Mega Rant of the Day: Jacko, P-PIMP, Scumbags, Idiots, and Taxes
I'm in a rotten mood this morning, I've been working too hard lately (I can't complain, at least the work is there) and the links to my last CAPS post didn't work so I had to post a lot of it again, so here comes a rant.
Jacko: Use of Taxpayer Money for Jackson Service Draws Criticism I am absolutely sick and tired of all of the media coverage of Micahel Jackson. Enough already. Sheesh, I don't think that the discovery of a cure for cancer or cold fusion would get this much press.
Yes, Jacko made some great music back in the day, but his story is either one of the saddest tales of all time about a misunderstood person who loved children and never grew up because he became so famous at such a young age or (and I believe that this is more likely) he is a freaking sick nut job who molested little kids. If the latter is true, all of the glorification that he is receiving is disgusting. If the former is true then I am truly sorry.
Regardless of what happened in life, how on God's Green Earth did Jackson's memorial service cost a city in a state that's teetering on bankruptcy ONE POINT FOUR MILLION DOLLARS that is doesn't have. LA has a $320 million budget gap and 11.4% unemployment and its piiisssing money away on this. The poor people of Cali have to pay 9% sales tax and then that tax money gets used on crap like this. It's nuts. Jackson's estate should foot the bill for this. If not, they should have charged the people who went to it admission or hit up some of his myriad of rich friends for the money. Anything but using taxpayer dollars.
P-PIP: Well, good old P-PIMP, the government plan to get toxic assets off of banks books, starts today. I was thinking about it on the ride in this morning and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how it helps taxpayers. First of all, the credit markets have thawed significantly since Geithner and friends came up with the idea for this program.
Second of all, who really benefits from it? Yes, if...and this is a big IF...banks are willing to sell assets into the program at a price that people are willing to bid on are they really going to lend more money? I doubt it. We got into this whole mess by making loans to people who couldn't pay them back. Should banks loosen their credit standards now. No.
Furthermore, trash is trash. Either these toxic assets are worth something or they're not. Shifting them around from one party to another on the taxpayer's dime isn't going to change anything. The banks should hold onto performing assets because they are actually worth money and they will help them in the long run. The really junky stuff isn't worth anything to anyone, private investors or banks. Having the government (aka you and I) absorb the losses doesn't help anyone unless it encourages banks who have behaved badly in the past and are escaping punishment to loan money more aggressively which A) I doubt they'll do and B) they probably shouldn't anyhow.
Also, if P-PIMP is so awesome why aren't the two biggest pigs who suckle at Uncle Sam's teat, Goldman and PIMCO, not taking advantage of it?
Can anyone explain to me why P-PIMP is a good thing.
Scumbags: Breaking: FBI Arrest Opens Goldman-Sachs' Pandora's Box. Scumbagism is very profitable...until you get caught doing something illegal. What are the odds that there is anyone in the government that A) Goldman doesn't have influence over and B) actually has the stones to levy a real penalty on the company when it eventually gets caught doing something shady. Giving a $10 million fine to a company after it has reaped $100 million in profits from the act doesn't count.
Idiots: Hall of Shame: 12 of the Worst Financial Gurus. I have blasted Cramer, Trump, Kudlow, and Greenspan in my blog in the past. Complete idiots. The article doesn't say anything new, but I love it when others mock these guys.
Ratings agencies: Why U.S. Financial Markets Need a Public Credit Rating Agency. Speaking of Scumbags and Idiots the ratings agency oligopoly of Moody's, S&P, and Fitch is a nice combination of both.
Being a huge contributor to the current economic mess that we find ourselves in: Millions of dollars in profits
Not being held accountable for your actions: Priceless
The markets need another, competent ratings agency or two in the worst way.
Bill Miller: 8,893 “Bill Millers” I have seen a number of people recommend Legg Mason's stock over the past year or two and their recs completely blow my mind. Superstar fund manager Bill Miller made that company what it is today and he has completely lost his mojo. Everyone keeps taking about how Miller is back, blah, blah, blah. That's because the recent rally in the markets has been lead by the crappiest crap on Earth. Do the math, 50% down and 50% up from that lower level does not a profit make. Miller's cooked and that's bad news for LM.
Amazon.com: E-tailers Grapple With Sales Tax I've learned the hard way never to short AMZN in CAPS, but I have mentioned in the past that I think that states will eventually force consumers to pay sales tax on everything that they purchase on-line and that that will eventually be a major negative for the company.