Monday, August 06, 2007

Who Knew?

Wow... who could've guessed that an economic boom based on the denial of economic reality and propped up by hallucinogenic induced visions of dancing dollar signs was ripe for a jolt.

Relatedly, this has been making the rounds around the internet since Friday, but I can't help but link to the meltdown of CNBC's market cheerleader, Jim Cramer.

UPDATE: James Kunstler is one of the better popular voices in the growing chorus of people concerned about the present economy and where it is headed -- to what he calls "the long emergency." So, it is only natural that he has a nice bit up today about Kramer's tirade.

Cramer's histrionics were only a few clicks above his normal antics on the "Mad Money" show, but even so, they made a remarkable impression of someone in real, not mock, despair. He mentioned more than once during the tirade that he'd been on the phone all week with other interested parties who were begging him to do something about the rising bloodbath on Wall Street. And by "do something," they clearly meant that Cramer should go on his TV show and make an appeal to Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke to drop the prime interest rate at the Fed's meeting this coming Tuesday -- the purpose of which would be to make cheaper loan money available to the Wall Street players whose investment houses suddenly found themselves underwater in the churning straits off Hedge Fund Island, weighed down by bagfuls of worthless securitized non-performing mortgages.

Personally, I don't quite get how a financial industry based on bad loans would be helped by borrowing more money to bail out a hopelessly unwinding Ponzi loan racket of the type the industry had engineered for itself -- but maybe I'm lacking the gene for financial creativity that the Bear Stearns bonus babies were all born with.

In any case, apropos of Cramer's telephone marathon, one can only imagine the number of cell phone minutes racked up this weekend out in the Hamptons by players trying desperately to finagle their way out of the brutal fact that their firms and funds suddenly lay exposed to the cruel ravages of reality. A lot of catered crab tidbits and mini-quiches must have gone uneaten out along the dunes as weeping men in blazers realized that "marked to market" had come to mean the same thing as "holding a bundle of shit."