The ankle was less swollen and less painful, so I was able to go to work today. Late in the afternoon it seemed a very bad idea to have gone to work! Oh well, pain reminds you how good you have it when things do not hurt. I am warning in advance of today's post; I was close to attacking the computer screen with the absurd lines that were spewing forth from financial players all over the spectrum. The post may be more like a rant, you are warned.
Bob Toll Makes Me Sick
I cannot stand Bob Toll, CEO of homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL). This spectacular buffoon was the man that stated the good old "dancing on a bottom" of the housing market LAST YEAR. With brains like his doing the homebuilding I can only recommend checking your Toll home roof for leaks, regularly. After reporting results that were shameful (but beat the street, whoopee!) Mr. Toll sadly was part of a conference call where he had the nerve, the balls, and the lack of any shame to put out the following bailout plan idea:
"We believe Congress should jump-start demand for new homes with an initiative that will bring buyers off the sidelines and into the market, and thereby stop the downward spiral of home prices. As we have said before, we favor a tax incentive for all those who buy homes within nine months of the Bill's passage; this would create a sense of urgency. Interest rates are low, supply is abundant and a buyer's market prevails. With a little motivation, the new home market could turn around, which would have a very positive impact on banks, bond prices and many other areas of the economy. Once home prices stabilize, Congress could then more successfully address mortgage issues; however, without stabilization of home prices, trying to address mortgage issues may be difficult at best."
Sickening. Shameless. Disgusting. Mr. Toll now favors a regulated home buying industry. He would no doubt love some kind of artificial stoking of home demand. At what level would the "fix" be set at? 2005 bubble heights levels? 2003? 2000? Who knows.
I wonder if Mr. Toll would have been receptive to government regulation of home prices and home demand if they were limiting both during the boom, but we know the answer to that. Here is another good idea Bob, and one you can control all by yourself; You and your brother can take your enormous stock sale profits from the 2003-2006 time frame and subsidise home sales all you want! You will not even need approval of congress or anything. Come on Toll, save the economy already! Oh, that money belongs to you? How does it feel to have some fool deciding how to spend YOUR MONEY MR. TOLL? If you do not like it, then please stop telling the government how to spend my tax dollars.
Bernanke Gets Too Cute By Half
Whenever I get to see Ben Bernanke talk, his smugness really irks me. You can tell he thinks he is very smart, but really how smart can you be if you work for the government? Bernanke gave a little speech today and while the entire thing is worth a look, one snippet in particular set me off to an angry place. Take a read of this one:
"A rough stabilization of commodity prices, even at high levels, would result in a relatively rapid moderation of inflation, consistent with the projections of Federal Reserve governors and Reserve Bank presidents for 2009 and 2010"
Mr. Bernanke is an academic, and as such we cannot expect the man to have any real world experience or any ability to be able to apply knowledge in any practical way. Read the line again, and then reread it.
So this is how Bernanke sees things:
Say Oil spikes to $200 a barrel and gas goes to $7 a gallon and stays there, in Bernanke's world inflation has moderated simply because the price has stopped going up! With those set high prices, would you feel that inflation has moderated?
Bernanke is basically absolving the FED from any need to answer for a complete failure of their job, namely to keep inflation low. Bernanke is saying high prices are here to stay, but that they should stop going up super fast, so the FED has succeeded, and the mythical "moderation over the coming quarters" for high inflation is now pushed out to late 2009-and 2010. What a complete f%cking charlatan this guy is. I am convinced Bernanke is every bit as lost in the job as Greenspan was, and time will show this to be true. Just a total shocker of a line that I cannot let go of. Vote in the new poll for leader of the dumb statements so far this year.
Another Economic LOL Shows People May Have Half a Brain
Like last night I am including a LOL Cat that has economic overtones. The point again, in addition to being funny, is how widespread the idea that things are bad has become. If you think things are going to continue to slowdown as a function of psychology getting bad, these small signals are important. Enjoy.
more cat pictures
Also check out this post of mine from October 9th, 2007 which has some choice FED inflation quotes which make them even worse now:
Have a good night.