Wednesday, February 03, 2010

MidWeek Catchup

In case you missed it, I wrote a four part recap of my recent trip to Vegas:  You can find them here:

Part I:  The Arrival
Part IV - Downtown

In other reading:  Barry Ritholtz has consistently been harsh on people who place the majority of blame for the housing bubble on Fannie and Freddie.  He has another good piece today explaining why he thinks that view is misguided.

MISH's: "In Defense of Drunken Sailors,"  contains a letter from a friend of his, taking offense (humorously) to the constant description of politicians spending like "drunken sailors."

"When pulling into a foreign port after many weeks or months at sea with the world’s finest navy, I always looked forward to sampling the native’s libations. Yes, I got hammered.

However, when I ran out of money I STOPPED DRINKING! I didn’t club the patron on the bar stool next to me over the head and rob him so I could continue drinking. I didn’t call me wife and ask her to cash in the kids college funds so I could continue drinking. I didn’t write my unborn grandkids an IOU so I could continue drinking. I just stopped and stumbled back to the liberty launch for a cheeseburger. I knew I’d have some cash next payday and I could hit the bars and clubs in the next liberty port.

So please, no more comparisons of deficit spending politicians to harmless drunken sailors. Drunken sailors have feelings too."

Finally, The Generic News Report:



mrwiizrd said...

Don't know if you read Robin Hanson's blog, but he's made a post today on ratings agencies that you might find interesting:

Kid Dynamite said...

thanks Mr Wiizrd. I hadn't seen that. The fact that the ratings agencies have thus far emerged unscathed is probably the single strangest result of the crisis thus far.

it's too complicated to get into here, but a key question is why do we blindly rely on ratings agencies for debt trading decisions when we realized long ago that we can't blindly rely on equity research for equity trading decisions?!?!?

It almost certainly has something to do with the reasonable expectation that an individual can't do the cash flow analysis on a fixed income obligation - and we NEED retail to be able to fund our economy via the purchase of debt!

But What do I Know? said...

That Charlie Brooker video is great!!!

mrwiizrd said...

"why do we blindly rely on ratings agencies for debt trading decisions when we realized long ago that we can't blindly rely on equity research for equity trading decisions?!?!?"

Great question and one I've never really thought about. I think it has more to do with needing retail to fund the economy with debt rather than individuals doing cash flow analysis, mainly because I don't envision individuals doing stock price analysis either.

Kid Dynamite said...

more importantly - how can none of my readers have notified me that Obama was speaking in Nashua NH yesterday!!! I could have gone to the town hall meeting!!! aiyahhhhhhh

getyourselfconnected said...

I figured you would have known the prez was up here!

The ratings agencies survive because they are an excuse; "That stuff was rated AAA, how could I know it was worthless?" and so on. That claim of innocence is what the folks pay for and why they are still in operation.

oc bear said...

Fannie and Freddie were just unsuspecting dupes. How could they have known that a gardener making minimum wage couldn't afford a 500K house?