You should pay my mortgage

I was reading a story on CNN tonight. It was one of those stories that made me bang my head up against the wall because it feels so good when I stop. I’m going to quote a bit of the story so you can see what pissed me off. Take Joe Martinez of Bristow, Va., […]

Financial Follies

In going through the financial news stories on various sites tonight, this one from the NY Times struck me as particularly insightful.  Lets see what they have to say about the state of the financial institutions…. The story starts with this: Somehow, $4.4 billion just evaporated at Merrill Lynch. Less than two weeks ago, Merrill […]

Just what is leverage anyway?

I was responding to some comments to a post I made to www.seekingalpha.com a few minutes ago, when I said something that I think needs to be explained further.  I mentioned “leverage” and since that’s been in the news (especially regarding financial stocks) quite a lot over the past few months, I decided to expound […]

The running of the bulls

From the 400 point rally today in the stock market, you’d think that the bulls are running rampant in Pamplona.  And you may be right, however…. Stocks are still down over 10% for the year.  The highly leveraged banks and Wall Street firms are still highly leveraged.  Massive amounts of mortgage backed securities – and their […]

What liquidity crunch?

Just two days ago on Wednesday, March 12th, Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz said (I’m quoting from a Reuters story) “We don’t see any pressure on our liquidity, let alone a liquidity crisis.” He also said “We have $17 billion or so excess cash on the balance sheet.” Today he said “Our liquidity position in the […]

Who is this guy Margin – and why does he keep calling?

Nice article in the NY Times today about some of the problems in the financial world.  I hate to say I told you so (not really, but it’s sounds slightly less smug) but I’ve said all of this before.  Despite Mr. Krugman’s pessimism, he is still underestimating the size of the problem.  For example he says […]

Derivative Disaster

Interesting daily update from The Daily Reckoning.com.au today.  The Mogambo Guru said (in part!): I know what will happen in a crisis, because I know what the crisis is, which is that derivative holders will not be getting the money they were supposed to be getting, because the guys who owe them the money are […]

Grasping at Straws – Take II

Just yesterday I mentioned the CNBC report about Ambac that caused a major market revesal a couple of weeks ago, and now it happens again today.  How many times are these people going to cry wolf?  And (perhaps a better question) when do people stop believing what CNBC says? Perhaps the strangest part of today’s […]

Jingle Mail

I’ve seen this a couple of times over the past few days, but here’s CNN’s version of a story about “homeowners” simply walking away from their homes.  I say “homeowners” because most of these people put little or no money down, they took out teaser rate ARM’s, interest only – or even negative amortization loans […]

Market Direction and Bond Insurers

I have a “My Yahoo!” page setup with a couple of portfolio’s, one to view the funds I have available in my 401k.  The other has a few stocks that I own in various accounts, such as the kids college funds, a Roth IRA, and a small “play” account.  The second portfolio also has a few stocks […]