Wikinvest Wire

What'd I miss?

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the road most of the day today on the first leg of a short trip up the Oregon Coast, we had the pleasure of learning about all of the day's financial market developments via AM talk radio.

It was a sobering experience - one that was not corrected until much later in the day at dinner when some mediocre seafood was drowned with some mediocre wine.

There is genuine outrage in this country - it's too bad that it remains focused on all the wrong things.

The problem with the bailout bill is not the cost to the taxpayers - we'll never repay these debts. The "taxpayer" will never be forced to shell out a penny for this $700 billion bailout (if it is passed) as there are so many trillions waiting in line ahead of it.

And the problem isn't executive pay - a couple hundred million is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions of dollars that are going up in smoke as part of the current deleveraging on Wall Street and on Main Street. But it sure does make some people feel good to be able to so cleanly identify the bad guys.

Turning the defeated bailout bill into just another finger-pointing episode in the continuing story of a dysfunctional political system makes the situation all the more pathetic. The timing of the financial crisis relative to the November election could not been more perfect - that is, if the intent was to show the nation's policymakers and their constituents in the most unfavorable light.

Occasionally, a few wise words are heard, such as this paraphrasing of some unknown interview subject, "It really doesn't matter whether they pass the bailout bill or not. The result will be the same, it's just a matter of the timing."

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers was interviewed on one talk show and never before were so many uhs.... and ums..... heard in one three minute segment - it was if he was recovering from a lobotomy.

Not having caught up on the latest news, one can only imagine what tomorrow will bring.

This YouTube video was mentioned more than once during the day:

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donna said...

Will you stop going on vacations? I told you, it makes really bad stuff happen! ;^)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, at least you could let us know in advance.

Smiley said...

As Paul Krugman recently pointed out, right-winger like O'Reilly were claiming there was no housing bubble when it was in full swhing, and that people who claimed its existence just hated Bush.

Republicans had control of both houses, the presidency and they still couldn't fix the laws to ensure this sort of thing couldn't happen. The worst excesses happened well and truly on the Republicans watch. You cannot blame a law passed almost three decades ago.

Anonymous said...

Data shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased their share of mortgage lending during the last 2 years of the housing bubble, as commercial lenders started pulling back. So I would say that they were stoking the flames. And Greenspan supplied the firewood.

Mathlete said...

It was a perfect storm, and Democrats and Republicans did their part. Ironically, the Dems encouragement of Fannie and Freddie pretty much nullifies their entire argument against Republicans, since it was they who stopped Republicans from regulating. It is a truly bipartisan mess.

But I do love the finger pointing. The more they fight and bicker and the less they actually do, the better it will be for America.

norcal steve said...

Gee Tim, maybe you should change the name of this blog to "The Mess that Carter, Clinton and Obama Created" .

Seems you've gotten it wrong!

What partisan crap.

Anonymous said...

The naked capitalism blog had this link to an article on current problems with European banks potentially being worse than the US:


Looks like the problems are not confined to here.

I would say that excess liquidity pumped out by the Fed made financial regulation difficult around the world. Like throwing matches into a playground and not expecting any fires.

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