Archive for the ‘wsj’ tag
The Wall Street Journal gave “credit ratings” to the personalities in this week’s farcical populist flogging of Goldman Sachs. Our own junior senator received a junk bond rating:
Ba2 Sen. Claire McCaskill. The Democratâ€™s shrill questioning and insults (she called the Goldman traders â€œlemmingsâ€ and â€œgamblersâ€) took away from what could have been a politically savvy point: How could she explain the rationale for Goldmanâ€™s profitable short trades to her constituents back home in Missouri who lost their jobs amid the financial crisis.
“Shrill” is the right word to describe Claire McCaskill, but I disagree with the premise of the question posed. The people of Missourah are not, as perhaps both Claire and the Journal believe, fucking retards.
Long positions are not noble and short positions are not evil. If Americans weren’t perpetually talked down to by politicians and newspeople who don’t bother to understand capital markets themselves, then that might be more clear to everybody. The whole Wall Street vs. Main Street narrative is ready-made for the MSNBC chyron, butÂ it is a pat cop-out.
It is interesting that the Journal focused on Missourah, because our own UMB Bank and Commerce Bank were named #2 and #3, respectively,Â on the Forbes list ofÂ ”America’s Best Banks.” Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, even made a personal visit to Kansas City to recognize the banks.
Commerce and UMB attained the distinction by making sound business decisions, lending prudently– and, consequently, sitting out the subprime meltdown that ravaged much of the financial sector.
Perhaps the Senate has more to learn from Commerce, UMB and the great companies of Missourah than we do from them (or the Wall Street Journal).
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint against Goldman Sachs is playing in the media as the Rosetta Stone that finally exposes the Wall Street perfidy and double-dealing behind the financial crisis. Our reaction is different: Is that all there is?
After 18 months of investigation, the best the government can come up with is an allegation that Goldman misled some of the world’s most sophisticated investors about a single 2007 “synthetic” collateralized debt obligation (CDO)? Far from being the smoking gun of the financial crisis, this case looks more like a water pistol.
Such a “universal” [healthcare] system has been the core liberal aspiration since the age of Bismarck. But time and again this political ambition has been thwarted by American individualism, distrust of government power, the checks and balances of the political system, and, every so often, good judgment in Washington.
Presidents have a right to certain prerogatives, including the expectation of a certain deference. He’s the president, this is history. But we seem to have come a long way since Ronald Reagan was regularly barked at by Sam Donaldson, almost literally, and the president shrugged it off. The presidentâ€”every presidentâ€”works for us. We don’t work for him. We sometimes lose track of this, or rather get the balance wrong. Respect is due and must be palpable, but now and then you have to press, to either force them to be forthcoming or force them to reveal that they won’t be. Either way it’s revealing.
The shallowness, the lack of seriousness of modern presidential candidates is almost unbelievable. It is also a mystery: How could this be? If today a candidate told me he was not crazy, I will go with it, for it would be news.
A mere three days before President Obama’s supposedly bipartisan health-care summit, the White House yesterday released a new blueprint that Democrats say they will ram through Congress with or without Republican support. So after election defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts, and amid overwhelming public opposition, Democrats have decided to give the voters what they don’t want anyway.
The Journal tries out some satire (and it’s pretty good):
Some people get quoted in presidential speeches by writing heartfelt letters to the president about personal loss, or by doing something heroic, like landing a plane in the icy Hudson River.
I just sit in the Oval Office, and mouth off to President Barack Obama, one inanity after the next. And sure enough, my wordsâ€”word for word, mind you!â€”show up in his biggest speeches.
Who am I? Sotusâ€”Straw man of the United States. I’m Mr. Obama’s most trusted rhetorical friend.
H/T Mike B.
For some reason this company thought it was a good idea to show you, in graphic detail, every revolting stage of processing pork rinds. (Click on “Slideshow.”) Via the Wall Street Journal.