Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hustling the hustlers...

First into the archives for an amusing anecdote supplied by Maureen Dowd back in July 2008:

'In Berlin, the tabloid Bild sent an attractive blonde reporter to stalk Obama at the Ritz-Carlton gym as he exercised with his body man, Reggie Love.

Obama marveled: “I’m just realizing what I’ve got to become accustomed to. The fact that I was played like that at the gym. Do you remember ‘The Color of Money’ with Paul Newman? And Forest Whitaker is sort of sitting there, acting like he doesn’t know how to play pool. And then he hustles the hustler. She hustled us. We walk into the gym. She’s already on the treadmill. She looks like just an ordinary German girl. She smiles and sort of waves, shyly, but doesn’t go out of her way to say anything. As I’m walking out, she says: ‘Oh, can I have a picture? I’m a big fan."

Wall Street is anxiously awaiting for its' version of the Marshall Plan. It would seem that the collective financial universe has agreed that some type of bad bank with guarantees will be delivered to save the banksters from themselves. The issue of significance is what is the clearing cost for the cancer. If you don't overpay then you hurt the banksters, and they are vital, the nancy capitalists cry out, they are vital to any recovery! Much like the concept of compassionate conservatism ,we really really would like to help the poor but we just can't, folks are gagging for compassionate capitalism, we really really would like to value theses assets but we just can't.

As previously mentioned on this blog :'Neel Kashkari, the official who administers the Troubled Asset Relief Program, wrote to Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and 18 others on Jan. 16 seeking figures on business and consumer loans. Treasury also wanted details on purchases of mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News. The Treasury also asked the banks for commentary on their lending activity, to provide “qualitative” updates on trends. In addition, the government wants information on secured lending and underwriting of debt and equities. The first report covers data for October, November and December and is due by Jan. 31. Results will be made public.'

Like any industry, you can break down politics into retail and wholesale. Retail is the narrative, the marketing arm of you will. Wholesale is the sausage grinder. The Federales have had folks in each major bank since September. Undoubtedly they already have within their possession all the information that they are requesting. The retail narrative is that Federales are requesting info to support the plan they(on the wholesale side) have already contemplated.

There is a level of hopefulness in the prognostication that I'm about to put forth. My suspicion and expectation is that Obama is a pragmatic liberal intellectual.

The part of the bailout exercise that folks are drawing a blank on is how do you value the 'toxic assets'. I've stated that a private-public partnership that balances investors' interest with taxpayers' interest is the way to go.

How do you get there? The answer is simple ... time and price.

Set up a 'data swat team' to analyze the 'reports' coming back on January 31st.

Set up a bad bank, issue FDIC bonds out the back end to finance purchases and then ... just wait.

State that the government would be willing to entertain offers from folks that want to sell assets, each offer will be reviewed by the 'data swat team' to review whether the terms are satisfactory and then ... just wait.

And then pick the weakest sister that the Federales are pulling the strings on, say Citigroup, and purchase (Citigroup presents assets to the Federales at the price they choose) a batch of assets on a dollar-matched basis with pirate equity. You don't have to buy much ... set a price and let the markets take it from there.

Let Citi (or a bankster equivalent) be the pretty blonde at the gym Barry ... let the markets reprice based on the initial 'rigged' transaction.

Hustle the hustlers...

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