Monday, May 4, 2009

Banks Get Swine Flu; William Cohan at New York Investing

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. In addition to the term helicopter economics, we have also coined the term, helicopternomics, to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government and to update the old-fashioned term wheelbarrow economics.

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The long awaited bank stress test is scheduled to be out this Thursday. There have already been more leaks in this government PR gambit than in a sinking ship. Meanwhile, the Swine Flu panic is winding down, with an article by TIME magazine this morning questioning whether all the hoopla was justified (see the Sunday and Saturday entries for this blog for a detailed analysis for why it wasn't). And finally, I will be interviewing best-selling author William Cohan at the New York Investing meetup tomorrow. Whether or not you saw him on the Daily Show with John Stuart or elsewhere on TV, this is your chance to see him in person.

In the news out today, Citigroup and Bank of America are stating that they are going to be raising $10 billion more in capital to shore up their reserves. Didn't both of these banks say they were profitable in the first quarter and planning on returning TARP funds? Something seems to be inconsistent with this story. Wells Fargo and PNC Financial also need more capital. The U.S. banking system is by no means stable yet and if the Fed withdraw all the funding it is providing from its half dozen or so programs, almost every major U.S. bank would collapse immediately.

While it is difficult for the average person to understand how poorly the government has handled the Credit Crisis, it is much easier to see how badly they have handled the current outbreak of swine flu (the 1976 outbreak was bungled as well and had tragic consequences for hundreds of people who participated in the government's vaccination program - there was only one supposed swine flu death). A number of the top government medical authorities made dire warnings of impending tragedy and sounded the alarm bells at top volume in the last two weeks. Not only is there no rising death toll as they warned us about, but there are no deaths at all outside of Mexico. Even the supposed deaths that have taken place in Mexico are questionable. Over a week ago, Mexico claimed 160 deaths from swine flu had taken place, the current claim is 20. Mexico's health care statistics seem to be about as reliable as most U.S. banks financial statements (see the previous blog entry for more about this).

If you are in the New York metro area, you should be coming to the May 5th meeting of the New York Investing meetup tomorrow (PS 41, 116 West 11th Street at 6th Avenue, starting at 6:45PM, for more details see: I will be interviewing William Cohan about his latest book, "House of Cards", which is about the demise of Bear Stearns (New York Investing was the first major group to predict that this would happen in August 2007). Cohan doesn't make a lot of personal appearances, so this is your opportunity to not only hear what he has to say about the Credit Crisis, but get him to sign of copy of his book for you.

NEXT: Market Getting Frothy; Meeting tonight for New York Investing

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

1 comment:

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