Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bail out to sail out....How much is too much?

Help!! SOS!!! Bail me out! These words resound all over the place. A month ago, the biggies of Investment Banking - Bear Stearns was the first to buckle. Then, Lehman, Merill Lynch and JP Morgan, saw the red. Black rock became DSP Black Rock. AIG was 'rescued'. Lehman became 'Nomura'. It was a massive bloodbath - so to say, with other global biggies clamoring to devour the spoils. There were talks of people wanting to purchase the hardware assets of Lehman - the servers, routers, cables, et al. Understandable, since IB needs a robust infrastructure, and so decidedly these 'assets' would fetch a lot more. Clearly that was true, since all said and done, these were tangible assets, unlike the banks' prized high priced assets called Collateralized Debt Obligation instruments - which actually brought about the mayhem. The economy showed signs of collapse, recession - of global proportions. The pillars of economic boom crumbled like a pack of cards. And before one could blink, the symbols of growth and economic prosperity were gone! At the threshold of B school, people dream of a job at Lehman or JPMC. And now, those entities are gone without a trace. The feeling is akin to that felt by one who flew out of NY on Sept 10, 2001 and came back on Sept 12, 2001.

So the banks are down and out, people are seeing the value of their real estate assets plummeting earthwards, the stock markets that hold a greater part of the Western World's hard earned money are going through negative uncharted territory, people are losing jobs, uncertainty prevails. Human nature - when it is uncertain whether I would have a job tomorrow, I wouldn't wish to go buy Jimmy Choos! Oh, well, I may wish, but I wouldn't get myself to go buy em! So no one wants to invest in investment bank funds and portfolios. They demand capital protection. They do not want 'negative' ROI - at least. So, when no one buys, who buys? Uncle SAM!!! The result - bailout packages for AIG, nationalization of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, 700 Billion dollars worth of taxpayers' money forms the Herculean backbone against which the crumbling pillars of the American (I'd rather say Western - Barclays was rescued as well) economy. Citigroup is the newest entrant into the 'Bhikmangoo' group, screaming, "Rescue me, I messed up!!" At the end of it all, it seems like Lehman and JPMC were not favored! But how long can the government condone 'overdrives', mismanagement and a gross lack of prudence?

Incidentally I seem to have overshot my credit card limit while I was busy being fascinated (read enchanted) by Louis Vuitton, and Jimmy Choo. Can the government bail me out as well? Please?

1 comment:

Pappoos said...

Bail me out too. I was so hoping Citibank went down, I have credit limit I overshot. Now they will make me pay :(