Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

Posts Tagged ‘financial crisis

Madoff as outlier

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A thought on Madoff: I’ve heard a lot of people make the claim that his malfeasance should have been discovered because of his unrealistic returns. But hasn’t Warren Buffett also enjoyed long strings of years when his portfolio made year after year of double digit returns? I’m aware Berkshire is public, so you just have to look up the components he owns to know it’s all legit, but my guess is Madoff’s fund’s “performance” didn’t look all that implausible, given the multi-year success we occasionally see from Wall Street’s brighter lights (Peter Lynch comes to mind as well). Obviously what the SEC should have done was to require Madoff to show in detail exactly how such returns were earned. Apparently they didn’t.

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Written by Jasper

December 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Miscellania

Tagged with , ,

Like a chicken with its head cut off

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I strongly suspect this situation directly flows from Bush-Paulson’s rudderless, schizophrenic approach to fnancial crisis strategy:

The bailout is now the hottest lobbying game in town.

Insurers, automakers and American subsidiaries of foreign banks all want the Treasury Department to cut them a piece of the largest government rescue in U.S. history.

The betting is that many with their hands out will be successful, especially with financial markets in a stomach-churning dive and predictions the economy is about to tumble into a deep recession.

These groups argue that the credit squeeze is so severe and the risks to the economy so dire that their industries need financial support as well.

The Treasury is considering requests from a variety of industries, but has not decided whether to expand the program, officials said Saturday.

Lobbying efforts are intensifying.

Sounds very unfocused, and rather depressing.

Written by Jasper

October 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm