Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Say What You Mean

Home a bit late and had to shovel the driveway once again. Just a few quick hits for the evening. Winter rules! NOT!

Caps on Executive Pay, Kinda Sorta
When I saw the headline that under new rules firms getting taxpayer money through the TARP would have to have limits set on executive pay I was pretty excited. I should not get excited when money, the Banks and Congress get together as there is no meat to these stupid restrictions at all. NONE. I am not going to waste your time and mine recounting the retarded structure of the pay caps, there are many places you can read the hilarity.

The caps are set under vague notions that make no sense and have no verifiable qualifications. As a shareholder in a company that gets TARP funds, you get to vote on a NON-BINDING resolution regarding top exec pay! Whoopee! What a deal!

As if to placate the scared masses on Wall Street, check this passage out from the Yahoo article chronicling the baloney rules:
The limit would apply to top-paid executives at the most distressed financial institutions that are negotiating bailout agreements with the federal government. It also would apply to other banks that receive aid, but they could get around the limits by publicizing to shareholders plans to exceed the salary cap.
The limits would not apply retroactively to any bank that received money from the first half of the $700 bailout allocated by Congress. For example, the restriction would not apply to such firms as American International Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup Inc., that already have received such help.
But Obama touted the broad symbolism of his action.
Sorry Mr. Obama, just because you think some crappy symbolic gesture gets the job done does not make it so. There are now too many sharp bloggers that will fully expose the crazy pay the bankers are still going to collect. Try again.

Just Say What You Mean
I get a bit frustrated reading all kinds of quotes where people say something that just makes no sense, or say something that is pure bullsh#t. I think there should be a moratorium on veiled words and falsehoods. Consider the following takes on various quotes over the past few months or so, that I will attribute to nobody specific as many people say the same thing.

"We need home prices to recover."
Just what does this mean? Do we need home prices to recover their "values" at the height of the housing bubble? If so, say so. Say something like "We need home prices to recover to the values when people where buying a condo in Miami that had not even been built and selling it 4 hours later for a 30% gain." Or say something like "We need housing to permanently eat up 60-70% of an average family's income again." Just be honest.

"For the economy to recover, we need the banks to start lending again"
OK. The banks are lending now. I got a great loan on my new Infiniti G35X just last July. With my 829 credit score, a trade in that was worth something, and a down payment of 20% they were falling all over themselves to give me a loan. If you have a credit score over 720 and 10% down you too can get a home loan right now at all time low rates. So what does this really mean? Why not say something like "the banks need to lend more money than they have to people that can never pay it back so we can have another debt illusion economic boom." Try that one out.

"The Government needs to stop asset price declines"
This line is favored by the worst of the Keynesian clowns, the banks, and the corrupt fools at PIMCO. Why not phrase it this way "The taxpayer has to buy all the assets that we all were so wrong about to prevent us from our own ruin." Or even "Inflated prices that rob you of economic freedom is really in your best interest, I have graphs that bear this out." That will work.

"We have to act immediately"
I love this one. just like the used car salesman or the plasma TV pusher they make you feel like you need to make the decision ASAP. This pressuring technique is common to any enterprise where any clear thought on the event will make you see that it is not a good idea. Why not just say "We did all the thinking, so just trust us." Or "We must do this immediately or you may figure out a more sensible solution that does not put the money where we need it to go." That is much closer to the heart of it.

There are many others. I encourage all readers to put in your selection with translations and I will post a compilation in the next blog or so. Be original and most of all sarcastic! It is just one more free service we offer.

Days like today when all the fake talk and real monster money sums are at play one wants to make one of those "Snuggie" robes I see on TV out of gold or silver and wrap yourself in it and relax.

Have a good night.


Lisa said...

Great post, absolutely great!

watchtower said...

"We have to act immediately"

Translation; ...while you are still bent over.

Anonymous said...

My favorite

But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.

BOJ offers to buy Y275 bln JGBs outright from Feb. 10

Alrighty then.


Anonymous said...

Anyone else miss Hanky Paulson?

Bye bye Hanky we will miss your bumbling stuttering!

and last but not lease...




Anonymous said...

Mcdonald's Corp (MCD.N), the world's largest fast-food chain, has cut some prices by as much as a third in China where once booming economic growth has slumped amid the global financial crisis.

In what the company calls "the best ever value meal combination" in China, McDonald's cut about 40 percent of prices, the company said. Fifty percent of its products were now selling at the same level as 10 years ago or lower

It's deleverageing, it's deflationary, it's delicious.


Anonymous said...


Would you like fries with that?
What about extra biggie size it?
Extra value meal?

So my leatherman setup came in the mail today and it's now nestled nicely in my belt line.


PS: Don't worry fearless leader your driveway will soon be clear of frozen H20 and it will be time to grill again! ;)-<

GawainsGhost said...

"I can see the bottom."

I love that one. Why don't you just say, "I can see the pit and it's bottomless."

Mexico is in the news again. Mish has an interesting post on currency interventions around the globe, from Russia to Japan, Indonesia to Kazakhstan, Poland to Hungary, and Mexico, where the peso is at a record low. This is not good.

I remember back in 1982 when the peso devalued from roughly 10-to-1 to about 50-to-1 against the dollar. It was an economic disaster. In South Texas there were over 44,000 foreclosures, most of them owned by Mexican nationals, in the first month alone. 1/3 of the real estate companies went bankrupt and disappeared in 90 days. (This was when my mother started selling repossessed homes; she not only survived the crisis but prospered.)

How long was it before the economy of this area finally recovered and started growing again? 25 years.

Oh, and on a side note, I went to a board meeting the other day, and the association was complaining that we lost 300 dues paying Realtors over the last year. Too bad, so sad. Fewer than 1/5 of Realtors work with repossessed homes--it's too much work and most don't have the capital to make utilities deposits, cleaning, maintenance and repairs costs. But that's great for us--lots of work, little competition. My mother and I listed and sold over 100 homes last year, everything from dumps to mansions, and we currently have more homes on the market now than at any time in the 35 year history of our company. Repos are the only homes that sell in a down market, so I'm looking forward to the next several years.

Anyone who thinks we are anywhere near the bottom of this current crap hole is deluded on sewage. I'm looking at a long, severe recession, possibly a global depression. And we're probably years away from the bottom of that.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

I love that one too. Why don't you just say, "I'm a corrupt politican, and I'm here for your money."

Oh, right, because that won't work.

Anonymous said...

Back to 1997

So how far will the price of your home on the range fall? Citing historical data and trends, Talbott concludes that real prices should return to their average 1997 levels, adjusted for inflation. Why 1997? A 120-year historical graph shows that real home prices in the U.S. stayed relatively flat for 100 years, then began rising in 1981 and surged from 1997 to 2006.

A return to 1997 prices “would get us out of the heady, crazy days from 1997 to 2006 in which banks were lending large amounts of money under poor supervision and aggressive terms.”

How did we get into this mess? Talbott blames everyone from average Americans who caught “the greed bug” to hedge funds and credit-default swaps. The single biggest error, he says, was for U.S. citizens to allow their national politicians to take large campaign contributions from big business and Wall Street -- a theme Kevin Phillips developed in “Bad Money.”

‘No Accident’

“This crisis was no accident,” he says. It began, in Talbot’s view, because the U.S. government was “co-opted” into deregulating the financial industry. Politicians were “paid to deregulate industry,” taking billions of dollars each year in campaign contributions.

His investment advice for this prolonged recession: Hang on to cash and invest in gold or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS. If he had to invest in stocks, he would put his money in China.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

David said...

Great post btw.

Just saw this on bloomberg

"""Gross Says U.S. Must Spend Trillions to Avoid Entering `Mini Depression' """

more of the same ...just more of the same!!