Late for a Very Important Date!March 30, 2010 Posted by: Joe Morgan, CFA
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said;
"Keep your head!"
- Jefferson Airplane
I had the typical childhood growing up, including time with most of the classic fairy tales. However, I never read Alice in Wonderland, nor did I see any film versions until just this past weekend.
In many ways, I'm sure Tim Burton's version took some departure from the original, but I am assured by my wife the basic story is the same: Once Alice falls down the rabbit hole, everything becomes quite wacky.
Our trip down the economic rabbit hole began in the summer of 2007 when the first extendible commercial paper issues did something investors were told could never happen: They actually extended. But when fickle investors turn against a sector - especially one that depends on those same investors for liquidity - financial violence ensues.
And boy, did it.
But enough reminiscing about the good old days when we were still confident there were unmentionable "potential" actions the government could take, rather than viewing these same actions as historical precedents. Let's look forward to . well, to what?
Uncertainty has now reigned in the financial sector for too long. Washington's focus on healthcare - which to my knowledge did not cause any significant part of the current global financial crisis - has allowed partisans of both sides to skirt the true issues facing our economy for far too long.
I'm hopeful, with the recent healthcare legislation now signed and moving forward, that Washington will refocus on what ails us.
And there are signs that is the case!
First Barney Frank finally opened debate on what to do with Fannie and Freddie last Tuesday by holding hearings on the housing market. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who has promised a full proposed solution in 2011, argued the federal government should continue to have a role in the housing market. No doubt it will, but only clearing up the details of their projected...Read More