Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner's Big Day

Did you catch head of the FDIC Sheila Bair on CNBC this morning? I got a kick out of her quote "the banks are well-capitalized and solvent". This leads me to my word of the day...



1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

Propaganda dear reader, nothing more. I am using the word propaganda as opposed to something more harsh and derogatory due to the fact that I like Ms. Bair. she seems to be sober and thoughtful regarding the issues we face and has comported herself well through this fiasco but propaganda is propaganda no matter how you slice it or spin it. You can repeat the phrase 'well-capitalized and solvent over and over again as many times as you wish it will not make it so when it is not.

I keep hearing the Tim Geithner apologists grovelling daily though the real shock for me is Larry Kudlow's opposition to the Geithner nomination and the fact he should be dumped immediately. Readers know I rarely if ever agree with Mr. Kudlow on the economy and basically can make the blanket statement that if Larry Kudlow has a position on the economy I need not know what it is just know I will be the opposite.(You can also throw Dennis Kneale and Don Luskin into that category but once again I digress)

This is a rare case where I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Kudlow regarding Geithner, who is the poster child for what is wrong with U.S. financial markets. A yes man through and through, who no doubt has paid his dues in his meteoric rise through the ranks of public service at the Fed. Forget his tax issues for a moment, and let's look at his recent duties as President of the NY Fed. This Fed is responsible for the Wall St. banks and brokers domiciled there blew up. I hate to use this word but this is ground zero for the giant "boiler room" American finance had become. Mr. Geithner may be immensely qualified to write textbooks and papers on the ins and outs of ultra high finance but I can assure you having him as Treasury Secretary is synonymous with having Chris Cox from the SEC head up the FBI.

I want to touch on the mantra of emanating from D.C. that "he's the only man for the job". I have only one response to this line of bunk which is, if one of the greatest nations on this earth, home to some of the world's finest educational institutions, with over 350 million entrpreneurial and innovative inhabitants and all we have to offer for Treasury Secretary is Tim Geithner as a solution, well then heaven help us all !

In the end I have no doubt Mr. Geithner will be confirmed. I have unfettered faith in men like Schumer and Baucus, men wholly unemployable in any other fashion other than swining at the public trough, to grovel with the best of them and do what is right for them and not what is right for our country. This is our just desserts so to speak.

Take this as you will from a distanced onlooker who does not know Mr. Geithner, who is most probably a generous, likeable fellow, but knows a company man when he sees one.

I have oft referred readers over to Karl Denniger's excellent blog Market Ticker. Karl has been extremely vocal regarding our current circumstance and penned an excellent post yesterday entitled There is Only One Solution to the Banking Crisis. I strongly encourage you all to read it as it is spot on. I would only only hope that people like Geithner and Bair might do the same.

Good speculating to you all and never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 2 units Ultrashort MSCI EAFE ticker EFU @ $89.80 stop at $89.80
Long 1 unit Ultrashort Financials ticker SKF @ $102.60 stop @ $148.18
Long 1 unit Ultrashort S&P500 ticker SDS @ $66.15 stop @ $66.15
Long 2 units Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $55.23 stops @ $54.75/$55.670
Short 1 unit Darden ticker DRI @ $27.70 stop @ $28.70
Short 1 unit of Mantech ticker MANT @ $56.80 stop @ $60.14

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