“Lets stop playing the blame game.”

>

I cringe every time I hear someone say that.

Why?

Because its not a game — this is serious business.

As a nation, we need to understand how this economic mess occurred; why certain companies were allowed to operate with reckless abandon; why the taxp-ayers had to pay to clean it up. We need to hold those people who broke the law or violated their fiduciary obligations or the public trust accountable. We must stop wasting taxpayer monies. We have to prevent this from happening all over again;

Or, we can stop playing the “blame game,” let the guilty parties walk away wioth their tax-payer funded lucre, and allow the sheeple to go back to watching American Idol.

None of this sounds like a game to me . . .

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Politics, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

89 Responses to “Stop the “Blame Game” ?”

  1. boatdrinker says:

    Agreed, but I think we have a problem with all the politically motivated drivel (print/tv) and the unwillingness to take responsibility on a personal level.

  2. Chief Tomahawk says:

    I’d love to CNBC bring back on David Learah. Sure it was fun to be the NAR’s chief economist during the boom; how ’bout now?

  3. Mr. C. Cheese says:

    Old rich white guys going to jail….. that’s fricking funny !!!!

    You make more money robbing with a briefcase than with a gun!!!

  4. BR,

    you should run a thread for the best retort(s) to that Piece=LSPTBG.

    LSPTBG is, really, a masterful piece of Agitprop, I wonder if there’s an, equally, snappy de-fuser/quencher for it..

    Also, a list of Presstitutes using that phrase would be, to me, anyway, be worthwhile..

  5. Ned Bushong says:

    >>why the taxp-ayers had to pay to clean it up.<<

    These kind of comments bother me, a lot. There was/is no need for taxpayer money. The system was correcting itself, it was a wall street probelem. End of story!

  6. dead hobo says:

    Hey, don’t blame me. I whine here regularly. It’s not a game. This is serious whining.

    Anyway, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to say “My Bad. I did It. If I didn’t fuck up you wouldn’t have lost your job and most of your life savings. I’m really sorry.” That would be a career killer. And it wouldn’t bring back the job or the savings. So most people will just ignore it, rationalize it away, and move on and say they’re not to blame because the system let them do it.

    What you have to do is kick ass when it comes to the offenders and incompetent regulators. No pity. No mercy. Anything they say will be a lie or an excuse for their incompetence.Most will do it again, either because they’re crooks and see you as a dumbass for letting them off the hook or because they work for someone like that.

    Institutionalized stupidity is also fair game to paint a target on. Whether it comes from government, financial news, or reckless behavior.

    Don’t over complicate the situation. Maybe some newly unemployed lawyers can go temp for the Justice Dept if someone can persuade Congress to appropriate funds for this purpose. This would be money well spent and maybe a few more criminals would end up in the slam.

  7. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Remember the old saying, from when you were a kid: “he who smelt it, dealt it?” “Lets stop playing the blame game,” is the same thing.

    We’re all smelling it now, and I’m pretty damn sure it ain’t coming from me.

    Not only should we be pointing fingers, we should be prosecuting those responsible to the fullest degree of the law. The harshest of punishments should be coming down.

  8. DMR says:

    @Ned Bushong,

    the system was NOT able to correct itself. 0% interest rates and sky rocketing TED spreads meant that the system essentially had no control left. That IS the point. It was the late realization by main street and taxpayers that wall street was not off in their own boat that we could kiss goodbye and let sink…We were in the same boat with them and had to make a quick decision to plug the holes they had created using only two known data points (US 1930s and Japan 1990s) as a guide.

    The dark side of the sinking ship analogy is that those who blew the hole in the ship have to sit with their mouths shut next to a lot of pissed off people who toiled all night to plug the hole. “Self correcting market” swagger will result in a few quick steps down the plank. The ship gets lighter. The sharks get fed. and a few weary sailors get some entertainment to go with their beer.

  9. willid3 says:

    a modest proposal to keep business from capturing their regulator, maybe if we held the agency that is responsible for regulating a business (like maybe the SEC?) for failures to perform (like maybe fiduciary duties) we might be able to avoid some of the problems we had/have.
    cause we can get caught up in stupid finger pointing after the cow has left the pasture as opposed to trying to catch the problem before we get there. simplistic analogy i know. but its better than the politicos making a lot of noise (and getting so much extra ‘support’ from the lobbyist) that we will know have. and in the end we will get nothing only because the lobbyists have so much cash to make it all go away. short of having another prosecutor like we did in the 30s, its likely they will get their way again.

  10. Mannwich says:

    Those who don’t want to play the blame game usually are the ones who are responsible, at least partially so. How convenient to want to move on and act like nothing happened.

    CYA 101 should be the first course taught in business schools and poli sci programs.

  11. GB says:

    They are telling themselves that it’s just a game. The reality is to ugly. No growing industries, heath coverage or education reform and the only things that are growing? debt, population, pollution and injustice. I’d rather be playing a game.

  12. Init4good says:

    I feel and THINK the same way as DMR. The industry BEGGED for bailouts – they saw NO OTHER way out, other than to all go COLLECTIVELY BK and the gov’t was convinced that it was THAT BAD – they were all convinced that to do otherwise would have been a CATASTOPHY of biblical proportions.

    Ironically it still IS that bad…..

  13. dead hobo says:

    Well, it’s nice to see a little market dip, but it’s not a real dip, I believe. Oil is down only a little and nat gas is up. It’s probably a sucker dip and a short trap. The pump will come tonight and scare the crap out of anyone who doubted the power of the pump first thing tomorrow.

  14. Tao Jonesing says:

    @Ned Bushong,

    One problem that I have with the “self correcting market” theory is all of the collateral damage that it causes. No matter what, society as a whole was going to have to pay for the recent excesses of the financial industry. If you leave everything to “self-correction,” the costs are expressed one way (see, e.g., the Great Depression). If the government does something, the costs are expressed another way (e.g., the demand-side interventionism of the New Deal and the supply-side interventionism that we’re seeing today). I much prefer what we’re seeing today over the Great Depression. People are still getting hurt, but the landing is going to be softer. All this means that we’re going to have to hunt down the perps instead of watching them throw themselves from the roofs of Manhattan skyscrapers.

  15. Ned Bushong says:

    DMR…. your just plain wrong/////////

  16. dead hobo says:

    Tao Jonesing Says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    One problem that I have with the “self correcting market” theory ….

    comment:
    —————-
    There is no such thing. Without rules of conduct that are enforced, the market will correct to -zero- or there about. Nobody puts good money into a crooked game if they know it’s crooked, unless they’re stupid. Eventually, the market will self correct to so that the only people in it are criminals, idiots, and newbies who don’t know any better yet.

  17. willid3 says:

    the other draw back to self correcting is that it will invariably over correct. and one of the forgotten things about the GD was there was a lot of concern that it would trigger a revolt as the common people (as usal) paid the price for the powerful mistakes.
    and an twist on an observation

    if the financial industry (or their mouth piece the financial press) mouth is moving, they are trying to sell you. you could change that any way you want besides selling (a word starting with l comes to mind)

  18. jeff in indy says:

    if we keep electing the same turds do we really think the pile of shit will be any different. the log always rolls down hill. pointing fingers at the regulators does little when the those that put them there hasn’t changed. DDSS.

  19. cvienne says:

    @Init4good

    hey init…you’re stealing my CAPS LOCK technique! :-)…

    No problem, I expect no royalty payments…

    Better watch out though, some here don’t like the technique…

  20. Hal says:

    too many empty suits out there throwing around buzz words and sound bites to make them sound “cool”.

    We need substance and we are short on that quality.

    We have an administration that throws ideas up on a wall to see what sticks (to use a phrase).

    The health care proposal–what proposal? They want a bill passed on a concept and we saw what happened with that on TARP or CRAP. Nobody reads anything and there is no sound business plan. The RX for mass failure (unless the metric is to pass bills regardless of the quality of them)

    The serious and experienced shy away from DC’s quagmire.

    Sotomayer–how many of us have interviewed in our careers and blew one little question and that took us off the top of the list? Just a job–not the Supreme Ct of the US (The Supremes) -Sotomayor talks about empathy and her skills as a female latino and apologizes–but if she is literally at the top of the game–should we not expect the best.

    But I guess the best is elisuve in DC–I guess we strive for slightly above average.

  21. willid3 says:

    but how will they its crooked? if every body is making the financial game as clear as mud. and we know they do that as part of their proprietary business model.

    i doubt we can have a free market unless we get rid of the people in it. add people to it, and some one in teh crowd will unfailingly game it to their favor, but work so hard to keep that from ever seeing the sun.

  22. David Merkel says:

    One thing that I liked about your book, Barry, is that you did assign blame. Blame is necessary to make sure mistakes are not repeated.

    http://alephblog.com/2009/06/09/book-review-bailout-nation/

    http://alephblog.com/2008/10/18/blame-game-iii/

  23. ben22 says:

    Barry,

    speaking of the blame game. Dig up some dirt on this or I can give you more.

    Here is a round about way for firms to stick it to clients even harder, and more importantly, to “keep them invested”

    My firm just banned all advisors from recommending inverse or leveraged inverse etf’s of all types. I can still buy and sell them, I just can’t rec them to clients. UnFu*king real!!!!!!!!!!

    For the first time in a long time, I’m completely speechless.

  24. Mannwich says:

    @ben22: What was the reason they gave you for banning these funds?

  25. ben22,

    now you’re getting a taste of what 401(k) di-vestors are/were contending with..

    All Long, All the Time–some didn’t even have a “Money Market”-equivalent option..

    All Hail!~ The Font of the Perpetual Bid~

  26. Mannwich says:

    @Hoffer: My wife’s 401k still doesn’t have a legitimate Money Market equivalent option.

  27. ben22 says:

    Mannwich and Mark,

    I can hardly type I’m so pissed right now.

    This was in the memo, among some other BS:

    Leveraged ETFs are not designed to be a long-term hedge or a buy-and-hold security.

    In other words, if it’s not buy and hold in some sh*tty prop fund then forget it.

    It’s funny, about two months ago I got a survey from them stating that I had been flagged as one of the largest users at the company of inverse and leveraged ETF’s and they wanted to know what I was doing. Now I probably traded maybe 10 million worth of these in the last 18 months, peanuts, so it should tell you what other reps are doing.

    In the survey they asked how I used them and what types of clients I was using them for. Ok, fine. Then, one of the questions was how I was using the inverse etf’s as part of a long term investment strategy, so I had to explain why they should never be part of a long term strategy. I should have known this sh*t was coming when I got that survey.

  28. ben22 says:

    Mark,

    That is so true, but they all typically have “Stable Value” with the fictional NAV. It’s a way to church up the fund name so they can buy more MBS, etc. in there and make people think it’s like cash.

  29. emmanuel117 says:

    ben22,

    Sounds like CYA shit to me.

  30. call me ahab says:

    I have to side w/ Init4good- the banks were going down and needed backing from the federal government-

    hasn’t changed things- the big banks still suck- and if I were dimwitted enough to still have an accunt w/ any of the TBTF banks- I would close it immediately- out of principle alone-

    cvienne-

    a la leftback- use a ™ sign to protect your intellectual property – OR I MIGHT BE INCLINED TO USE CAPS MYSELF

  31. cvienne says:

    @ahab

    lol…wait…LOL™

  32. call me ahab says:

    MEH Says-

    “All Long, All the Time”-

    sounds like a 70′s porn movie hoffer-

    I guess the mutual finds learned a thing or two about screwing everybody and anybody

  33. ben22 says:

    emmanuel,

    no, that’s only how they make it seem. If I talked to 100 advisors at my company I’d probably come across 2 people that have used them. Everyone else is sticking clients in mutual funds.

    Options? Individual Stocks? Way too risky.

    I’m sure there would be major problems if some idiot said “stick all your money in SRS and call it a day” but that isn’t what’s going on here. There is an agenda here.

  34. Mannwich says:

    @ben22: Of course there’s an agenda. Not sure who you work for, but I have to believe there’s a concerted effort being made by the big players to drive down these funds. I’m sure they’ve been shorting the crap out of them and probably have a deal with the feds to not short equities at all for a specified time period while getting gov’t support.

  35. Transor Z says:

    @ben22: That really sucks. Sorry to hear that.

    Best advice: file it away under “How NOT to run a railroad” for the years ahead when (no doubt) you will be in a more senior role . . . somewhere. ;)

    Too bad you couldn’t reply “My strategy is to just try and get my peeps safely through this dark, dark night — one day at a time.”

  36. cvienne says:

    @ben22

    “If I talked to 100 advisors at my company I’d probably come across 2 people that have used them. Everyone else is sticking clients in mutual funds. ”

    Kinda makes the Investools look like geniuses by comparison…

  37. ben22 says:

    @Mann,

    yeah I can’t really say on here where I’m at, but I’m gone soon anyway, I’m looking to leave in another 1-2 months, hopefully on to bigger and better, or I’ll just start over as a RIA. Still, this bothers me.

    @ Transor,

    Oh, I wrote a reply to our brokerage projects but I’m sure it will never be read. It wasn’t as nice as yours.

  38. Outlier says:

    @ben22, I’m no fan of that sort of hamfisted management, but honestly I find it hard to take fault with that ban. Those ETFs are all structurally flawed to the point where I could see a firm getting sued and losing big time for recommending them. Yes they can be effective in certain situations, but way too many people seem to want to use them as a substitute for going short intelligently and wind up getting burned.

  39. Thor says:

    AHAB – I’m with you on this one. I’m no happier than any of you with the bailouts, money thrown down the drain in my opinion. I’m just curious as to what the alternative would have looked like. All the major banks out of business? GM and Chrysler out of business? How many millions of tax paying citizens would that have taken off the rolls?

    Sure, most of these banks and maybe both of the car companies might die anyhow, perhaps the government just wants a more orderly dismantling of the banking system.

  40. ben22 says:

    cvienne,

    I don’t know if I’d put it that way re your : 4:03.

    I think in a lot of cases the InvesTools don’t know any better, or they think they are smarter than they are when it comes to markets. They deserve to get burned imo.

    Advisors jamming cients in funds on the other hand, they just don’t care. I’ve never spoken with an advisor that said using all mutual funds was the best investment strategy, but that doesn’t stop most of them from doing it. In this case it’s the client, not the advisor that is hurt, and that is just plain wrong.

  41. ben22 says:

    Hmmm,

    No pump today and zero hedge is showing volume was normal.

  42. ben22 says:

    outlier,

    I get all that but there is an easy way around it. Only let certain advisors do it. They banned it across the board.

    I take it you are talking about using options to short instead of the ETF’s. You have no idea the hoops I have to jump through to buy puts for a client.

    Sadly, you are right though, it’s so they don’t get sued, not really to protect the client. I should know by now this is normal.

  43. ben22,

    on the RIA side, you may care to check out Interactive Brokers
    http://www.interactivebrokers.com/ibg/main.php

    I’ve, yet, to hear of any negative issues with those catz..

    here: http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=Interactive+Brokers

    there’s even a ‘cluster’ “Reviews”..

  44. ben22 says:

    Mark,

    thank you. You know, I hadn’t looked at them yet and when I got up this morning I flipped on to CNBC and that was the first ad I saw, I though to myself that I should check them out before I finalize.

  45. ben22 says:

    I just got off the phone with another advisor at a dif. company, same thing there. No leverage ETF’s but at his place select advisors are still allowed to use them. They have to do training as well.

    Hope people are paying attention to this.

  46. gnomic says:

    I agree – lets stop the blame game. Lets start the prosecution game. Lets start the accountability game. Lets quit pretending that no one could see it coming, that its all out of our control. We created this mess. Its time we took responsibilty and cleaned up this mess.

  47. Thor says:

    Ben22 – I am paying attention to this. Does that mean I should finally take my loss on FAZ? :P

  48. Patrick Neid says:

    “We need to hold those people who broke the law or violated their fiduciary obligations or the public trust accountable. We must stop wasting taxpayer monies. We have to prevent this from happening all over again……”

    With more attorneys per square inch than any where else on the planet the chances of anyone who broke the law going unaccountable is pretty slim. With the monies envolved today the only bull market will be in litigation. Given the current excuse making from the President on down, there is a greater chance that innocent folks will go to jail or at least have their lives ruined.

    As to preventing this happening again, good luck with that. We still can’t agree on what caused the last all nighter in 1929, let alone the solutions. Human nature won’t be changed, even by the messiah. We will revisit this mania in another 75-100 years. It’s in our DNA.

    Most of the people who look for culprits, aside from the ones that go to jail, have a political agenda. At the end of it all people will reach a consensus that it was the other guy.

  49. ben22 says:

    Thor,

    No, I don’t think so, in fact, I’d just remind you what happened last year when they banned shorts on the banks. They tanked even harder.

    I’m not much for conspiracy but if they are in fact trying to manipulate the shorts here lets not think that automatically means an up market.

  50. Thor says:

    Ben22 – Thanks Buddy!

  51. ben22 says:

    Thor,

    Just remember, I get a lot wrong too. While I might be upset about this development I’m not saying these are the best investment vehicles. Just frustrating for me b/c trading options is near impossible where I’m at. I’m a big proponent of taking profits or cutting losses quick in the ultra’s. Really they are best for being a contrarian in a lot of ways. Nobody wanted to get short silver when I brought that up for example, at least I didn’t see many people talking about it outside the wave guys.

  52. truthseeker says:

    The “blame game” continues because little is being done to assess responsibility to where it belongs. There’s even less being done to prosecute, or even investigate, the possible illegal and irresponsible fiduciary acts, and the people who perpetrated them. Some people, such as BR, are damn mad. Thank God! Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, some excusable, some not, most people aren’t mad enough. Therefore, the powers that be aren’t pressured, or mad enough themselves, to pursue the “evil doers.”
    Perhaps because of the, as of yet, less tangible nature of taxpayer bailouts–they aren’t so easy to grasp when it hasn’t yet shown up in emptier wallets, checking and savings accounts of taxpayers, people aren’t up in arms in large enough numbers, and with enough anger, to force the changes that need doing in Washington to force the changes upon the stupid, mendacious, arrogant and greedy on Wall Street, and all the other places within the financial, mortgage and fiduciary kingdoms.

  53. Moss says:

    @ben22
    Maybe something brewing in the new Regulations on leveraged ETF’S. Just a thought.

    I would be curious to know if these bans are for both long and short.
    They really are just trading vehicles.

  54. ben22 says:

    Moss,

    They also banned me doing only the ultra longs. All shorts are banned, even without leverage. Long only etf’s without leverage are fine. Not sure just yet what that means. More regulation seems likely. It was the same with the other rep I talked with, but again, they had the training option. His was rolled out before mine so maybe that’s what is next, I have to do some training before I can rec. them again.

  55. Onlooker from Troy says:

    ben22

    No leveraged ETFs is on thing, but no shorting at all?? Wow. Maybe they know something. :) Gulp

  56. Moss says:

    @ben22

    Training makes sense, as we know they are not meant to be long term holds either way given their daily
    re -balancing theatrics.

  57. frizzione says:

    ben22:

    I went indie in ’06 because I didn’t want da Man telling me what I could and couldn’t do when 08-09 rolled around and I wanted people in cash or short. _And_ I wanted to be paid for giving people the right advice. PS we went short silver once it broke 15 ish.

  58. frizzione says:

    … and, yep, I agree that wirehouse directive is a darn good signal to add to FAZ, SRS…

  59. Thor says:

    frizzione – how’s about gold?

  60. Stillaway says:

    My employer switched 401(K) trustees last year and I was called into a meeting with the prez and the trustee’s broker. They asked for my opinion on changing the fund mix. I pointed out that since 2000 the SPX had got cut in half, doubled, and then cut half in again, hence buy-and-hold was losing money. And rather than sitting out a bear market in cash, we should have an inverse SPX fund in the portfolio. The response was chuckles and bullshit about that would be a “breech of their fiduciary duty”!

  61. frizzione says:

    i see more movement potential in silver, believe slv less subject — maybe, maybe — to “propped” levels than gd may be — i’d play either watching your stops, though

  62. call me ahab says:

    b22-

    please clarify re Onlooker’s post @5:52- when you say no shorts can be recommended at your company- I am assuming no short ETF’s whether leveraged or not- but- I find it hard to believe you cannot short a particular company stock- please confirm-

    b22- re your post @ 5:44-

    a long un-leveraged index funds is a straight up bet the market will go up in time and is something you can buy and hold-

    simplicity itself- sort of like a blue chip- buy it and forget it- except- when the market grinds it down 40 or 50%- but hey-

    ‘the market will come back”- “just ride it out”- that’s the mindset- that’s brokers in action- ask someone how well they did investing in the Nikkei in 1989- well- it would be 20 years later now – and – you would still be waiting for the market to come back-

    sometimes markets don’t come back- think Holland- think Tulips

  63. Thor says:

    Ahab – sometimes markets don’t come back- think Holland- think Tulips

    Don’t forget Tokyo real estate

  64. ben22 says:

    frizzione,

    I wish I would have done the same in 06. That might end up being one of the best things you ever did. I’m not far behind you though.

    Nice trade on silver short, that’s been money so far.

  65. Stillaway says:

    ahab-
    “‘the market will come back”- “just ride it out”-

    Exactly. Buy-and-hold is so ingrained in the 401k business because of the super bull from 1982 to 2000. But, that run ended 9 years ago. The sheeple are getting shorn and will never be able to be put out to pasture.

  66. ben22 says:

    ahab,

    I can’t rec. any etf shorts, levered or not. I can do un-levered longs, but no ultra-longs. I can still buy puts oddly enough so yeah, I can still short individual stocks, however, as I said above, that’s much easier said than done where I’m at. The client must be approved to trade options by the home office compliance and if you don’t have experience with options as the client, which is the first question on the application for it or enough money you often get denied and then I have to argue for weeks to make an exception. Unfortunately my staff and I don’t have time to do this for each client. On top of this I must mark all clients that want an options ability as aggressive investors. If someone was classified as moderate conservative for example (which in general on the apps means they don’t typically have more than 35% equity exposure) they won’t be approved for options. It’s “too risky” based on the client risk tolerance for that account. I work with retail investors, they aren’t all loaded, my company could have made a simple form where the risks need to be discussed with the client and the client initials that they understand each of the risks and agree to make the investments, etc.

  67. ben22 says:

    ahab,

    one more thing, I can still do the short etf’s, as long as the client requests the trade (unsolicited) cause, you know, so many retail investors want to short, and they know what to short and when.

  68. ben22,

    re: Ag, here’s hoping it driven back into the 8′s, again..

    there’s Money to be Made, afterall..

    http://www.coinflation.com/coins/1921-1935-Silver-Peace-Dollar-Value.html

  69. Thor says:

    I used to collect those old silver dollars back in the early 90′s. At the time they were 7 or 8 bucks if I remember correctly. How did they perform as an investment when adjusted for inflation. Doesn’t look too good . . . . .

  70. call me ahab says:

    b22-

    well – I guess you have to follow the client’s profile and risk tolerance- but- buy and hold- requires one decision- buy – and after the sheeple get shorn- as eloquently put by Stillaway- well then- they may push on to passbook savings accounts- government bonds- coffee cans and mattresses

  71. ben22 says:

    @Mark,

    No doubt on silver into the 8′s, that would be very nice, I ended up holding my short into the close today, it looked good. Could always change this but I’d get real long if it dropped to that.

    @ ahab,

    thats the end result.

  72. dss says:

    Beware of IB. I have used them for years and they are ok as long as you do not want to move money around as the process to get money is complicated or impossible if you do not follow their Byzantine procedures. Their platform is better than say, Schwab, for trades, but Schwab has tons of features they do not. Also they have a proprietary trading group that probably takes the other side of trades as they know your positions. Also, I have used their Advisor accounts, which allow you to execute trades for all of the accounts at one time, but it is so complicated and the “tutorials” are confusing. Also, their customer service sucks, and did I mention that their customer service sucks?

    I tried to move 12 accounts there with a total of $5m and because of the complexity of doing so, I gave up. It was agony just getting one open, much less the next 11. It took me about 7 hours over a span of a few days to open the account, not to mention the incredibly rude, ignorant and patronzing cs people. Who has time for this? When I wrote TPTB a letter regarding this, they called me right back, incredulous that this happened. In other words, they did not believe that their customer service was so bad that they were willing to blow off a $5m advisor account than help me. Only because of the need to find an easier platform to trade did I try again, with the same results, a bored and nasty rep, who wanted me off the line as I was making his call times look bad. They really cared less about servicing my account.

    Their platform is stable most of the times, except when it isn’t. I had e-minis on, with a stop, which went into the ether when their systems went down. I panicked as I could not get their trade desk pm th phone right away, much less confirm whether I had a position, or if the stop was still hanging there. This was during the November plunge last year. We couldn’t even lay off the risk as we didn’t know if we had a position as their systems were down and the trade desk were clueless because the systems were down. I never traded e-minis with them since that day, and frankly, I haven’t done much in the way of stocks with them since then either.

    I am sure that all firms have horror stories from their customers which is why one always needs at least one backup, but they couldn’t even tell me if I had a position or not. Nothing is worth that kind of worry during melting markets. Buyer beware.

  73. Stillaway says:

    ahab-

    I think a coffee can would do quite nicely over the next five years, provided it’s filled with gold coins and perhaps one of MEH’s supposedly melted 1964 Silver Peace Dollars.

  74. cvienne says:

    @ben22

    “Nobody wanted to get short silver when I brought that up for example, at least I didn’t see many people talking about it outside the wave guys”

    Oh contraire mon frere…

    I was with you on that ZSL trade…I got in at $7.22 and closed up shop at $8.69…

    I credit you with the idea…TYVM…I don’t have to tell you, but the wellspring of the idea was going long dollar…The ‘beta’ on the idea was short silver (and I didn’t even realize there was an ULTRASHORT silver ETF until I read your post asking for it about a week ago)…I took me about 3 seconds to figure out that was going to be a good trade…

  75. ben22 says:

    ok my bad, everybody was short silver. I take it back i’m glad we all have a little more money now.

  76. cvienne says:

    @ben22

    How ironic does THAT sound…

    “we all have a little more money now”…Why? because we were “short” silver…

    I’m scared already!

  77. Stuart says:

    Yup, it’s usually that individual whose arse is in the sling that is the loudest proponent of trying to prevent or stop the blame game.

  78. Thor says:

    Hey stock people – Explain something for me?

    Stock market was way down today – that followed Asia and Europe being down. Asia is now WAY down.

    I’ve heard that the global markets just follow ours. If the Asian markets were down yesterday, and we seemed to follow them, how were they following us? Or are they following us now? Or is it some underlying thing that’s changed and is bringing the whole world down now?

    Thanks!

  79. cvienne says:

    @Thor

    One can’t really play the game of “who’s leading whom”…

    Sometimes a move will initiate in one market and follow it’s way around the globe because of the way things are interconnected (vis-avis position exposure)…

    It’s what I was saying earlier today about a punchbowl…You can’t stay on one side of a punchbowl and watch someone pour a vile of arsenic in the other side of it and think you’re OK because your side isn’t where the arsenic was poured…

    That’s an oversimplification, which I apologize for…

    But let’s put it this way…Let’s assume that this ISN’T the start of the massive meltdown…Let’s assume that equities have one last gasp of legs during the summer before it has its Wil E Coyote moment…Then that means that the market is due for a “bounce”…

    It could come tomorrow…It could come at S&P 912 on Wednesday AM (which is my thesis)…It could come after a week of vicious selloff down to 880 (like I-Man wants to see)…But when it DOES bounce (assuming it will), then all markets will follow then…

    Who knows WHICH gets to be the first…Who really cares?

  80. Thor says:

    Cvienne: Thanks buddy!

  81. AmenRa says:

    @cvienne

    The S&P fought off closing below the rising window (gap up from 5/29-6/1). But it had a solid close below the 200 EMA. The 3LB has a turnaround day. So, has the snowball started rolling downhill?

  82. cvienne says:

    @AmenRa

    You make a good argument…I’m no more qualified to make a judgement call than anyone else as to whether the snoball is now running down the hill…

    So I’ll just give a list of the thoughts that run through my head on the subject (in random order)…

    - I think the DOLLAR move can now be confirmed (albeit temporary)…Dollar has clear sailing to 84
    - The dollar move “should” be bad for NASDAQ, OIL, & COMMODITIES, but I think something weird will happen…So far they’ve been doing what they should be doing, but (I’VE SAID THIS BEFORE), I think we’ll end up seeing a short ‘disconnect’ period (where the dollar continues to rise, but actually the Nasdaq & oil will rally back)…it won’t last long though…
    - Bonds will continue to rally (but I think that’s just the FAST MONEY moving out of commodities into synthetic cash)…That’s why I think the “fastest” of that money will go right back into oil for a quick hit just to take a few suckers for a ride…
    - So THAT is why I think the S&P still has one last breath to the upside (because it is well represented in the energy space)…
    - Right now I can’t see the S&P getting past the 962-1007 level past mid-July…That’s when I think the party will be over…I still have S&P 560 on my calendar for October ’09…
    - What people may MISS is that when equities eventually sell off, DEFLATION is going to be on the front burner again…I think Gold will sell down to its support levels…The day the S&P hits 560 I want to be adding to Gold positions…It won’t be the highest BETA play, but it will be the best LONG TERM play…It will be the last, best chance to own gold…
    - Why?
    - Because when the market dives to 560, Bernanke will be on the hotseat…Obama will need someone to blame, so he’ll blame Bernanke (because he is the last remaining relic)…He’ll appoint Larry Summers to be the new Fed chief in January ’10 and the printing presses won’t stop thereafter…
    - Obama, at that point, will then officially own the economy and it will prove to become the largest economic catastrophe of all time…

    - BTW – I’m more interested in the 233 day EMA and the 144 than I am the 200…The 144 gives you “support” around 905, and the 233 hasn’t even been “kissed” and is up at 970…

  83. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    “None of this sounds like a game to me . . .”

    And you really think the guilty will be charged and convicted?

    Ha, pass the crack pipe, dude!

    This is America, where the guilty roam and rule free.

  84. AmenRa says:

    @cvienne

    I’ve been coming around to using Fibonacci for my EMA’s. The 13EMA is pretty good for short term trends (so far). Instead of the 20/50 SMA cross I use the 21/55EMA cross. But all TA is just finding different ways of using price action to divine direction. It’s one of the reasons I prefer candlesticks. Outside of the fact they have been around much longer than western analysis, it’s pretty decent in determining market sentiment.

    btw the Nikkei and Hang Seng are getting killed (-2.5% & -3.01% respectively).

  85. clawback says:

    A couple of commenters have said that the Bailouts suck, but were necessary. What? Yes, pass that crack pipe on over. Whoooo! There’s a whole range of things the feds could have done back in the fall to ensure a more orderly resolution of what are now zombie banks and zombie companies, but instead they just went for the cash. The first resort, not the last, was to turn to the taxpayers for a bailout. They’re still looking to put taxpayers on the hook (see PPIP). Damn right we ought to be mad. I’ve been having Howard Beale moments on a twice daily basis since October. Hell, I’m having one right now.

    One doesn’t have to have an ideological belief in “rational” or “self-correcting” markets to oppose the Bailouts. The banks are bankrupt right now, regardless of the few hundred billion of TARP they received. We’re just choosing to ignore this fact. Someone asked what would have happened if the banks weren’t bailed out. Well, the shareholders would get zip, and the bondholders would take a severe haircut. That’s what would happen. No big deal. The banks don’t go away, they just change owners.

    This BS about LIBOR “skyrocketing” or whatever is just over-the-top nonsense. LIBOR was up, sure, but why shouldn’t it have been up? Now it’s down again. Credit has a price — problems arise when people think that the price of credit shouldn’t be correlated with risk and its price is made artificially low. Of course, that’s precisely the course the Fed and the Treasury have taken. Instead of letting credit and risk be priced in the market, our great leaders have chosen to subsidize the price of credit at our expense — through TARP, TALF, TAF, PPIP, and all the other alphabet soup programs. It would have been far better to let private parties take the losses rather than concentrating all the risk on the Federal balance sheet. There is no free lunch, of course, and so instead of Lloyd Blankfein, Ken Lewis and their banks’ bondholders taking the hit, we the taxpayers will take the hit.

    Besides, the Depression was NOT caused by Federal inaction. This is a popular myth, but it isn’t true. If we had let the zombies fail, we would have had some temporary dislocation. But we would have had a recovery much, much quicker. I don’t think we will ever “recover” as long as we continue the Bailouts. In any case, I’d much prefer freedom and capitalism to the crony socialism we’re getting right now. Did I mention I was angry about all this?

  86. jc says:

    The blame game should stop as soon as the American taxpayers are made whole by those who were rescued. That shold be around the 12th of Never.

    BB and Paulson said they expected full repayment with possibly some profit for the US. I expect a generation of taxes to pay for all the bailout costs. Remember how the invasion of Iraq was going to be paid for by oil, this is more lies from our leaders.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if these things were paid for by identifiable surcharges in our federal taxes? A 4% surcharge to pay for Iraq, a 5% surcharge for AIG, 3% to pay for the Chrysler & GM bankruptcies and 12% to pay for the restructuring of CITI and BAC. A nice easy payment plan spread out over the next 25 years. There’ll be no more need to blame anyone then!

  87. nemo says:

    I shot a man in Reno just to see him die.

    But hey, let’s not play the blame game. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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