25 September 2008

Time Bomb

The market ended up fairly flat, but my positions took quite a whuppin'. You gotta keep a sense of humor about macabre market days like yesterday, especially when the rest of the market is having a humdrum trading day. In that vein, today's tune is "Time Bomb", the first track off of the Old 97's "Too Far to Care" album.

Rhett, Murry and company played St. Louis every few weeks back in '97 when I lived out there. I picked up "Too Far to Care" at Vintage Vinyl based solely on the rave review hand-markered on the plastic placard separating the 97's from Olivia Tremor Control in the record rack.

"Time Bomb" was all it took for me to become a fan.

I'm not suggesting that the current market is in anyway a time bomb ready to go off, even if a couple of my positions are ticking.

Of course, if the market implodes tomorrow, I'll feel like a heel for posting this song.

So why did AIG plummet today? It accepted the $85B credit facility from the Fed over private investment.

An excerpt from the Gray Lady on the alternatives for shareholders:

If the shareholders are unable to redirect the Fed’s restructuring plans, they have shown interest in buying some of A.I.G.’s operating subsidiaries. The subsidiaries are mostly insurance companies with solid books of business, as well as other profitable businesses like aircraft leasing.

The shareholders are being represented by Michael Kantor, the former commerce secretary and United States trade representative during the Clinton administration.


Mr. Kantor said he believed that both the shareholders and the taxpayers would be better off if a new restructuring plan could be devised. The meeting ended without a clear plan of action, but Mr. Kantor said the discussions would continue.

And pressure to deal with Washington Mutual seems to be coming to a head:

Federal regulators are moving quickly to broker a deal for Washington Mutual as the savings-and-loan comes under mounting financial pressure, according to people briefed on the talks.


The government’s entrance suggests the sales process may be entering a new phase after the bank struggled to find an interested buyer. Washington Mutual had vowed that it could remain independent, but it quietly hired Goldman Sachs early last week to identify potential bidders.

Among the banks that have expressed interest in buying all or part of Washington Mutual are Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Banco Santander, and Wells Fargo. It is unclear what form of assistance federal regulators will now offer.

Today's craptastic transaction:

Bought AIG at $4.17.

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