Monday, February 09, 2009

Pundit Rage

There is always a bull market somewhere so goes the old saw. Despite the sorry state of markets far and wide, and even sorrier state of the real economy that is lagging the former, a week of traveling, planes, trains, and hotels with attendant over-indulgence in popular newspapers, television and radio has revealed the latest rip-roaring and snorting bull-market: simple-minded interviewers wheeling out pedestrian interviewees from any remotely-related tangential financial discipline - most with paltry knowledge and understanding of the current economic crisis, economic history, and financial markets but all who are recriminating, pontificating, moralizing, wagging fingers, o denying and defending in a blind-leading-the-blind retributional media-equivalent of road-rage. If ever there were a moment to turn off the sound on the stupid-box, change the radio station to the local university's 24-hour indie music station, use the newsprint (FT excepted) for kindling or bog-roll (a Daily Mail recession-fighting tip?!?), limit one's consumption to the coterie of fine balanced and thoughtful blogs, or just read a book, preferably one written more than a hundred years ago, now is precisely the moment to do so. And like most bull-markets, this one too will eventually fall-in on itself out of internal fatigue, or perhaps more, optimistically through a mass-epiphany by their consumers that such simplified uninformed demagogic treatment is one of the reasons why we are here in the first place.

(inset pinched from an old Big Picture borrowing of the original screen shot)

19 comments:

woland said...

CNBC is G.E.'s Radio Free Europe. Makes one long for
Pravda.

Born Again Democrat said...

Here, Here!

Born Again Democrat said...

Or is it Hear, Hear!?

Charles Butler said...

The unfortunate part, Cass, is that so many of the 'uninformed' come from within the economics profession itself. Having just read four or five of them whose only point of agreement is that things are going to get 'really bad' in the near future, and noting that this assessment is, generally speaking, coming 16 months late and is nothing but the typical shaman's trick of predicting the present, I went net long.

Imagine where I would suggest the endowment funds begin their imminent housecleaning.

Harrumph!

Anonymous said...

If Cass doesn't like uninformed pundit rage, perhaps she'll like informed pundit rage by Financial Times' Martin Wolf.

Wolf says Geithner, Summers, & Obama are cowards, who lack the courage to admit the big US banks are insolvent. I'd go further to say that they are hopelessly conflicted due to having benefited from working for the financial sector (eg, Geithner's bosses the NY Fed's board of directors is mostly GS alumni and clients, Summers worked for DE Shaw, Rahm worked for Wasserstein, Obama took major campaign contributions from the street, etc).


http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/172003/FT's-Wolf-U.S.-Too-%22Politically-Frightened%22-to-Admit-Truth-About-Banks-Part-I?tickers=XLF,C,RBS,LYG,BCS,FAZ,SKF

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/172116/Part-II-U.S.-Too-%22Politically-Frightened%22-to-Admit-Truth-About-Banks-FT's-Wolf-Says;_ylt=Akocv0eYXCCcLFgI.Ou6MgG7YWsA?tickers=XLF,SKF,FAZ,C,BAC,JPM,WFC

goto100 said...

If you saw the C-SPAN horror show of the SEC/Madoff/Markopolos hearings, you will realise, there is no hope whatsoever.

Endemic corruption, on public display. Contempt for Congress; blatant lying (Vollmer); clear statement that Schapiro is corrupt; clear statement that NASD, FINRA are corrupt; inference that the US financial system is a game for insiders, a hopeless casino, where any punter who accidentally wins will have their legs broken and be shot before they get out of the door with their gains.

And no pretence of reform, let alone attempts at justice....

All irrelevant. That financial system is what the 'stimulus' is aimed at reviving. Base your recovery on that and it will be serfdom and plutocracy all the way to the United States of New Zimbabwe.

Anonymous said...

"Wolf says Geithner, Summers, & Obama are cowards, who lack the courage to admit the big US banks are insolvent. I'd go further to say that they are hopelessly conflicted due to having benefited from working for the financial sector (eg, Geithner's bosses the NY Fed's board of directors is mostly GS alumni and clients, Summers worked for DE Shaw, Rahm worked for Wasserstein, Obama took major campaign contributions from the street, etc)."

Geithner & Summers want to abuse the US taxpayer like a 3 hole kiddie raper.

And Obama wants to let them -- Plutocracy, yes we can.

darkcloud said...

nice rant, Cass. love it, love your style and keen wit.

and how about geithner's, er, obama's tarp 2? obama's true platform: "hoax" (f.k.a. hope and change).

Anonymous said...

The only people that can fight off the idiotic bailout proposals by Geithner/Summers is the bond mafia. If there is a major sell off, and US interest rates spike, they'll be forced to trash their so-called plan.

LetUsHavePeace said...

You were watching with the sound ON? Why? All the best. LUHP

RichL said...

I feel for the commentators. If you had to talk about the markets off the cuff for several hours a day, most people would begin to sound pretty stupid. Except for Mr. Kudlow, who starts off with the advantage of being an unthinking ideologue, so he's ALWAYS obnoxious and stupid.

PureGuesswork said...

Interesting that a very thoughtful post about "recriminating, pontificating, moralizing, wagging finger[s]" is met with so many comments that, while expressing admiration for the post, exhibit the very qualities the post contemns: "retributional [...] road rage."

Anonymous said...

Pure Guesswork: "Interesting that a very thoughtful post about "recriminating, pontificating, moralizing, wagging finger[s]" is met with so many comments that, while expressing admiration for the post, exhibit the very qualities the post contemns: "retributional [...] road rage."

That is because Cass is soft on Geithner. She refuses to unleashed her brutally honest wit on him.

Maybe Cass is long unsecured debt of the big 6 US zombie banks, and Cass will be lose money if Geithner nationalizes them. Maybe Geithner is her buddy. Either way, Cass wouldn't go easy on him if Cheney or some other Bushie was playing bagman to a bunch of bankers.

Nationalize the banks. Wipe out shareholders and any bondholders with worthless debt. Distribute stock to the remaining creditors. End of story.

Anonymous said...

market-ticker.org

Only when prevailing winds of truth reach all corners will we the trade ship be righted.

Anonymous said...

I like Geithner. He is a dithering pussy, but that is useful because his handwringing will weaken the big banks until there is political will to break them up in conservatorship.

Anonymous said...

Today's GREED & Fear column by Chris Wood says Geithner's speech was "an obvious public relations disaster" because "it failed to deliver any hard details[.]"

G&F says Geithner's effort to increase liquidity by giving non-recourse loans to leveraged speculators so they can buy ABS "is doomed to failure[.]"

G&F says "What needs to be done is to get rid of the zombie banks, whatever the cost to bank shareholders and bank bondholders."

Wood rules; Geithner sucks.

"Cassandra" said...

I'd be grateful if you'd forward the latest G&F to me..at my e-mail address. I've long been an admirer of Chris Wood, and while he's not gotten everything right, he's generally not been very wrong. Unfortunately, over the last decade, policymakers have rarely followed his advice, as global authorities will continue to eschew it, not because it isn't right but because most of the correct things are politically untenable (now).

If you had the last few issues, I'd be in even deeper debt...

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