(Above: Just Like Us)
This morning, on the subject of the Congressional bailout of Wall Street, I read the following:
Q: Isn’t all this just a bailout for the high-rollers on Wall Street?
A: It’s fun to kick the fat cats, but remember, most Americans are investors. They have a vested interest in the values of their homes. They have bank accounts, nest eggs, stocks and bonds. Consider it this way, and Wall Street looks like us.
Amazingly, this was not an blog entry from a Palos Hills mother of four typing from her rumpus room after dropping off the kids at school. Nor was it formulated in a weekend copywriting marathon inside a Madison Avenue or Beltway PR firm toiling away on Goldman Sachs’ dime. Instead, this piece, titled “What This Deal Means To You” was the chirping of one David Roeder, putative journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times, published on page 23 of this morning’s edition.
I’m not sure how long Mr. Roeder has been on the job, but if he has been covering Wall Street for longer than six days, I’m calling for his resignation on grounds of gross incompetence.
On what basis can there be any suggestion that the Wall Street investment banking community saw the world from the perspective of the 401(k) account holder? Is Mr. Roeder aware the largest chunk of their bad debt is in credit derivatives – bets on the bad mortgages as opposed to the bad mortgages themseves? Does he know these securities, of very recent invention and staggeringly difficult valuation – CDOs and CDSs that vanishingly few on the Street knew how to value but traded happily anyway, pocketing commissions all the way – these are what we are discussing when we talk about this credit crisis?
And if he does know this, how can Mr. Roeder suggest the small investor and the cleaned-out casino socialists on the Street “look like us”? Did the bottom line on anybody’s mutual fund statement read “valuation pending” instead of a number of dollars? Of course not – because what small investor would keep their money in such a endless game of Keno?
Fun or not (and I maintain it isn’t very fun at all) the aforementioned fat cats need a very serious kicking: out of the casino and to the curb.
And they need to take Mr. Roeder with them.