Listening to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner during his interview yesterday left me wondering what kind of emotions to have.
Perhaps in a similar vein, my dog Laszlo may be going through an identical dilemma, but he’s probably dealing with it in a more mature fashion, because in his case, there was no money involved.
While Sugar Momma was in New York City this weekend with our visiting California niece, I threw all cholesterol caution to the wind and purchased some Nathan’s Hot Dogs and their frozen french fry counterpart from the supermarket. Without a doubt, had I succumbed to a cholesterol chunk lodging in a coronary artery, that market would be held as an accomplice to my death.
Casey Anthony made not have been so clear cut, but no jury would let Harris Teeter get away with the role they played.
Amazingly, the fries tasted Coney Island authentic, although I don’t know if that could also be said had I baked them. Listen, I said “ALL” caution to the wind, although I did use canola oil in the spirit of compromise.
Unfortunately, that spirit can’t seem to migrate 20 miles or so down the road as we approach that August 2nd debt ceiling deadline.
I probably should have invited Eric Cenator over for dinner. I would have also broken out a new box of wine for the occasion.
But I wasn’t the only one reveling this weekend.
Laszlo, our long haired miniature dachshund got to enjoy cannibalism as he had his first ever wiener. That’s right. The wiener dog ate a wiener.
Usually a picky eater, he went wild, devouring what seemed to be his body weight in hot dogs on two successive nights.
He clearly enjoyed his repast, but his digestive system didn’t and it looks as if we may have to burn some carpets.
My guess is that if faced with the hot dog temptation again, Laszlo would choose to forget the distress and remember the joy. I don’t think he would spend too much time dealing with the emotional extremes or the consequences of his actions.
It’s like the time I had unprotected sex with the Angolan prostitute after we finished passing the needle.
So when Tim Geithner very clearly stated that the aims of the US banks were counter to the well being of our economic system at first I was ecstatic to hear that level of forthright thought. No one could accuse him of class warfare or pitting Main Street versus Wall Street on this one. After all, he was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. It’s not like he didn’t know what banks were all about.
I’m not one of those people who believes that bankers are evil. I’ve been very happy to own JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others. Alright, not so happy with Goldman at the moment.
I don’t even think credit card issuers are evil, also having been very happy to own Visa and MasterCard.
I have also owned Altria and Philip Morris, even though I think lung cancer is evil.
But you do have to believe that there were some excesses that got us to the abyss and you also have to believe that despite the infusion of liquidity through TARP, QE1 and QE2, the mainstream financial systems may not have done very much to help us climb out of that crater, although with just 6,000 more ThankYou points I can get a door placed on our guest bathroom.
I was also pleased to see that the market was opening down, perhaps in reaction to the Secretary’s opinions. Happy, because I did have to replenish about 35% my portfolio after assignments and it appeared that there were some good prices to be had.
In fact, I was able to repurchase shares of Sallie Mae, Williams Sonoma, ProShares Mid-Cap 400, Rio Tinto and Transocean at prices lower than I had to release them to assignment
I also thought that I got good prices on my purchases of British Petroleum, Mosaic, JP Morgan, Hasbro, ProShares Ultra Silver, ProShares SPDR S&P 500.
But then it seem that the market started to do what Laszlo did. It started to try and digest Geithner’s words.
That process wasn’t very pretty, as the Dow slumped another 80 points from where I had made the majority of my purchases.
I didn’t see what the floor of the NYSE looked like, but I doubt that it is carpeted.
Normally, I like to sell my call options soon after my share purchase, although I try to wait for a down pattern to shift gears before making those sales. That’s probably greed coming into the equation, but I prefer to think of it as optimism.
That wasn’t going to be the case yesterday. Although by the close the market had cut its loss by almost 50% from the days’ low I still didn’t find the opportunity to cash in, possibly due to the fact that I also fell to sleep during the extended period of boredom that gripped the market at about noon.
As I went to the New York Times to see their take on the day, they ascribed the market’s fall to the European debt crisis. Not a single mention of Geithner.
The lack of credit for his market moving words was consistent with the theme earlier in the day on CNBC when Geithner’s influence on Congressional members relating to the debt ceiling issue was being downplayed.
All while lauding his skills and deft.
That’s probably one way of dealing with mixed emotions. On the one hand he’s situationally impotent to effect change of opinion, but on the other hand, he’s the best of all impotent Treasury Secretaries.
I hope that he’s not overly distressed.
I do know one thing that will make him feel better.
A Nathan’s Hot Dog.
At least for a while, until the next crisis hits.