Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Financial Follies

So the fun continues. If you pay real close attention to the ups and downs of the market you’d be suffering from whiplash. Down nearly 1,000 in two day then up around 800 the next two days. It’s hard to tell what to think except that things are probably going to be getting worse before they get better.

It seems the Treasury department is finally doing something about consumer loans. You know consumers those people who keep the economy going by spending money. Yes maybe indeed something should be done so they can get loans. Link to story.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury moved today to boost consumer spending and lower home mortgage rates, committing up to $800 billion to make it easier for households to borrow money for cars, tuition bills and new homes as part of a broad effort to rekindle economic growth.

In addition to consumer spending, the Fed announced it would buy up to $100 billion in mortgages held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank in an effort increase the flow of money into the housing markets and lower interest rates. The Fed will also buy another $500 billion in bundles of mortgage backed securities issued by the agencies.

I guess I need to ask the question what took so long. This melt down began in September and just now we are getting around to doing something for consumers.

It seems if a bank gets into trouble there is immediate attention but well the average guy seems to paying for the bail outs but not reaping any of the rewards.

So the bank of the moment is Citigroup. Another one of those it’s too large to be allowed to fail. As one of the comments I read on one of the stories about this stated then maybe it shouldn’t have been allowed to get so big. Down the road the government is going to have to address this problem. Bigger isn’t always better as we seem in case after case these past few months. To protect us from having another one of these melt down the government is going to have to come up with rules so that this financial companies don’t take on a life of their own.

The government said last night that it will provide a multibillion-dollar backstop for Citigroup, revamping emergency efforts yet again to head off the failure of a company more deeply intertwined with the financial system than nearly any other.

the company in jeopardy is truly gigantic. Citigroup is the largest U.S. bank by assets, with $2 trillion on its books. By contrast, Wachovia, which became the biggest bank to be done in by the financial crisis after being forced to sell itself to Wells Fargo this fall, has just over one-third as many assets.

Citigroup engages in almost every form of financial transaction available to banks and investment firms, making it heavily involved with almost every other large financial institution in the world. It is also deeply integrated into the nation’s financial history.

Yes, Citigroup is the bank of the moment. I have to wonder what the next moment will bring and the one after that and the one after that and . . .


Anonymous said...

The stimulating effect can be seen in more ways than one, but no one wants to talk about it. Most people don't realize how much money there is out there. During economic times like this, there is more money to be had than ever. Because of the bailouts and economy, lenders are bending over backwards to bail you out too. Believe it or not, there is people getting tons of cheap money nowdays to start businesses, buy homes, pay off debt, and more. I'm using it for investment! Bailouts for Everyone

Arthur Schenck said...

I wouldn't be so worried about the bailouts if the tsxpayer at least got something back for it as the British people are doing.