Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quotes of the day

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.--Paul the Apostle

Problem for [stock market] bulls; which fear should they fear more: fund managers' fear of missing The Recession-Ending Mega-Rally or the insiders' fear that their companies' miseries are far from ended? The fear that is winning proclaims, "Happy Days Are Here Again!" The opposed fear growls, "That song came out in 1929".--Don Coxe

As Chrysler’s bailout was proceeding, President Obama appeared on TV to denounce “the speculators” who were insisting that their ownership of secured bonds gave them priority in the bankruptcy. This was not the calm, cool, compromise seeker who had reassured the business community that he would respect its claims to full participation in the economic rescue program. He shouted, (like the Marxist Labourites who kept the party out of power until Tony Blair cowed them), “I stand with the workers!” In the outcome, the UAW, whose benefit programs were unsecured creditors, was awarded a 55% ownership share in the company, and the secured bondholders were given only pennies on their holdings—and threats of the kind of personal retaliation suffered by AIG officers. Only later did we learn (on Page 16) that “the speculators” included public pension funds in Indiana. The state funds had, (despite the investment rules in ERISA), invested heavily in the secured debt of Chrysler, which was, directly and indirectly, a major economic power in Northern Indiana. In GM’s bankruptcy, a large percentage of the secured debt was held by yield-seeking individual investors, and leading law firms announced their willingness to protect their rights from White House assaults. Result: this bankruptcy is now, thankfully, proceeding according to the law, and GM executives need not fear being harassed in their homes by ACORN radicals paid, (at least in part), by Washington.--Don Coxe

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