Fixed Income Panic

Cozy weekend reading.

Seeking Alpha: Corporate Bond Market Grinding to a Halt

“The market in my opinion is on the verge of ceasing to function… it is nearing the time when my next post will be an obituary for the fixed income market.”

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Bailout Boondoggle

The bailout will be yet another crime foisted on the American taxpayer.  All the reward from the “up” has been consumed – burned away like the vapor it was – and now the risk, the cost of the “down” will be borne by us.  Privatized reward; socialized risk.  Tonight, House minority leader John Boehner called it a “crap sandwich”  — that he plans to vote for anyway.   It’s a really bad idea for many reasons – not the least of which is: it’s not going to work.

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Senator Shelby Says: The Truth Hurts

Never been a huge fan of the man from Alabama.  But he had some great words of wisdom at today’s Bailout of the Century hearing:

“I understand the situation is dire.  But so is the condition of the taxpayer… yes, the market is overwhelmed by greed, a lack of oversight… and the bottom line, as I see it, is that you’re [sticking] the taxpayer with it.  I think that’s shameful myself.  I know there are better ways – would it be without pain?  Oh no… but the best – and Chairman Bernanke, I’ve heard you say this – the best disciplinary mechanism we have is the marketplace.  The marketplace will discipline all of us with pain.  But we learn.  I’m not sure people will learn if this goes through.”

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From Iraq to our Pocketbooks

I can’t help but notice some chilling similarities between the Bush Administration’s approach on the financial crisis and the Iraqi War Resolution.  I literally sat awake until almost 5:00 this morning fretting about this.
Let’s look at a few of them:

  • We were told that calamity was imminent, and a failure to act and do exactly what Bush asked of us would result in a disaster;
  • Congress was strongarmed into doing something big and something fast, without time for proper analysis;
  • We were conned into spending hundreds of billions of our hard-earned dollars (much for the benefit of corporate malfeasants) – only to take a giant step backward;
  • We handed legal immunity and absolute control to the very authorities who demanded the actions;
  • We were lied to every step of the way.

And eventually the majority came around to see it as a colossal blunder.  So, I think Congress would serve itself and the People well if it took a much more measured approach to this, or even refused the bailout.  I know, I’m asking for cajones of steel here, but I can dream.

If this goes through, it will be the swindle of the century.

I’ll close with a few words from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That is fascism; ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

How did we get here?  Is it too late to stop it?