disposition than the twofold and basically only uniform activity of those humanitarian journalists of the time of the Enlightenment, who, in criminological-political writings, summoned society to the forum of humanity, who educated their contemporaries to despise the barbarisms in the administration of justice, to be against torture and capital punishment, and who paved the way for milder laws—and who characteristically made names for themselves at the same time by pedagogical writings on language and style and by treatises on the art of writing. Love of mankind and the art of writing as the dominant passions of one soul: this meant something; not by chance were these two passions found together. To write beautifully meant almost to think beautifully, and from there it was not far to beautiful deeds. All the moral improvement of the human race—this could be demonstrated—came from the spirit of literature, and even the popular teachers of antiquity considered the beautiful word to be the father of good deeds. What a sermon!”

(Tsee vee lee zah tsee OWNS lit tay rah t.)

“Experimentierfreudig, pflichtvergessen und angstfrei”

Finding pleasure in experimenting, forgetting about what you “ought” to do, and being free of fear.

From Zeit’s profile of a 61-year-old Irishwoman who just spent a year as an Erasmus student in Berlin.

In her blog, Lulu Sinnott described discovering a city but also what it felt like to be totally free for the first time in her life. And the atmosphere in a Berlin pub when Germany won the World Cup.

“Since I was sunbathing at the many lakes in Berlin, trying out all the groovy cafes and dancing as often as I could, I endlessly postponed the finishing of the school work I had to do, and ended up doing all the work in the final week. I couldn’t believe myself. I’m the person who hands essays in early usually, who never risks having to get an extension, who spends her weekends at the desk. Will I be able to revert to being a swot again? Having a completely laid-back semester has changed me in some way, made me less anxious about results in general, since they are all a ridiculous fiction anyhow.”

(Exp ear ee meant EAR froy dichh,   flichht fair GESS en   oont   angst FRY.)


To amble, linger, stroll, roam, saunter, stravage.

(SHLENN dare n.)

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