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"Raise less corn and more hell."
Old 09-18-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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"Raise less corn and more hell."

Several months ago I posted a link to this wonderful commentary by James Grant, a titan of Wall Street by my estimate in the vein of deep value and the Austrian school of economics. The piece received little attention or comment at the time, but I think enough of Mr. Grant's words to offer them up again. He poses the question, "Where's the outrage?" from the American public towards Wall Street malfeasance and neglect from regulators. We're all going to be paying for these bailouts and destruction of capital for many years to come. Anyone else angry about this?

I realize that each financial bust is followed by outrage, lip service from politicians, and then a return to business as usual. Nevertheless, I say "Hang 'em high."

Why No Outrage? -
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Possibly because 99% of the population doesn't understand what the financial bust is caused by.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tomintucson View Post
Several months ago I posted a link to this wonderful commentary by James Grant, a titan of Wall Street by my estimate in the vein of deep value and the Austrian school of economics.
James Grant is a terrific writer and an character out of 18thy century New England, but he is not much of an investor. Kind of an entertaining sideshow.

Anyway, you ask where is the outrage? I'll tell you, it's right here on

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Old 09-18-2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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I think there is outrage now, and I think it will only increase. Main street is starting to get mad. Pension finds are starting to get active and withdrawing their stock for shorting. Someone reported that McCain is calling for Chris Cox (SEC chair) to be fired. I'd call that outrage.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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One of the points in this long article struck me:

... the refusal of Wall Street to honor its implied obligations to the holders of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of auction-rate securities, the auctions of which have stopped in their tracks
because I had just be reading this
Comerica, which did not admit or deny the allegations, has agreed to offer full buybacks to 1,500 account holders who bought the risky investments that have led to similar probes and settlements nationwide.
Comerica also has agreed to pay a $10,000 statutory fine, $100,000 to a state-run investment advocacy group and $750,000 to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the industry's self-policing body.
The Dallas-based company said the buyback will trim its third-quarter earnings by $75 million, or 50 cents per share, and that its dividend will be reduced by 50 percent beginning in the fourth quarter.
Mich. AG settles with Comerica in securities probe - AOL Money & Finance

Where's the outrage? As the author points out, some people got what they wanted - easy to get mortgages at low interest rates. Some others sold houses for big profits.

Those of us who can connect the dots have to wade through lots of complexity. We know that the history of "reform" is that we solve the last crisis, but not the next one.

We also can't figure out how to make our outrage felt. If Mr. Grant has some ideas, I'd like to see them. We certainly can't "throw the bums out", because both parties have some responsibility, and all candidates say they aren't going to let this happen again. What, exactly, should I do?
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