Conventional Wisdom: The Financial Crisis Is Over!
Sometimes it pays to read between the headlines.
It's Freaky, it's Friday, and we've got Festivus tonight. Wow, that's a tricky trifecta if I've ever heard one! As I'll be up to my eyes with a slew of to-do's -- kissing hands, shaking babies, and that sorta thing -- I'm gonna take a slightly lighter approach to today's column.
Old School Minyans know we don't "do" acrimony in these parts. As my grandfather used to say, "Take the high road; it's less crowded and has a better view." Still, once in a while an item screams across our screens and it merits attention. Yesterday afternoon, one of those moments arrived.
Banking analyst Dick Bove openly offered that the financial crisis is "officially" over. While he correctly qualified his remarks by saying that "the only entity that needs this money any longer is the United States Government," the headline was too juicy to let slide by.
While we could debate the merits of his argument -- and counter that risk wasn't destroyed, it simply changed shape; that liabilities weren't erased, they were shrewdly shuffled to another realm on the taxpayer balance sheet -- we won't.
Instead, and in the interest of keeping it real on an important day, I'll simply share several other quotes littered throughout history that -- how shall we say -- were somewhat premature.
"Passengers Safely Moved and Steamer Titanic Taken in Tow." -- Christian Science Monitor, April 15, 1912
"It could be worse-it could be raining." -- Igor, Young Frankenstein
"While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States-that is, prosperity." -- President Herbert Hoover, May 1, 1930
"War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one." -- D-Day, Animal House
"Dewey Defeats Truman!" -- Chicago Daily Tribune, November 3, 1948
"At this juncture... the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained." -- Ben Bernanke, March 28, 2007
"Kerry's Choice: Dem picks Gephardt as VP candidate." -- NY Post, July 6, 2004
"Don't worry Todd, there's no way they'll overturn that call." -- Marcus Allen on the Tuck Rule as we sat in my apartment watching the Snow Bow.
"We will not have any more crashes in our time." -- John Maynard Keynes, 1927
"Come on into the water!" -- Chrissie Watkins, Jaws
"Mission Accomplished!" -- George Bush, May 1st, 2003
"The financial storm has definitely passed." -- Bernard Baruch in a cablegram to Winston Churchill, November 15, 1929.
"Congratulations Todd. You'll never write in this town again." -- Thestreet.com Editor-in-Chief in 2001
"There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about." -- Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, February 1930
You get the gist; actions speak louder than words even when words precede actions.
I'm not a pessimist by nature, quite the opposite. I've learned many valuable lessons through my years that have taught me that appreciation, gratitude, and humility are the common threads of consistency and dare I say, happiness.
As we ready for tonight's Festivus -- 500 Minyans deep and four bands at the ready! -- lemme please take a moment to thank you for your continued support of The Minyanville Adventure and of course, The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education.
Without you, there would be no "us" and that is surely something to be thankful for, particularly as our wisdom isn't always conventional.
May peace be with you.
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Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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