Dream of the Dragon

Month: April, 2010

Slick.

by Justin

The federal government finally sprang into action to address the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Preliminary estimates fell well short of how rapidly the oil is spreading and recent projections suggest it will make landfall on Friday afternoon. All that elevated the crisis from one of probable ecological disaster to a certain threat against Louisiana’s natural resources – cue Homeland Security and the EPA to kick things up a notch.

First off, spill is inaccurate. In the sense that the oil was intended for a specific container and ended up missing that target completely, sure. But spill tends to mean from one container to another – implying that there’s a finite amount in the source spiller. What’s happening right now is more like an oil hemorrhage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goldman’s Not Wrong, But Blankfein Is

by lbej

I don’t feel bad for anyone on the other side of a Goldman trade.  I know LOTS of these folks and they knew exactly what they were doing, same as the Goldman traders did.  Nobody in the market thought Goldman traders were a bunch of saints working for the benefit of the downtrodden.  Goldman is a bookmaker and Wall Street is Vegas.  Now, if they fixed games, that’s illegal and they should be prosecuted.  Hopefully that’s what the current investigation will sort out.  But if the betting is legal (it was/is) and the games aren’t fixed…oh, well.  Gamblers know the house usually wins and they bet anyway.

As for the housing market, it was a bubble, not a fraud.  Those are two different things.   Read the rest of this entry »

Tower of Babel.

by Justin

It’s cool, you know, because at the end of the day they’re really not that smart. Sure, the CEO gets paid $70 million and helms a labyrinthine behemoth of a corporation famed for recruiting the brightest stars in the financial world, but how could you expect him to understand the market? I mean, what reason does the public have for assuming that one of the only entities to profit from the recession did so by the grace of more than just chance?

This is blowing my mind. You plead ignorance? Blankfein played dumb as Senators challenge the ethical decisions of Goldman Sachs and argues that the company practiced exploitation and deliberately misled its clients. I don’t have the expertise (or anything close to it) to attack this monstrosity head on. In fact, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, for all its righteousness seems to be equally baffled by the Goldman defense of its actions. Jon Tester, Democrat from Montana, summed it up by saying, “It’s like we’re speaking a different language here.” Read the rest of this entry »