Friday, March 19, 2010

3/19/10 Midafternoon Report: When Greenspan talks, people shouldn't listen

Money McBags is busy today so just a few quick shout outs as the market goes through a bit of a sell off due to concerns over increased taxes in the health care bill, Germany backing out of bailing out Greece, and the officiating in the Robert Morris-Villanova basketball game yesterday which was so bad that investors are questioning the integrity of all markets (though it surely left Nova alum Tim Donaghy very proud).

The big news of the day is that Alan Greenspan is out with a begrudging mea culpa in the form of a paper titled "The Crisis or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bubble."  He's presenting this paper to the Brookings Institute and when he's done, the institute will likely use it to replace their dwindling toilet paper reserves.  In the paper, he says about letting banks get bigger than Kirstie Allie's tuchus after a week long Sizzler binge:“Regrettably, we did little to address the problem.”  Wow, you think Captain Obvious?  I hear Joseph Hazelwood also regrets doing little to avoid crashing into Bligh Reef and Lady Gaga regrets doing little contain this country's noise pollution problem.  About creating the housing bubble, Greenspan said "We had been lulled into a sense of complacency."  Awesome, really just awesome.  The market had its biggest crash in 80 years because the guy in charge of trying to regulate it was lulled into inaction like a John after a post-coitis taint massage (of course that kind of inaction just leads to your wallet getting stolen while Greenspan's inaction led to 10% unemployment).  But Greenspan still refuses to take full responsibility and to quote the NYTimes article (notice how Money McBags sources his material, even when it is from the NYTimes so probably all made up anyway) he believes the housing bubble was caused by "a sharp drop in long-term interest rates from 2000 to 2005, brought about by export-oriented growth in developing economies, especially China, after the end of the cold war."  He then went on to blame the Chinese for stealing WMDs from Iraq before the US invaded, for any movie starring Adam Sandler, and for putting way too much pee pee in his coke.  But to further drive home his innocence (upcoming bolding from Money McBags), he said "it was long term mortgage rates that galvanized prices, not the overnight rates of central banks, as has become the seeming conventional wisdom."  He then further decried conventional wisdom by saying it is ok to run with scissors, to swim fewer than 20 minutes after eating, and to say "Beetlejuice" 3 times quickly.  He did lay out some ways to help curb another financial meltdown and those included higher capital requirements and liquidity ratios (which wouldn't have mattered since there were no capital requirements on CDS), having debt convert to equity when capital levels fall to a certain level, and never to hire him to make policy decisions.  He ended by placing the blame solely on the shoulders of capitalism: "Unless there is a societal choice to abandon dynamic markets and leverage for some form of central planning, I fear that preventing bubbles will in the end turn out to be infeasible.. Assuaging their aftermath seems the best we can hope for.”  Ok, look, first of all Money McBags was not an English major and he admits he only read his copy of Strunk and White for the pictures (though he is still a bit scarred from the centerfold featuring the longest dangling particple he has ever seen) but Mr. Greenspan, you can't end a sentence with a fucking preposition.  "Assuaging their aftermath seems the best for which we can hope” fixes that problem, I mean for fucksake you have proofreaders, right?  But diction aside (and Money McBags would love to serve Hayley Atwell a side of his diction), Greenspan gets all human nature on us by basically saying as long as people are greedy, bad shit is going to happen.  And you know what?  That is one thing about which this guy is right.  No matter what regulations are put in to place, people will always find ways around them so it is up to the regulators to be pro-fucking-active to try to quell this rather than being lolled in to complacency by their Wall Street tickle friends like Senior Greenspan was during his reign of error.  And if the Fed can't do it, Money McBags would be happy to bring Warren G. in to regulate shit because Wall Street bankers aren't going to fuck with the LBC.

In international news, Germany conjured up their second most famous citizen in history, Sargeant Shultz, by telling Greece, "I see nothing, I hear nothing, and I know nothing" and therefore, "you get nothing."  Germany basically called Greece out in their game of chicken and told them they won't support a bail out and to take their problems to the IMF.  It is embarrassing for Greece to be shunned by daddy like this but they shouldn't have spent their whole allowance on ouzo and a night with Julia Alexandratou while still ordering those CDs from Columbia House (and if you're going to order CDs from Columbia House, at least use a fake name like Richard Hertz from Holden, MA).  France disagrees with this move citing the desire for the EU to remain united and reminding people what happened the last time everyone followed the Germans.  In other international news, India surprisingly raised their interest rates today by 25bps to try to curb inflation brought on by their continued growth.  Money McBags has no jokes for this, sometimes one just has to report the news.

In small stock news, PALM once again put up a quarter so bad that even Bernie Madoff questioned their integrity.  They lost $.61 per share which was much worse than analyst estimates of a $.42 loss per share and gave revenue guidance for next Q of $150MM which is less than half of estimates.  Wow.  This has driven the stock down 20%+ and caused several analysts to question the company as an ongoing concern.  Canaccord Adams' analyst dropped his stock price to $0 and said "Palm's troubles will only accelerate as carriers and suppliers increasingly question the company's solvency and withdraw their support."  That is just awesome.  Money McBags fully supports any analyst who comes out with a $0 price target for anything.  Also, Money McBags unloaded his shares of WILC today.  He made a small profit and believes the company has huge upside if you can believe anything management says.  The problem is, their actions go against everything they say (which Money McBags broke down for you last week) so why bother fighting this one when there are easier ways to make money?

Enjoy the weekend.

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