Friday, October 03, 2008

Outrage is here + themes for October

Back in July, as the fallout from the 2007 credit crisis deepened, Jim Grant wondered about the lack of popular anger over Wall Street malfeasance in a Wall Street Journal piece entitled, "Why No Outrage?".

Today, as the "Main Street" economy worsens and the House gets set to revote on a revised and enlarged bailout bill, that outrage is here, and it's growing.

So while Goldman Sachs may be getting the best of the credit crisis (and Warren Buffett too), the average American is not really enjoying the current environment.

It's bad enough to be suffering through declining real wages, rising inflation, and an unacknowledged recession; throwing on endless financial industry bailouts to the pile (and thereby saddling Americans with even more debt and inflation) is really adding insult to injury.

Looking over the last month's posts, it's clear to see that we've spent a lot of time talking about these very issues. And that's natural, given the weight of these problems and the much-discussed changes in Wall Street's landscape. We'll continue to follow these issues here in the weeks and months to come.

But I think we're also going to try and spend more time this month examining the shape of the markets and tracking future investment and trading themes.

The last few months have shaken out a lot of market participants, and even some of the most respected traders and fund managers have been humbled by the markets this year.

It will be interesting to see how experienced traders and investors respond to these market conditions. Will sudden rule changes and the increased volatility brought on by frequent government intervention in the markets lead traders to abandon the markets in disgust? Or will savvy investors stay defensive and bide their time waiting for future opportunities?

It's shaping up to be some kind of October. Stay tuned to this channel as we continue to take the pulse of the financial markets and the American cultural scene.


Maria said...

I think it will be quite a while before I consider "long" positions. I'm guessing there is going to be a lot of "wait and see" -- AT BEST. Worst case, confidence will continue to decline and that will lead to more selling.

David said...

I think you're right, and it would be interesting to know how many other traders are saying "forget this", and just chilling on the sidelines.

Plus, factor in the knowledge that a wide of group of participants (especially hedge funds) basically had to abandon their strategies now that short-selling is actually outlawed over much of the market!

Although now there are reports that the short ban could be lifted next Thursday (we'll see)...

Stocks said...

There is a lot that needs to be done on the regulation front. However given that Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac were run by Clinton appointed democrats and funneled funds into Obama's campaign - doesn't give me much hope of real reform.

David said...

Those checking in with the comments here might also want to check out Bear Mountain Bull's latest post on government interventions in the markets and why the bailout won't work.