Sunday, February 15, 2009

More random thoughts: banks, boondoggles and babies

1.  Ritholtz points out that the sell-off last week had nothing to do with the lack of details to the Treasury bailout and the inadequacy of Geithner's speech.  The sell-off began 21 seconds into his speech with a precipitous drop which is very consistent with your garden variety "sell-on-the news" trade.  We're in a bear market folks... don't forget it.

2. While the Republicans bemoan the wasteful government expenditures requisite in the passage of Obama's "big package", let's not forget the ongoing $2 billion per week boondoggle that we can call Bush's "big package."  How many of these newly converted fiscally responsible Republicans voted against the war supplemetal funding bills?

3.  This math whiz found the flaw in the current Stimulus Bill.  Since we will continue to lose jobs at 600K per month though June, then how can the 3.5 million jobs created or saved by the bill be helpful?  Since it will take 18-24 months for full effect, the bill is called "stillborn."  I guess the answer is that since it won't work fast enough, let's not do anything.  Good call, Mr. "light and the end of the tunnel" Hoover.

4.  The bright side of the economic downturn: lawyers and investment bankers working at McDonald's.  This could mark the beginning of an overdue era of massive re-allocation of our precious human capital into productive jobs.  We need more brain-power trying to figure out how 9 billion people can live in peace on our damaged planet and less brain-power inventing new financial techniques designed to steal hard-earned capital from people who work for a living.

5.  The Republican party has quickly become a circus side-show, and George W. Bush was merely the clown act ushering in the current encore of idiocy.  As this former Republican has succinctly summarized, President Obama was correct to make initial overtures, but no more effort toward bipartisanship is warranted.  Ignore the Republicans and feel free to legislate without their counsel or support.  We need a loyal opposition to the current administration, but it needs to be a phoenix that arises out of the ashes and there is no point in trying to breathe life into the failed and (finally) euthanized GOP.

6.  Nationalize the failing banks... yesterday.  Folks as diverse as Nouriel Roubini, Paul Krugman and Upsidetrader have all come together.  Get it done: Citi and Bank of America stocks go to zero, write down their assets, bank depositors are saved, debts are assumed by the feds, we all move on.

7. The octuplet mom is crazy and needs help and was physically and financially abused by her infertility doctor.  The infertility specialist's horrendous judgement just proves that the industry needs to be regulated: if society has to pay for the kids (which we will no matter how outraged we all want to get), then we also have a say in who uses the technology and the doctor obviously is not equipped to make the decision.  The asshat "libertarian" Sean Hannity gets it all fucked up, but what else is new.  This case is hardly an indictment of the entire welfare system for the indigent, this case represents the 3rd standard deviation of welfare recipients and of course it's the one case the media present.

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