Sunday, May 09, 2010

To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee: "That's not a bailout. That's a bailout!"

That's brilliant.

Depending on how you added up the latest EU bailout is somewhere around €750 billion. The early rumors this morning out of Europe suggested a much smaller package and this news has definitely provided some stability to global equity markets.

However, as has been the case with bailouts 1-42, this one has to be approved by the national lawmakers. Considering Germany is on the hook for a huge chunk of cash under this plan and enough lawmakers are afraid of getting "Scott Browned" (yeah, I made it a verb, deal with it) I think this plan may suffer some setbacks at some point.

As a small aside - the IMF looks to be putting up $200 billion and the US funds about 17% of the IMF so that's another $34 billion that we don't have for education, energy, cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico, fixing Haiti, or funding another cash for clunker homes program.

The trend as of late has been to get giddy on the news and sell into as the day progresses. We'll see if the size of Europe's TARP really changes that pattern.

There's been a great deal of speculation as to what happened last week in the stock market and I'm sticking with my initial assertion that it's the machines running wild, but I've read 2 additional facts that really highlight the flaws in our system.

1) When things started to get out of hand, the NYSE basically tried to call a timeout on various stocks to slow the rate of descent. This removed all bids from the market, but the problem is that the NYSE only represents a fraction of the market anymore. The computers were still looking to make a market and they threw out insane bid numbers - like a penny for ACN - and a computer somewhere hit the bid because they are written to hit the best bid.

2) I've also heard that some of the biggest flash/high frequency traders shutdown operations in the midst of the crash. This further reduced liquidity and made the losses grow faster.

This is the nature of our market and we can't legislate this type of activity away unless we go to "annual pricing" of stocks. Wouldn't that be a great concept? Buy a stock today at $10 and if they earn $0.25 during the year, you'll get a dividend of $0.25 or when the stock opens up for it's only day of trading it will trade at $10.25. Of course, that would drive the last engine of growth "trading" -- out of our economy but it sure would make things less chaotic for the rest of us.

This article is about as far from the markets as you can get but it speaks to me. On Mother's Day, I'd ask all future Mother's to pay close attention....

Can we please stop misspelling our kids names on PURPOSE? We know you want to make DILLAN, or DYLYNN feel you unique, but really you're just giving me a headache and making sure that he'll end up on the People of Walmart homepage someday.

"I saw a birth announcement the other day and groaned. In recent years, I’d learned to accept the flood of trendy tots named Madison, but this was my first Madicyn. If you care about spelling, my advice is to pour yourself a stiff drink before untying that pink or blue ribbon and reading news of the blessed event.

In a similar vein, leafing through the newspaper these days is like crawling through a minefield of makeshift names. An article will catch my eye — say, something about a tornado that just missed ripping through a preschool beauty pageant — and I dread what’s coming next. They’re going to interview the pint-size witnesses, and I’m about to meet little Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh, Brit’nee, Brittani and Bryttney. If you absolutely have to name your child after a rugged French peninsula, then get out a dictionary and look it up. It’s Brittany.
I have a major gripe with the trend of misspelling baby names. On purpose. The parents’ logic runs something like this: “My child is special and unique. Thus, my child deserves a special, uniquely spelled name.”

All across America, parents are mangling names in a misguided mission to trumpet their kid’s individuality. Take the wildly popular name Chase, which is actually not a name at all, but something a dog does to its tail. It was annoying to begin with, but now it gets worse as it slowly mutates from Chase to Chace, and on to Chayce.

Misspelling a child’s name won’t make Junior special, creative or unique. Y’s and I’s are not interchangeable, and apostrophes are not some sort of newfangled confetti to be sprinkled liberally throughout groups of letters. Parents shouldn’t impose cryptic, incoherent or foolish spellings on their own children, nor on society as a whole. And they shouldn’t condemn their children to a lifetime of bleakly repeating that, no, the name in question is spelled “Shaiyahne,” not “Cheyenne.” (And while I’m at it, don’t name your child Cheyenne, either.)

The liberty to name one’s child is not always absolute, certainly not outside the United States. In France, for example, the district attorney has a short window of time after a child is born to block names contrary to the interest of the child, including those that are pejorative or rude or would cause ridicule. I’m not suggesting we commission a similar corps of name police in the United States. But I am saying that a little humility and some common sense would go a long way."



Anonymous said...

The name spellings are typically 2-3 syllables of the possible fathers names. It's like Hedging for child support :)

Bryan said...

Love the debt picture. It's so time to get short the Euro.

Keep up the good work.