September 15, 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday.

I'm not an economist; I got nothin'.

Except to get the government out of the way.

And maybe do some drillin'.*

There is the McCann-centric plan for fixing the economy, of course: hire yourselves a quality cartoon writer, or a terrific copyeditor/proofreader/fact-checker!

* And all the rest: flex-fuel cars, biofuels, clean coal, natural gas, some wind, a little solar. Some French-style nuclear power. But also . . . lots of drillin'.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 15, 2008 02:26 PM | TrackBack

Blood in the street = bargains. Watch companies in a sector you understand, when the market is being unfair, punishing a company with good FCF, low PE, profits, whatever indicator you watch, buy some and on days like this buy some more. Dividends take the pain out of slow growth too.

Posted by: Sejanus at September 15, 2008 06:25 PM

These are the days that billionaires are made.

Posted by: Darrell at September 15, 2008 08:09 PM

do you really think less regulation is a good idea? isn't deregulation what gave us Enron and FannieMac and all these other collapses? funny money and shifty accounting and bad bonds and no one watching....

why are regulation, supervision, scrutiny, accountability, and a healthy dose of authority over the institutions that people count on a bad thing?

Posted by: rin at September 15, 2008 10:32 PM

Ivy League business grads that spent more time with Alinsky than Friedman gave us Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NINJA loans, and the balloon juice aspects of Enron. Maybe that's why they threw their money at the Dems. The Dems could solve this crisis by going out of business, just as they can solve the drilling impass by calling in sick for the rest of their terms. Leave Capitalism to the Capitalists. Please.

Posted by: Darrell at September 15, 2008 10:51 PM

Where is that 3.5% growth darrell? Lmaorotf

Posted by: Azmat hussain at September 15, 2008 11:48 PM

Well, Rin--I think these public-private partnerships have to be done correctly, rather than by subsidizing the taking of untenable risks.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were encouraging the writing of unwise loans.

How can you take a badly managed public-private partnership in which capitalism wasn't permitted to work correctly, and then use it as an indictment of unchecked capitalism?

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 16, 2008 10:01 AM

So the Democrats wanted "a million Mogadishus" in the War on Terrorism, and the MSM's co-operation to paint that picture. Just as they wanted the same on the war on the US economy that started in January 2008 with 24/7 with doom-and-gloom stories. "We don't just report it, we make it happen." (Fluffy wants you to go to newsbusters and find the link)

OK, Azmat, I will stipulate that the Dems want the worst for the US in their quest for the acquisition of power. You don't have to convince me. They started the "talk down the economy" campaign in Dec. 2001 when the rest of America was dealing with 9/11, and just when the economy was settling down and experiencing some growth. They wanted to make some hay for the coming midterms. They even had a secret meeting where the MSM bigshots were there as participants(Aspen). Wonder if they cleaned out their stock portfolios beforehand because they knew what was coming? We'll never know. The MSM didn't bother to check. The rest of us average Americans took a bath on our retirement nest eggs. Who knew that kicking us in the balls was how the Democrats plan to look out for the common man?

Posted by: Darrell at September 16, 2008 01:25 PM

Yes Darrell, That is why McCain wants to see heads roll. Really now this has nothing to do with Dems, or SEC. Kinda like blaming the general manager of the Casino when you go there and lose your shorts. Bunch of hedge fund managers lost all our money on speculation, if they made money the same McCain would take credit.

Posted by: Azmat Hussain at September 18, 2008 09:52 PM

Here's the thing, Azmat. Companies are out to make a buck. Yes, they will look after their employees' welfare to some degree. Yes, they will maintain financial reserves to tide them over. Yes, they are out o safeguard the interests of their stakeholders. Yes, they aim to become better corporate citizens - but the underlying drive for all private enterprise is to survive and thrive. Same as with all of us organic people.

The world still runs on a barter economy, do you realise that? The only thing is, we have abstracted it over by agreeing (mostly) to a shared, common means of exchange - money. Strangely enough, this makes money a commodity and a trade item. We are buying and selling money, all of us. I buy money by selling my skills and services. I sell money by buying goods and services.

How, then, do financial institutions make money? Primarily, they make money by buying the use of our money with a promise to keep it safe and maybe add a little bit to it when we want it, and then turning around and selling it for even more money. This sale is time-bound; I'm selling the use of $300,000 now in exchange for $600,000 over the next 30 years. We normally call these mortgages or loans.

Here's the thing. When I sell something for an immediate consideration, my risks are fairly low, because I get the exchange done there and then. But in the case of a loan, I don't. And in order to make money, I have make sure that whoever buys the use of that 300k can actually pay for it over that period of time. This is called credit risk management - both risk assessment, and risk control.

Companies are out to make money. In a totally free market, this usually results in the rich being offered even more money (because the companies are fairly confident they can afford to buy the 300k), and the poor are not (because the companies are not confident). Hence, no meltdown is likely to occur. You will have those who are willing to cater to the needs of the less rich - but in order to take on the higher risks, higher rewards are anticipated. We call them loan sharks. Or credit card companies, same thing.

What you had happen in the US was the simultaneous pressure of Congress requiring financial institutions disregard standard risk procedures in order to lend money to people who could never afford to service the loans, and the perceived removal of the underlying risks through implied government underwriting.* This created a moral hazard of incredible proportions, and now you are reaping the whirlwind.

But make no mistake; this is not caused by hedge fund managers, or speculators, or whatever. This was caused by Big Government, the kind put in place by Democrats, and sadly, seemingly supported by many RINOs.

*An example; when I was undergoing a camp, one of the things I had to do was demonstrate trust in my team by falling straight off a table into their outstretched hands. Perfect example of being required to disregard risk assessment guidelines, but with an implicit guarantee and removal of risk.

Of course the bitch who was supposed to catch my head failed to do so, causing me to see stars for a bit. I may even have lost a couple of seconds. I didn't even get to fuck her up nicely (or any other way). I don't think the big players are cracking their heads open on concrete yet, but surely it's gotta be hurting.

/yeah, I had to do it again. Did it perfectly this time round.
//You wanna trust the govt not to ass-rape you again, Azmat? I'm not so trusting the THIRD time round.

Posted by: Gregory at September 19, 2008 10:33 AM

Non Sequitur

Posted by: Azmat Hussain at September 21, 2008 12:52 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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