And Saturday Motivational Video
As the financial crisis spread in October of last year we had many discussions on the desk about the unfolding events. The consensus, probably genuine among the bosses and manufactured among the court cocksuckers, seemed to be that it’s the people who supposed to be renters who bought houses they could not afford caused all of this. The lenders were merely vehicles that helped those irresponsible schmucks to buy into their American dream. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that people who were saying it really believed it. After all, they all know how those loans are originated and what happens to them afterwards. And yet, there they were, screaming at Barney Frank on CNBC screens. I, of course, played the role of the desk’s token Commie.
These guys, who supposedly should know value when they see it, stubbornly refuse to see the most obvious fact: when one is given free money he’d be a fool not to take it. It’s as simple as that. A good trader understands it. And those who provide him with this free money carry more blame than he who actually takes it. It’s like leaving food outside your tent in the camping ground and then be surprised in the morning that the bear ate it. And blame the bear for eating it, not themselves for leaving it outside. Usually, at this point in the argument my opponents start bringing up conservative values and personal responsibility. You know, everyone should only bite what he can chew and not take out $500,000 credit while earning $20,000 a year. Why not, I ask? Isn’t that what Wall Street is all about? Besides, they were begging him to take it. Or, wait! Personal responsibility is only applicable to the little guy. True, the little guy is most likely to be a high-school drop-out and unable to understand not only the fine print, but even the fact that he has to pay the loan back. But it’s not his problem. If he came to me asking for a loan, he’d be sent marching. But lenders embraced this guy, courted him, knowing full well that he’s never going to pay that loan back. Because, who cares? Those loans will be packaged and sold to an Icelandic bank.
I frankly find it disingenuous, these attempts to pin the blame on a homeowner whose only fault is being stupid. Which brings me to financial regulation. I remember watching at awe Greenspan testimony to Congress last year when he, the maestro of deregulation and free markets, reluctantly admitted that maybe markets don’t always self regulate.
I’m afraid the freaking Democrats are about to blow this one if they haven’t already. The new financial legislation that is supposed to install new tough regulations is anything but.
It is full of all kinds of exemptions and exceptions that would defeat the purpose of the bill. Not surprisingly the bill was written with the help of special interests (read: bankers).
There’s a great article in The Nation magazine on the topic.
One great quote: “As recent election returns suggest, if the president continues to soft-sell reform, he is at risk of being identified with the old order in Wall Street. The longer Congress tries to placate the bankers with meek reforms, the sooner Democrats will discover this is really dumb politics.”
I think the way Democrats should deal with Wall Street should look somewhat like this:
I love this monologue so much I’m gonna put it out in print:
“I think I want my money back. I think you got the wrong impression about me. I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. For instance tomorrow morning I’ll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank and… walk in and see and, uh… if you don’t have my money for me, I’ll… crack your fuckin’ head wide-open in front of everybody in the bank. And just about the time that I’m comin’ out of jail, hopefully, you’ll be coming out of your coma. And guess what? I’ll split your fuckin’ head open again. ‘Cause I’m fuckin’ stupid. I don’t give a fuck about jail. That’s my business. That’s what I do. And we know what you do – you fuck people out of money and get away with it.”
“You put my fucking money to sleep – go and get it or I put your fucking brain to sleep!”
And then later to Ace: “Where’s my head? Where’s your fucking balls?”
So, Democrats, where’s your fucking balls?