March 11th, 2009

Banking system bells toll for thee,
Mr President
(This is not a test)

Posted in Money, President Obama by ed

For once I agree with Mr Friedman of the Times:

QUOTE: I wake up every morning hoping to read this story:

“President Obama announced today that he had invited the country’s 20 leading bankers, 20 leading industrialists, 20 top market economists and the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate to join him and his team at Camp David.

“We will not come down from the mountain until we have forged a common, transparent strategy for getting us out of this banking crisis,” the president said, as he boarded his helicopter.(emphasis added)

END QUOTE

The world — for good reason — expected Obama to deal with the banking system on Day One, as did FDR (literally).  Instead he has Ironically Detached himself and hired Doogie Howser to run the Treasury.

It seems the political side of Team Obama has persuaded the President he should focus on more positive aspects of economic policy and leave the dirty, no-win banking system business to expendable underlings.

“No win” means: the options are Nationalization (the Seidman way!) or Dawn of the Dead (Zombies, depression and chronic deflation).  Neither generates good press.

But the US stock markets tumbled about 22 percent in 30 calendar days following Geithner’s address of Feb 10.  This measures the volume of hope/expectation that had built up since election day, as if behind a dam.  Geithner’s geeky manner and ludicrous grab-bag of vague old ideas blew a hole in the dam.

The pell-mell size & steepness of this latest market crash is exceedingly rare and means the prez cannot afford to play it cool. Friedman’s daydream is right on.  Get on TV and talk tough love about the big banks then put on your parka and gas up the helicopters.

Perhaps events will sweep the sleepy Admin up in any case. After yesterday’s WSJ report re “contingency plans” for Citigroup, many are now expecting to soon see C in receivership.  Beware the Ides of March.

Or St Paddy’s Day.

Chances are (I guess) the stock markets would react positively to the seizure of Citi. Ding Dong the Zombie’s Dead …    Credit markets likely a different story short and mid term.  (There don’t seem to be any private buyers, even at the current $1 per share fire sale.)

But if Obama-Geithner continue to dither, Dow 6000 as Abgrund is baked into the cake, and the chart suggests 4000 may be the Urgrund.

This is not a test of presidential Coolness Under Fire.

Get out the frickin’ fire hose.

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One comment

  1. ed says:

    People supposedly debating whether Geitnher is on the case. The Pro side hardly has anything to say.

    http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/03/11/opinion/1194838521178/bloggingheads-is-geithner-failing.html

    March 12th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

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