Monday, August 25, 2008

Just When I'd Almost Given Up...

My faith was renewed. Oh, not in this economy or government, I'll get to that in a bit, but in my draft strategy. Stuck with the dreaded sixth pick in a 10-man league (although, not all 10 are men), I was able to pick what I believe to be the most solid team by far. In fact, I have 8 of the top 42 Talented Mr. Roto players, 4 of the top 24. Of course, I was enabled by the 8th man, who thought drafting the retired Shaun Alexander in the first round was solid coaching. Here is the winning team barring injuries, cheating, and outright failures:

1. Addai
2. Moss (15th pick, unbelievable)
3. Fitzgerald
4. T.J.
5. Turner (a bit nervous here)
6. Gates (please don't go on the PUP)
7. James (threw up a little in my mouth)
8. Roethlisberger (yeah, I know, E. Manning and Rivers went ahead of him)
9. Bowe
10. Chester Taylor
11. C. Perry
12. Schaub (wanted Warner, went 2 picks ahead of Taylor)
13. R. Williams WR (10 tds last year)
14. Seattle D
15. Kaeding

2 or 3 good other squads, including a brother tandem that colluded to stock 1-team. But overall, feeling good.

Also feeling good about a 200-point Dow drop after Friday's debacle. But what's upsetting me is the market in general. Trot out Barney Frank today to say "it's market speculation that's driving Fannie and Freddie down. They have plenty of liquidity." We know that genius, it's the $220 billion of capital due next month that they don't have. Trot out Lawrence Yun to spin some of the worst housing numbers ever. Thankfully, Diana Olick, perhaps CNBC's only honest reporter, advised us that inventory now stands as 11.2 months, an all-time high and that banks are hiring realtors to dump auction homes, not included in the inventory stats.

And what about the Big 3? How can we expect them to stay in business without $50 billion in new capital? I don't know, maybe we shouldn't. Don't run a crappy low-margin business that's done better by 10 other companies who are blowing you out of the water. Add that to the $30 billion for Bear and we're up to almost $100 billion in bailout money, not even including all the free money available at the discount window being swallowed up at $18 billion a day.

I guess I'm asking, as we approach the election, how can we have any trust in our public officials who have placed such criminals, or allowed such criminals, to profit while our economy crashes to the ground? All the while, allowing for the "moral hazard" of taking huge leveraged bets that if they pay off, great, if not, bailout at taxpayer expense.

"Former Bank of England policy maker Willem Buiter sparked the biggest debate at the Federal Reserve's annual mountainside symposium, saying the central bank pays too much heed to the concerns of financial institutions." I think he summed it up best with, "You don't let your borrower determine the value of the collateral offered to you. That's just crazy.'' Crazy indeed, taking mortgage backed CDOs in exchange for government treasuries, all to buoy Wall St. while tuning out huge inflationary risks.

But soon, despite the recent bear-market financial rally, reality will make a guest appearance as Libor spreads have continued to widen beyond levels first breached with the Bear failure. ``These problems going into year-end are likely to be worse this time round because of the amount banks have to refinance in December,'' Thomson said, citing a figure of $88 billion. ``The suspicion is that banks are still hiding losses. The banking system relies on trust and at the minute there quite simply isn't any.''

So I'm at a loss. I don't expect either candidate to rectify this as McCain will place stodgy Republicans with strong Wall St. ties, and Obama has aligned himself with University of Chicago economists responsible for "efficient market theory." I feel for us....

1 comment:

Tiger Coach said...

Ax... Why does it take a Brit to shake them up at the Fed meeting? Either one of us, let alone the millions on Main Street could have told them that.

Alt-A will be the next shoe to drop... then we simply can't forget about credit card revolving debt. Doesn't revolving mean there is a continual balance that is being serviced??? :)

I'll be looking at the college football lines and making handicap predictions...not a big pro fan... still an opportunity for a business venture on this one Mr. Ax.