Monday, May 18, 2009

Stock, bond markets need asterisk for taxpayer assistance; better make that a hot pink bikini!

Baseball fans will long remember the asterisk next to Roger Maris' name after he eclipsed Babe Ruth's single season home run record; the asterisk indicated that Maris achieved his feat due to a longer season; I believe 12 extra games.

No doubt there are some investors who are baseball fans. The fantasy leagues may be a resource we can look to for some answers; with the intense collection of minutaie, analysis, heated debates and scrutiny, to facilitate a common, uniform, agreed basis of statistics for bragging rights or sometimes for gambling purposes. ESPN fantasy leagues, among several, provides us an example

When it comes to taxpayers' money - this writer asks which financial news organization will step up and construct, calculate and publish a reliable set of securities indices that reflect reality? At least in the US; the supposed bastion of transparency.

Securities markets should be quoted and reported EX-BAILOUT FUNDS (including any extraordinary measures of the Fed, FDIC and US Treasury).
Reduce market prices / levels by subtracting all taxpayer bailout related (US Treasury, FDIC or Federal Reserve) initiatives or guarantees? (Yes - I'm aware the the FDIC is a bank - funded deposit insurance scheme; the FDIC also has a line of credit from the US Treasury (that means taxpayer funded.) This is not without precedent; many may recall that the Technology index was oft quoted ex-IBM, the Utilities industry when telephone companies were that was ex-AT&T, and the Asia / Pacific region was ex-Japan; why to provide clarity when it was easily doable - so again this writer asks why not now; is the size of the ex-factor too large? Or is it the discomfort of the parties' whose franchises may be viewed in a different light?

Or should we just sit back, sip a cold one, "enjoy the game," the upcoming hot pink bikinis and resign ourselves to the fantasy league financial information put out by the Office of Bailouts and the teams of TV and print financial cheerleaders - excuse me - journalists?

Yet another principal agent conflict of interest problem, on the taxpayers' dime.

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