Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sarah's Mind

While waiting for news of fresh financial disasters I thought Data Porters might get a chuckle out of this. It was sent to me in an e-mail.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Live Blogging: Retirement's Collapse

I had intended to live blog about today's market. In the end I couldn't do it, hypnotized by the stock ticker. So I settle here for the close, as the Dow tumbles down more than 500 points. That's a 5.11% decline in value for the Dow Industrials. Things are worse for the S+P 500 and the Nasdaq, where losses are 5.74% and 5.80% respectively.

A friend of mine commented the other day that when everyone is panicking it might just be rational to panic too. The downturn is being fueled by the anxiety of retirees who are quite rationally judging that they may not have the time to hold fast.

Traditional wisdom is always that the investor should stay invested, waiting for the turnaround. Many elderly retirees probably hear time's winged chariot hurrying too near for such dallying. They're outa here! . (Interesting Reuters story about that: click)

On a personal note, echoed by other members of our local Geezeropolis, we have postponed projects and purchases we had planned before our retirement nest egg had dropped 30% in value. This behavior is another way in which local merchants and tradesmen are going to pay the price for the economic policies of the Republicans.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Now the Bailout Fun Begins

There's a wonderful line in one of the Nancy Drew mysteries. A group of her girlfriends are hanging out, waiting for Nancy, when she shows up in her convertible. One of them shouts, "Hurrah, girls, now the fun begins! Here comes Nancy Drew!"

A spooky echo of that line has been running through my head: "Hurrah girls (and boys) now the fun begins! Here comes Henry Paulson!"

I have to say this whole financial disaster appeals mightily to my deep-seated capacity for schadenfreude. This is very even-handed of me since it looks like I'm going to have to bend over, along with all of you, and firmly grasp my financial ankles.

The disaster is far from over, and here's why. The foxes got in the hen house, but now it seems that the only creatures that can administer the bailout are the foxes themselves.

The companies, like Legg-Mason, who have the manpower and the expertise to supervise the bailout are really located on both sides of this deal. On the one hand they have an interest in arranging the sale of worthless mortgage securities for the highest possible price; on the other hand it is to our best interest to pay as little as possible. Which interest is going to be most compelling? You betcha!

A Light-Hearted Romp in Tucson

I went to Arizona Theater Company's "Enchanted April" last night. It was a light-hearted romp by New York actors set in examples of simply terrific stagecraft.

ATC audiences adore great sets. They prefer light-hearted romps. They enjoyed the show. Well, why not? It was Georges Feydeau produced by David Belasco.

It makes some of us yearn for the days of ATC's predecessor.