Musings: A Mini-Linkfest

In our daily reading we come across many articles we think our readers should see.  Sometimes these cover some of our major themes, but we cannot give the coverage they deserve.  Here are some recent ones:

Bob McTeer, one of our featured sites (but ignored by most bloggers) has a special insight about what is going on at the Fed.  In this  post he reminds us that Monday was the 49th anniversary of "The Day the Music Died."  More will be made of it next year, of course.  His article shows something of the human side within the Fed.  Investors would do better to think of the Fed as a group rather than a unitary actor.  The money line in the story is that Buddy had more hits than JS Bach.

Pradeep Bonde, who continues to publish strong work, reminds investors that America works.  He is anticipating our theme about understanding government and why bearish blogs do not "get it."

Chris Perunna makes an important point with a gambling analogy.  Regular readers will know that we think this is fine, since the gambling literature covers investment odds and money management in a scientific way.  His observation is that one needs to avoid focus on recent outcomes and pay attention to process, exactly what we recently wrote.

Talking Biz News helps us stay on top of media and stocks.  The site points out that Charlie Gasparino moves markets.  We agree.  It is probably right to short some S&P futures every time he is about to come on the air.  He seems to be on a mission to disparage any effort to solve problems on the bond insurance business.  Every report quotes anonymous sources about whatever is wrong with the most recent plan or discussions.  Gasparino’s early reports on this topic showed a complete ignorance of the role of state insurance commissioners in regulating these companies.  His original viewpoint was that a free market solution was the answer and that "politicians" were interfering.  (We would link to the CNBC segments, but they were not even posted).  Later reports show a more sophisticated understanding that insurance companies do not get to operate without supervision, but he still freely offers his personal opinion in each segment.

The bond insurance question is the biggest one worrying investors since it raises the issue of counter party risk.  Gasparino does not seem to understand why it is in the interest of nearly everyone to solve this problem.  At some point he and his sources will realize that the insurance commissioners, the
Fed, the Treasury, and anyone else in government with any authority are
going to fight the collapse of the bond insurance market.  Reports by  CNBC’s David Faber and Steve Liesman  have provided more balanced coverage.

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One comment

  • VennData February 5, 2008  

    Charlie Gasparino was side-by-side with a former SEC chairman discussing the bond insurers last week on CNBC. The former chairman, a rather dignified fellow, was discussing the problem and Charlie kept jumping all over him, interrupting him, etc. Charlie was blaming this guy for the problem even though he who was chairmen well over a decade ago.
    The ex-Chairmen asked Charlie if he could complete his thought, then after a few seconds, Charlie just interrupted the poor guy again.
    My point, the episode reveals an argumentative technique that is often used by someone without the facts.