Monday, May 12, 2008

JP Morgan CEO Dimon Translator: "I Have No Idea What is Going On"

Well I went with a propane gas grill. The ease of use was the decider. I have successfully made dinner for two nights now using the new grill and I am very happy to have it. Much too long I was relegated to electric cooking hell. Flames are the only way to go when cooking meat. A little short on time tonight, so just a quick post.

JP Morgan CEO Dimon Translator: "I Have No Idea What is Going On"
When JP Morgan won the Bear Stearns FED bailout prize, the media was awash with glowing reports of CEO Jamie Dimon's amazing smarts and business acumen. I wondered at the time how smart and savvy you need to be to say "Yes" to a Federal reserve forced acquisition. Today Mr. Dimon was out in force giving confusing, contradictory, but amazingly hard number reads on the US economy.

Mr. Dimon estimated that the credit crunch is, get this, 75% of the way done. Why not 70%? 78%? Who knows. I guess he is saying the crunch is three quarters of the way done. Ok, I would say that is not an entirely crazy estimate, but then Mr. Dimon went on to say that the US recession is "just starting"!? Now I am confused.

I may be crazy, but when a recession happens credit gets HARDER to come by, and debt defaults get BIGGER. So if the credit issues are 75% over, but the US is just starting a recessionary period then something is amiss. Perhaps Mr. Dimon means that with the lending tree bank that is the FED the wall street banks have no credit issues! I would agree to that one. Mr. Dimon was also unclear as to how severe a recession may occur. Maybe it will rival the early 80's downturn instead of the baby early 2000 bust. After review of the entire set of stories and comments, I would offer that Mr. Dimon is guessing as much as anyone else is right now. That should inspire confidence.

Take a glance at the news stories today regarding Mr. Dimon's comments. At first the stories all were cheery over the 75% over comment, but after further review of Mr. Dimon's comments and their contradictory nature, the news reports stopped using the 75% figure and toned down the happy language a bit. You have to wonder about the media's objectivity when they trumpet positive news, and then bury poor news. Are you surprised?

Have a good night.


KJ said...

I like the distinction another commenter made about assets, liabilities and equity accounts. A house, except in bubble times, is pretty much break-even; what you pay to maintain it, taxes etc goes out over the years and then most of it comes back when you sell. However, a lot of improvements won't pay for themselves in higher sale price, so it's a lifestyle expense too.

However, these aren't normal times and so a lot of people have made stupendous profits on their houses with cash-out re-fis and a lot of prudent buyers have lost their down-payments. It's like upside-down-world the last few years.

A lot of people will lose their houses because of helocs, not the original mortgage. They lose the house but they keep the stuff they bought with the bank's money. So, they walk away with a profit even if they get foreclosed. I know a family that paid cash for an Escalade with cash-out mortgage money. They packed it up and drove away from their house in Colorado Springs last week.

GawainsGhost said...

Hey, there's nothing wrong with a gas grill. After all, gas stoves are the best for cooking. I hope it works out well for you, GYC, and you get to enjoy some delicious steaks.

It's just that I've never grilled with gas. All of my life I've used charcoal and mesquite, so I don't know any other way. I hadn't heard about putting mesquite chips on aluminum foil--I use mesquite chunks with bark--but if it gives the meat that smoky, mesquite wood flavor, go for it!

As to Mr. Dimon's sudden realization of how bad things have gotten, all the while trying to deny it, well, he is one of the titans of finance. That is, soon to be bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha you got GAS!


PS: Ever wonder what the "G" stands for?

watchtower said...

Heres a "Jim Dandy" chart of "Non Borrowed Reserves of Depository Institutions" that is over at KD's Market Ticker. (there is a link to KD's site on the side of GYSC's Economic Disconnect)

It's one thing to hear numbers thrown about, but to see them in a chart like this is just mind boggling for me.

Acapulco cliff diving anyone?

Anonymous said...

Quote of the week: "The data is saying the market is steaming into some kind of Drake Passage of turbulence."

-from COTs Timer Blog

I think it unavoidable.