Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Season that Could have Been... Give Me an A
As of 8/27 the Cleveland Indians are on a nine game winning streak. No CC Sabathia, no Casey Blake, no Edgar Martinez, and no Travis Hafner. (Please note that Joe "Meatball" Borowski was not included in this mix... he is gone but not missed.) This becomes a second-guess point with Cleveland fans. Knowing that Sabathia started off the season with an 0-5 record... combined with an 8-0 mark since the trade to Milwaukee says a lot. Simply splitting CC's losses at the beginning of the season, coupled with his current win streak would propel Cleveland into first place in the division. That is not even counting the would haves and could haves in contributions from the likes of a healthy Hafner or Martinez. I will not second guess the good management of the Tribe. My guess is that they are cooking up a winning combination for next year. The trade for Sabathia and Blake should pan out when it is all said and done. Maybe... just maybe it will be the type of trades that keep paying dividends like the Colon trade several seasons ago. Let's face it CC was OUT'A HERE regardless...
Give me an A
And that A would stand for Alt-A. For readers who are unsure of this financing device, it was another creative vehicle invented during the housing bubble. These are the loans where a lender did not require income verification for a loan. Quite literally, in many cases lenders gave people loans who could not verify portions of their income. According to Sam Zell, Alt-A could have a significant impact on the financial markets as well. (1) This is not the ARMs that are going to reset, or the revolving credit card debt, Alt-A is another millstone around the banking industry's neck. There must be a ton of great real estate buys just waiting to happen. Where are the Carlton Sheets infomercials when you need them?
Fannie Mae found it prudent to replace some of its chief business and chief financial officers. These must be some of the "fall guys" for the debacle that has taken place. One may ask the following question... Why wasn't the entire bungling management replaced as a prerequisite of the Federal... I mean taxpayer backstop? While the management move does not mean a thing to current shareholders, there is sure to be some type of a bounce nonetheless. As previously mentioned, it is not a matter as if the backstop will be hit, it is just a matter of when. (2) This could well be Congress' gift to our future generations.
Timing is everything. The List came out yesterday... A list of 117 banks that are in jeopardy of failure was produced. (3)This is the one list that no one wants to be on. And the irony is that Wall Street knows that the list should be twice as long as it is. However, a general failure to resolve questionable accounting practices coupled with less than honest financial reporting has given this lot a free pass once again. It is beyond coincidence that the FDIC now contacted the Treasury because they may be short of insurance funds. That fact is simply beyond troubling. (4)
Posted by at 10:17 PM