Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Much is Too Much

I am old enough to remember the phrase "above the fold" which means the stuff in an old fashion print newspaper that was on top of the front page. Honestly I'm not sure if the same stuff holds for today's online media but this afternoon's New York Times webpage "above the median screen line?" is featuring a story about how, apparently, Bill Clinton has run out of interns to sleep with. The headline reads (I shit you not) "The Mellowing of William Jefferson Clinton." (You can do your own spit take at that title)

In the meantime well "below the fold/median line" on its webpage is a short piece sort of dismissing the reason why the Dow dumped about 173 points today -- concerns that the U.S. government's credit rating could tumble because we're borrowing too much damn money. In that piece the author claims that the Treasury's auction of 5 year notes was "better than analysts had expected."

Ummmm, look, I'm not some sophisticated business reporter with lots of experience at the New York Times, so maybe I'm slow, but when I glance at the bond market reports from basic economic data sites like CNNMoney today, I guess those analysts must have been predicting Jon and Kate winning "Parents of the Year" for things to be "better than analysts had expected."

I mean, the sales of 2 year notes were ok, and 5 year notes were "sluggish." Wanna know why? Because anybody with a basic understanding of what's going on understands that we are going to get a shitstorm of inflation - lots of it. And no reasonable bond holder is going to take notes from the U.S. government and hold them for 5 years and get paid like less than 3% unless they have to. When you consider that not many people have that much money to lend the government, and you have one conclusion -- the Feds will have to offer much higher rates of return to attract buyers.

Oh, and don't for one minute think this little report about how Moody's called the U.S.'s credit rating "stable." These were the same people who called subprime mortgages, and probably Edmund Andrew's wife for that matter, AAA rated.

I don't make predictions often (and don't ask Mrs. Fundman to confirm that), but I'm betting that the FreeCreditReport will begin running a bunch of ads with President Obama in them. He'll be living in his parent's basement complaining about how his credit score allowed the Chinese to foreclose on the White House. Or maybe he'll have to take a side job at a Renaissance Fair..........

1 comment:

  1. You're right, of course. Just sat through a board meeting for an insurance company. The CFO is going to buy long term bonds to finance the sale of annuities. I told him I thought he was crazy-interest rates are headed up, bonds down, and I would rather invest in gold, farmland, baseball cards, or warhol prints than long term treasuries....