Sunday, March 16, 2008

Desperate Measures for Desperate Times?

That is the question as trading opens on March 17, 2008. Its been quite a weekend as JP Morgan bought Bear Sterns for $2 a share after getting a $30 billion loan from the USA to ensure the company's liquidity. I happened to see President Bush on Friday as he was in New York City to sign off on the bailout. I was taking my daughter to Japanese school when his limo buzzed by on 79th St. He smiled and waved cheerfully. Scary.

So the Fed lowered the discount rate this weekend as well. The move was just 25 basis points to 3.25%, slightly above the Fed Funds rate at 3%; but was no doubt meant to provide SOME good news for the markets on Monday. Give Bernake some credit for the diversity of his solutions, but does it mean the Fed Funds system is lacking market dynamics? Are banks not willing to borrow from each other?

Eliot Spitzer for Community Service

Prosecute him and make him do community service. That is my recommendation for the recently resigned New York State Governor. Eliot Spitzer is one smart cat and he knows NY crime and Wall Street shenanigans. But lets face it: Mann Act violations, money laundering, and "structuring", a type of money laundering; the guy is facing some serious penalties.

He could do a lot to help clean up Wall Street in a supporting role for the District Attorney or the SEC, well maybe the latter in a Federal administration that would actually want to do some reform. He doesn't have to worry about money so he is free to donate his time to the community that had placed so much trust in him. Besides, he probably wants some revenge for being set up.