Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
David I am really, really, really going to be missing having access to your thinking but I congratulate you on the move and wish you the very best!
An always must read is Alan Abelson's weekly opening commentary in BARRONs - "In Dante's Footsteps." This weeks is particularly funny, though not particulalry uplifting. He mention's David's departure as well.... not surprising that Alan is a big fan as well.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
While I was spending the day riding a bus around London the market exploded on the news that the FED was doing even more to bring capital to troubled assets. I have not read the details but on the face of it it looks like they are helping a lot of folks to make some easy money. Given the outrage about bonuses I am a little worried that if the public truly understands what is going on, they might not like it very much. There are so many mixed messages coming from Washington and the FED that it truly has me worried. They realize they need the private sector but while they are reaching with one hand, they are slapping, punching, beating with the other. The firms that got 'bail-out capital' seem doomed and those that did not, are getting offered free money, lots of leverage and limited downside risk. Am I missing something? Regardless we have had a healthy bounce off the lows in the equity market but i continue to believe we are still in deep, deep do do. The problems in the housing market, in consumer spending, in manufacturing, in employment ... are not going away any time soon. Sorry. ( iIwas going to put a sad face too.. but the happy one looks, well, happy)
On another note...............
"Women better fund managers then men" - That was the name of an article in today's FT by Heather Dale. I wonder if someone gave her a heads up as to the soon to be released paper from the National Council for Research on Women! This is a project I have been working on with them and we are so close to the finish line I am beside myself. We are looking for sponsors so if you have any suggestions please send them my way. As soon as I get back from London I am hitting the pavement with this important piece of work. It is a comprehensive look at all the research we could find on the topic with a lot of added insight and of course, a solution set! Very exciting....
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Greetings from London! All week the FT has had feature stories on this topic and Friday's was another must read entitled "Do Not Let The Cure Destroy Capitalism." The authors suggest that much of the reponse to the problems have been midguided. They identify "three basic flaws in the current approach to the crisis. They are an overly broad diagnosis of the problem, a misconception that market failures are readily overcome by government solutions and a failure to focus on the long-run costs of current actions." They urge the powers that be - 'do not deviate far from a market-oriented global economic system that has served us well for 30 years." Although I do not agree that the system has in fact served everyone well, it has not, I do still fundamentally believe in capitalism as an economic system. Or should I say capitalim with appropriate controls and oversight.
AIG bonus craziness. I understand why people are upset. I understand why many feel that money should be paid back, but it is completely unacceptable what is going on. It is completely unacceptable that some dude in Washington should be allowed to keep his job after saying that the people who received bonuses should go committ suicide. I don't care if he did not mean it. He should be gone. Period. End of story. As for taxing people 90% on their bonuses. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and likely unconstitutional. Perhaps, perhaps for companies where the government is the majority shareholder, but they are NOT for almost all of these companies. Yes have oversight but these companies have to be able to run their businesses and the upset caused by this will be devastating and besides, it is just not right. All people who work in financial services are not responsible for the mess we are in. If we MUST finger point then let's point it right back to Washington. It is the responsibility of government to look after the rights and needs of the people and the failure of proper oversight of the sector was mindblowing. Now, NOW, they want to pass the blame and publically flog every wall streeter they can get their hands on. This language, this behavior, has to stop or their will be riots in the streets. It has gone way too far and risks going even further if the leadership of this country does not say... ENOUGH.
Pictured is the London Eye... very cool I must say.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The FED – what a move today. They formally told the world what Chairman Ben has been telling us forever, that he will do everything in his power to pull us out of the recession. He will use every tool in the chest and the chest is deep indeed. Bet on Ben has to be the new trading and investment mantra. The announcement caused a huge rally in treasuries and in gold, and a falling US dollar. Quantatative easing is the new 'must know' financial term. What are the downsides of this strategy? Click here...
CNN. I am very excited to have been asked back again on Friday for another segment on American Morning. (show time as of yet unknown) What is ridiculously cool is that I proposed a segment featuring a success story from a Woman’s Fund, and with the help of the team from the Women’s Funding Network they are producing the segment! Tune in and better yet, send them an email of support after the piece. This story is about what happens when you INVEST IN WOMEN!!! Given the opportunity I am going to be calling on the administration to join thousands of donors who understand the power of this type of investment. Women’s Funds around the country have vetted solutions to our economic crisis and are ready, willing and able to deliver. If you want to learn more about what investing in women is all about please join us at the WFN Annual Conference in Atlanta April 30th. Click here for more information. It is going to be an incredible gathering, please join.
London. Friday I am off again, this time to London with my son to spend some time with family and friends and tour the sites. I should be blogging from overseas but just in case…. All the best and keep your seat belts fastened.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
More on what has failed in this white paper - "Too Big has Failed" by Thomas Hoenig - President of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas.
If you have not yet subscribed to Naked Capitalism - do... great reads sent right to your inbox.
7 pm - I quick add to my earlier entry as this is just in from BASELINE SCENERIO - if you don't already subscribe to them, you must. Their take on all the talk on what to do about the banking problems and Nationalisation - click here and here.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Bill Dudley the new NY FED Chief gave his first public address this week and I say “Welcome” to Bill in his new role. I had the pleasure of working with Bill at Goldman and I think very highly of him. Unfortunately he wasn’t exactly a perky puppy this week either saying that the “deleveraging process is still far from complete.” I know the FED is all out doing as much as they can to stimulate the economy but as we all know, we are in uncharted territory. Personally I have a lot of questions as it relates to ‘quantitative easing' as it seems that is all we are reading about these days. I wasn't particularly encouraged when I went to wikipedia and it described it as "creating money out of thin air." The UK engaged in aggressive QE this week resulting in a 53 bp rally in gilts. Read this piece in the FT for details. So can the US government just 'print' as much money as they want to? We know the downside of this, a plunging US dollar and inflation, but they are clearly not worrying about that at the moment. Eeeekkkk.... my brain hurts.
PEACE. Readers of my blog know that I had a PEACE party a while back and last week my daughter Allie decided she wanted to have one to celebrate her 9th birthday. In honor of trying to make the world a better place she asked that people spend only 1/2 the amount they would normally spend on a gift and give the rest in cash so she could donate it to her favorite cause - animal protection. Thanks to her extremely generous friends she is going to deliver a check for $150 to the Norwalk Animal Shelter. Now that is "doing what you can, with what you have, where you are." The Zehner Family is trying to start something here - have your own PEACE party to raise awareness and raise money for your fav cause. Once you do, please share the results. If you would like to donate too - Click here for PAWS Norwalk.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
There are no responsible budget projections that suggest that this nation can pay the amounts of social security and Medicare entitlements created under current law. Yet, rather than address this directly, and reduce the entitlements as it is clear we must, the politicians rail against the wealthy and suggest that higher taxes on them will solve the problem, knowing full well that it won't. We demonize mortgage bankers who put homeowners into mortgages that would be a challenge to repay. How should we view politicians who lie and encourage us to rely on benefits that they know can't be paid."
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Have a great day. A few hours of work and I am going to play in the snow with my kids and my dog. It does not get any better then that..........