Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't be in a hurry....

Recent economic times have rocked the world of risky mortgage investments. Stock prices have tumbled, and we've been subjected to a series of failures amongst the big investment banks in the US. President Bush would have you believe that the best way to solve this issue is to just write a big check (which will be paid for to the tune of $2000/taxpayer) to REWARD the companies that did that risky investment. He says it's an emergency and we must rush this through congress so that the market doesn't tank further. Hmmm. Rushing something through congress because it's an emergency. Where have we heard that one before? Could it be when we embarked on the Iraq war? Or maybe when we passed the draconian Homeland Security Acts? $700B (with a B) is a LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY. To most Americans $2000 is also a large amount of money. And you know what President mc-spend-alot wants you to get for your $2000 investment? Nothing. Unlike the bailout of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you don't even get some equity in the companies we're bailing out. And the top brass that allowed those companies to make the bad investments in the first place? They're bailing, and opening their golden parachutes. Believe me when I tell you - they will be FINE throughout this crisis while their investors and the taxpayer pay the bill. If you care about your financial future, and don't want to be paying Bush's bill for the next 10 years I'd suggest you push your congressperson for the following:
  • No Bailout without equity - if we bail out a firm, we should get a share of it. If the firm asks for a bailout they should be putting up a portion of their company to get it. Your share of that contribution should come in the form of a mutual fund managed by the government and formed from the shares of equity that we get from bailing out these firms. If they make it back to profitability someday you'll enjoy the upside of buying low and selling high.
  • No Bailout without affirmative punitive action - the bailout should be tied to regulations that prevent this from happening again, and take punitive action against those that let it happen in the first place.
  • Save the derivatives - short selling is the grease that primes the investment wheels. People make investments because they can hedge those investments againt the unpredictable by investing in shorts as well as longs. An economy that's all longs doesn't allow easy adjustment when there is another downturn. And there WILL be another downturn, it's inevitable.

This solution was good enough for Sweden. Should work for us too...

The market is down - but a large part of that market adjustment is that prices were inflated and way above the market valuations. It was time for an adjustment. Let's look closely at whether we ride this one out with as little government intervention as possible in the market itself (outside of perhaps establishing some regulation of the mortgage investment market) or we throw dollars at a problem that may just sort itself out given time.

Let's not rush into anything. Let's especially not rush into anything President mc-spendalot suggests.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The great gig in the sky....

Pink Floyd's Richard Wright has moved on to that great gig in the sky..... Just another brick in the wall I guess:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rochester Eyes on the Future 2008

The Small Business Council and Greater Rochester Enterprises will again be sponsoring a panel discusion about Rochester's economic development future. OS-Cubed, Inc is sponsoring the website. To read some interesting blog content, where economists speculate about Rochester's future, and to see what's going on in the Rochester area, check out our blog.