McDonalds has a lower risk of default, as expressed in the Credit-Default Swap market, than the United States Federal Government.
Think long and hard.
This is what the threat to blow $700 billion has done to America. We now have a higher risk of default on our national debtthan a company that sells hamburgers has on their private debt.
Rick Santelli nailed it this morning. This is a man who is a trader on the floor of the exchange that provides primary liquidity to some of our most important capital markets in Chicago.
He said, and I quote, that "confidence has been shattered because the rules of the game keep changing."
That is exactly correct.
Banks and other institutions have been hiding the truth, they have claimed "protection" against events that is in fact not present (the other guy doesn't have any money to pay) and leverage in the system remains excessive. Then, when the correct bets made (being short those institutions) are paying off, Chris Cox comes in and literally destroys them on purpose.
As a result The Fed is literally holding up every bank in the nation but this is not because of a "loss of confidence"; it is because everyone involvedis lying, including The Fed and Treasury.
Art Cashin, who has been on the floor of the stock exchange for a very long time, said that The Fed would cut today except that it would take pressure off our officials.
In other words Ben Bernanke is blackmailing Congress by spreading gasoline all over the floor of the US Financial System and then holding a lit match and chortling that if Congress doesn't do as he demands he will drop it.
I agree. The Effective Fed Funds rate has been trading 50 basis points or more below the 2% target for five straight days now, and for the last two days, it has traded 75 basis points under. The IRX is demanding an immediate rate cut. The Slosh has been intentionally drained by over $125 billion in the last week and lowering the water in the swamp exposed one dead body - Washington Mutual - which was immediately raided on a no-notice basis by JP Morgan. Not even WaMu's CEO knew aboutthe raiduntil it was done.
Congressional response to this sort of blackmail should be a bill to repeal The Federal Reserve Act and/or to remove Ben Bernanke from office.
The Fed claims to be an "independent central bank." They are nothing of the kind; they are now acting as an arsonist.The Fed and Treasuryhave claimed this is a "liquidity crisis"; it is not. It is an insolvency crisis that The Fed, Treasury andthe other regulatory organs of our government have intentionally allowed to occur.
There is massive stress in the credit markets because of this intentional mismanagement.
We can and must fix it but spending taxpayer money will not do so.
The Democrats claim they have the votes to pass the original bill. Then pass it Democrats. Bush will sign it.
The Democrats will NOT pass it without The Republicans because they are afraid that the plan won't work (and in this they are correct) and refuse to put their heads on the chopping block if they spend $700 billion or more and the economy collapses anyway. They demand that Republicans march into the furnace with them.
Republicans are wise to say NO.
The solution is simple, it is elegant, and it will work.
Once 1-3 are put in place then send in the OTS and OCC examiners and look at every financial institution in the United States. All who are insolvent and unable to raise private capital immediately are forced through receivership where the debt is converted to equity and existing equity is wiped out. With the CDS monster caged the systemic risk is removed, the bondholders provide the cushion for recapitalization (as it should be) and the restructured firm emerges with no debtwhile the former bondholders are now the owners (of the equity) in the resulting firm.
With a clean balance sheet the restructured firms remain in business and open the next morning able to raise and attract capital.
For the few firms that have an insufficient debtholder capital cushion to successfully complete this process, they are liquidated instead. There will be few of these and in fact each of those firms is a regulatory failure, as we should have never permitted a firm to become so far "underwater" that the bondholder's capital is insufficient to capitalize a restructuring.
Finally, drop the silly shorting restrictions. Liquidity in the market right now stinks and this is a big part of why. Start prosecuting aggressively the rumors and other manipulation that leads to stocks both rising and falling.
This plan will work, it will instantaneously stabilize the credit markets as balance sheets will be transparent, the CDS monster will be permanently de-fanged, leverage will be returned to reasonable levels and the forcibly restructured firms will have no debt on their balance sheets and be able to immediately access the capital markets.
Best of all, it will require exactly zero taxpayer dollars.
Get on the phone and fax machines now - this is a solution that addresses ALL of the outstanding issues and most importantly WILL WORK.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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