Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Global Bear

With the colossal failure of the banking system and mortgage brokers couple with massive equity sell-offs, losses continue to mount. The blame game is on.

There are not enough fingers to point, be they aimed at greedy wall street firm and questionable government control programs including those that promise, if not guarantee everyone's "right" to own their own home.

IMO, I believe the core issue is debt. The debt games starts with the individual who lives beyond his/her means -- materialism gone amok as if it is their God-given right to own a large home, a second home or time share, drive multiple new cars, one various recreational machines, have the best in home furnishings and the latest electronics, vacations whenever to wherever.

It continues with the lenders who fail to recognize and manage financial risks, willing to lend money to whomever, whenever. The individual power brokers in the financing and banking sectors are caught up in enriching themselves and ensuring golden parachutes if things go south.

The worst thing the government can do at this point is to bail out any of these dying companies, as painful as it is for the individuals impacted. The Fed and the federal government was right in not saving Lehman Brothers. Merrill Lynch would have died also if Bank of America did not bail them out (I question BOA's rationale -- they might not be out of the woods themselves after this move). They were wrong in bailing out Bear Sterns.

There will be more, almost assuredly, starting with AIG and may include the big guys like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. This is a long way from being over.

What I hope to see happen after this calms down is those individuals that operated some of these high-finance companies, especially the heads of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, be held personally responsible for their roles in the debacle. If the government can take the leaders of Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Adelphia, etc. down in the accounting scandals of 2002, there is no reason they should not do the same for the mortgage and financial brokers of 2008.

Capitalism is getitng the blame in the MSM. Whereas I am not one for 100% laissez faire government, there are way too many governmental mandated controls and programs in place to allow the markets to operate freely.

The worst thing we need is to have a new president that will implement new taxes and a legislature that will gladly oblige.

We need true leadership in both Congress and the White House. Unfortunately, we do not have this now and will certainly not being getting it in November.

1 comment:

The Reasonable Christian said...

The great news is that all the bad debt due to the years of excessive living is all coming back to you the American taxpayer. Don't you just love the idea of all those fat cats that made a fortune through essentially fraudulent lending, speculation, and massive securitization can now get out and leave the multi-trillion dollar bill in our hands? The taxpayers who have lived frugally and responsibly now are responsible.

With over 500 trillion, yes that's spelled with a T, of derivatives risk out there with JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America holding almost 160 trillion dollars worth of this derivative risk alone, things could get really interesting if the massive deleveraging we see beginning now continues into the near future.