Whatever results from the deliberations of the US lawmakers this weekend, access to Bloomberg TV has given the viewer (with the time) a ringside seaton one of the centuries major economic tectonic events. Whatver the outcome this is 7+ on the Richter and well over 5 on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane scale.
Flawless sports styler coverage from sharp, savvy commentators, with slick real time graphics , have performed a far better job in explaining what is happeneing than the elected representatives of the people.
...Not that they have been silent.
A major problem is that, apart from the original 700 odd words of the draft Bill the public have no way of determining what is on offer. Ben bernanke and Hank the Bank have been remarkably reticient. For two guys who are supposed to combine both academic savvy of the higherst kind and commercial credentials and expertise that acommanded the highest "compensation" on Wall Street they were totally inartulcate when they came to explain.
1. What the current problem(s) were
2. The extent of these problems
3. The origins of these problems
4. How the very brief plan - handing over 700 VERY VERY BIG ones to Hank to spray around Wall Street - even onto foreign banks (who may, as we have pointed out, by way of trade, helped US citizens defraud the US taxpapyer)
The two relevant Chairmen Senator Chris Dodds head of the House Banking Committee ... and Barney Frank D- Mass, House Financial Services Committee , present the worst of all possible worlds. Whilst wishing to appear sage and reasonable, ratyional even- they haven't a clue. Indeed Dodd now (NOW) says the original plans was unworkable - he might have saved a little heartache and time by saying so from the get go.
He looks used to all nite , or at least late nite sessions, howevre the florid face usggests the only financial concern of those nights was which lobbying firm from wall Street to stiff with the evening's bar bill and entertainment.
Barney Frank looks well past understanding of many financial matters and seems to have mistaken his role as that of the husband faced with his wife'sdemands for the yearly dress allowance.
"US$700 Bn bucks honey that's a lot of money... I mean you ' ve got lotsa dresses in those closets"
"Dresses - you call those dresses?" .... "Even the Charity store stopped taking them months ago"... "Why if my mother knew...."
" But honey you know you got dresses you never wore even ..."
" Wore ... wore ... do you know the price of dry cleaning, the charity store can't afford it ... and they have to clean EVERYTHING now on public health grounds"... "There , there4 have whiskey to calm you down"
" Honey dear haven't you heard of ... AIDS?" ...."Honey these dresses I have ... they are ... no..no... they could be toxic !!!!"
"So honey you see I really need ...NEED those dresses... or else what am I to do?"
This is where Barney pours himself another stiff whiskey and takes out his cheque book. Which his wife just happens to have handy.
However the Ben and Hank End of the
Pier World Show is getting booeed and hissed as lawmakers have called in at the golf clubs, Rotary dinners, masonic halls across the land. Wall Street saved but Main street ignored... is how it plays in Peoria and down town Palookaville.
Fed by a savvy TV educated audience from Bloomberg across Fox, BBC, NBC ... and ansty well hocked land is already seeing gas stations that won't take their credit cards, they know how hard it is to reset that home loan. Inflation is steadily working away. Foreclosures are rising and there are no buyers.
All the while the Barney Franks and the Dodds want everyone to hold hands and jump off the bridge together ... but nobody wants to be held responsible when it doesn't work.
As it won't.
It wouldn't work as originally conceived... and after it's been picked over by this bunch of myopic goons nothing is more certain.
The grinding of the economic tectonic plates is well in motion, lubricated by the remains of CDO's, SIV's and a whole alphabet soup of illusory types of money (money = store of value) which has dazzled too many people and politicians for too long.
Economic power is shifting - even yesterday Bloomberg was reporting speculators moving into Singapore dollars - Singapore hosts its First ever Formula One Grand Prix.
Singapore Airlines (SIA), the first to fly the A380, has just taken delivery of their 6th aircraft. In the airline’s latest financial year (ending 31 March 2008) it carried just over 19 million passengers and its average load factor for the year surpassed 80% for the first time. More significantly, it reported record profits of 1.64 billion Singapore Dollars.