Free at Last!

I used to feel sorry for “voters” who lost their jobs, had their retirement portfolios melt away, lost their houses due to foreclosure, etc. It was quite a burden.

But now that “voters” have instructed the fat cats in Washington to make things even worse, I no longer feel sorry for them. My burden of empathy has now been lifted.

Each time I see an economic report showing millions of “voters” out of work, or kicked to the curb in foreclosures, I will drink a toast.

I have made quite a lot of money this year. I like to imagine that it has been directly transferred out of some fool “voter’s” retirement account and into my account. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

When I descend from my paid-for luxury condo with a spectacular view of Miami Beach and stroll along the streets soon to be populated with even more homeless “voters”, I will be whistling a happy tune as I go by. When they reach up to me from the gutter, and ask “buddy, can you spare a dime?” for another bottle of cheap wine, I will spit in their hands.

Yes, there will be a Depression, but not for me of course. I will be happy and cheerful all the way through.

Note: I hope that you were paying attention over the weekend when I was skeptical of media reports that the deal was done. That was a classic, premeditated, and coordinated propaganda blitz. On Friday, the market, like Warren Buffet, was confident that Congress would do something intelligent. I was in cash. After the bill went down today, I went short in the futures, set a stop and let it ride. Hopefully, I bankrupted yet another “voter.”

31 thoughts on “Free at Last!

  1. Good job, Matt. I got a piece of the short side, but I was long healthcare going in. I guess I could consider myslef lucky because XLV only got killed, instead of beaten, maimed, hanged, poked, lit on fire, and then kicked a bit more like housing, commodities, retail, tech, and financials.

    I do think the bail-out was important. It’s hard for me to explain why, but perhaps a VP candidate can put it into words:

    “Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.”

    – Sarah Pailin

  2. …and it looks like you found some of it!

    I should have closed more of my positions on Friday. Cash good, risk bad.

  3. cash more than good. I sold my last this and that stock, took my lumps, just cash now…

    i guess i’ve still got hockey season and my sardines !

  4. PaT,

    I am not arrogant at all. Our Founding Fathers did not approve of Democracy, and neither do I. If the masses want to legislate a disaster, the matter is out of my hands.

    Enjoy your Depression! I will not be participating, so don’t be jealous.


  5. and matt these newcomers that call you arrogant or complain the way you write and think I don;t know why they even bother. there are other blogs out there they can get mislead on. they don;t have to face the truth

  6. Well Matt, my wire transfer took. Now I only have 2 nat gas plays with dividends that are hedged with a QID and DXD position.

    And then insult to injury, they take off for a Jewish holiday, so now my tribe blamed for the delay 🙂

  7. and if you won;t mind which nat gas do you have? i need ti research utilities companies but a pick or 2 would help? thanks

  8. What’s wrong with going away for one Jewish holiday?

    They can’t be asked to forego one New Year in their lives just because the country is in meltdown mode can they?

    Especially since this meltdown will only happen once in their entire lives.

  9. Eli, doesn’t “your tribe” get blamed for just about everything anyway?

    And this time it’s banks. So there is NO WAY!

    They are not going to pin this one on you guys.

  10. PaT,

    “You sound like an arrogant, self-righteous asshole.” He sure does – but it’s all in the context.

    The bailout (in its present form) would have helped. People called Congress to complain about it. Pelosi gave the Republicans the excuse they were looking for to vote against it. The people got what they asked for, and are $1.4 trillion poorer because of it. Democracy in action.

  11. Paul F – ahem, not to restart too much but have you heard here speech ? If it was an excuse they were looking for it didn’t take much. It actually was more a last ditch attempt to provide her own troops with some air cover. And she literally didn’t she say anything that McCain didn’t say during his multiple press conferences, his debate and his acceptance speech. They were just looking for an excuse. And as somebody already pointed out the Dems delivered more votes on a Rep bill than they did.

    What a wonderful world we live in. Welcome to the sausage factory.

  12. Eli,

    Don’t worry about your tribe getting the blamed for the delay. It’s pretty obvious now that the TARP was dead on arrival. I will be very surprised if it ever sees the light of day.


  13. One more opinion from a newcomer; I look at the loss of 1.3 trillion dollars a little differently. I don’t think that the market was worth that extra 1.3 trillion dollars so I don’t see it as a loss. I see is as a dose of reality and further alignment with what the historical market fundamentals would tell you the market is worth. The hangover just keeps on going. Mr. Market is finally coming in to weigh the value with a triple beam.

  14. The Perfect Financial Storm?

    In no particular order.

    Baby Boomers ready to retire and retiring, world wide financial crisis, excess speculation with derivatives – that lost, general public does not understand the seriousness of the situation (see the movie “Zulu”), confidence and trust in the U.S. government at an all-time low, U.S. debt at an all-time high, social security going bankrupt, tax revenues dropping off at an alarming rate, traders and investors now fearing the worse and will trade accordingly, and action to help avert or delay a major catastrophy is gunned down: That last item may have been the proverbial last nail in the coffin.

    It doesn’t matter as much from here on out what Congress does to resolve the financial problems, if anything. They missed the window of opportunity. They have followed the wishes of their constituents and voted by popularity instead of voting the right course of action which is unpopular. Do these constituents have an opportunity to vote on taxes, wars, laws, supreme court appointments, bills, etc? No. They can express their opinions, but this stuff gets through without them.

    No doubt, these are tough decisions. This could be a right course of action, it could be a wrong course of action, but no course of action weakens the whole system with respect to confidence and support of a nation’s government. If ANYONE would have said “I’ve looked the situation over and we’ll be okay”, that would be one thing, but most agree there is a financial crisis. Some don’t agree, and some don’t know what’s going on. That’s why we have Bernake and Paulson.

    Send this to Ripley, and even HE wouldn’t believe it.

  15. George,

    Re: “…no course of action weakens the whole system with respect to confidence and support of a nation’s government.”

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I was just getting ready to post something along those lines.


  16. great comments, as usual, and I agree with your sentiments. They brought this on themselves. The whole things disgusts me, but empathy, not anymore.

  17. Does anyone actually get it?

    Our economy is doomed based on two simple principles:

    1.) our assets are over-valued (i.e. a house that was valued at 400Kis worth only 200K)

    2.) our debt service costs are greater than what our income can cover.

    The Paulson plan addressed neither of those indisputable facts. All the plan did was to recap the banks – essentially giving them the payoff on mortgages that reflected the inflated/untrue valuation of housing. This would, of course, free up the credit markets, but who could actually borrow? the consumer who now owes 400K on a house that will be valued at 200K in the near future? the company that sees its inventory levels rise and demand slacken due to the debt-strapped consumer? Nope.

    Also – just to show that this 700B would be similar to shredding money, losing it in a blackhole or, to quote Denninger – piss it into a tornado – Bernanke injected 630B into the markets BEFORE the vote even started. A lot of good that did…

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