Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bailout: The creators of crisis not capable of the cure

Financial theater is one way to describe today's line - up of no less than 8 bankers (including the newest two, Mr Blankfein and Mr Mack).

I'll be very brief; if any taxpayers, senators, congressman believe the pablum spewed that these SAME CEO's who CREATED the crisis by piling on debt and leverage onto their own balance sheets - upwards in some cases of over 30 times equity. (Note: this is reported leverage - not the same as actual given the impairments and asset write downs which should have been booked long ago; therefore "actual leverage" is estimated to be well over 50 time equity.) If anyone actually believes that the foxes will fix and restore the economy - you have to be pretty gullible.
I'll tell you a story - I'm from New Jersey, whose nickname is the "Garden" state; however in business I tell my clients that I want to be like I'm from the state of Missouri, whose nickname is? The "Show me" state. By the way, "gullible" is not found, anywhere in the definition of prudence.

These SAME CEO's are the very ones even today who 2:
1)have not told us how they used / spent TARP money
2) have not told the markets what assets they hold on their books
* Let me be even more BLUNT - TODAY - no one, I repeat, no one (not Mr Bernanke, not Mr Geithner, not Mr Paulsen); knows the total extent and nature of the assets held by these banks. Stunning - today the 8 CEO's testified "safety and soundness" was the MOST important factor in decisions concerning their bank; fascinating - really; what did they know and when did they come to this conclusion? It surely could not have been in 2004 to 2007, of course; that's when the bonuses were somewhat higher. Pity the poor CEO's bonus haircuts in 2008.

Again, let's call a spade a shovel because that's what it is - the sooner the US Taxpayers see the last show of financial theater the country will be better off.

Bloomberg had Mr Sorrentino, president of the nations' community banks on today; how refreshing he was; 98% of the banks are healthy (as this blogger pointed out last October) - the "too big to fail" doctrine is total hogwash - likely invented by someone at the big banks who was getting a "too big" paycheck they were looking to protect.

Mr Reid, praised the three Republican Senators who voted in favor of today's economic stimulus as true patriots. True patriots, if they are in fact true, would recognize that any programs which backwash thru DC are in fact a clear demonstration of waste of taxpayer funds. Leave the stimulating in the hearts, minds, and more importantly, the wallets of each taxpayer - the best economic decision is almost always the "local" decision - keep Washington out the economy; they can't even tell who the bank robbers (er incapable,inept CEO's) are AFTER they return to the scene of the crime!

Another and the last way to put this is the mantra - if you want different outcomes you need to change your inputs; I cannot imagine a more dire financial and economic circumstance; not with standing Mr Obama's campaign promise "Change we can believe in" - I say "show me".

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