09 February 2009

SP Futures Hourly Chart at Market Close

Tomorrow appears to be showtime for Turbo Tim, Zimbabwe Ben, and Leisure Suit Larry. The Yes We Can Man probably will get a few more chances if he throws one or all of them to the wolves if the plan fails which it probably will. We'll have to wait to see it.

If it is the "guarantee program" then it is only as good as the price floors of the guarantees. Too high and the banks are welfare queens. And to say that the 'market will set the price' with an implicit price guarantee from Treasury underpinning it sounds like the Son of Fannie and Freddie, and not even a remotely fair price for the taxpayers.

The most serious flaw in the solution, of course, is that bank lending is really not the problem. Easy money for lending was the solution Greenspan used the last five times we reached a point like this, a little worse on each revisit. We have probably reached the limit of the law of diminishing returns of hitting that old easy money for the banks booty call again.

Why? Because the consumers themselves have hit the wall. Years of suppressing the median wage and understating inflation as a matter of government industrial policy have left the consumer flat out busted.

Saving the banks so they can lend more is like fixing the holes and repairing the engines on the Titanic so it can ram the iceberg again. Can we please consider changing course?