Friday, May 28, 2010

Ratings Week V: the Finale

Though one may have felt left in the lurch
When "triple-A" bonds lost their perch,
The best self-defense
Is still common sense,
And one's own, independent research.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ratings Week IV

Barney Frank made a stern ultimatum:
"Bond arrangers and the analysts who rate 'em
Should sever relations

That involve compensation
Since the agencies serve those who pay them."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ratings Week III

"I admit," said an analyst from Fitch, 
"We've enabled some banks to grow rich, 
But a hard-line position 
In this competition 
Would only induce them to switch."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ratings Week II

Said the banker: "My friend, It occurs to me
That you seem just like Standard and Poor's to me;
Though your scruples are real,
In pursuit of a deal
You would give up a wee bit of yours to me."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ratings Week I

A CDO analyst from Moody's
Confessed: "I've neglected my duties.
We'll soon be downgrading
Some triple-A ratings
When everyone sees that we blew these."  

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A New Low

Announced Commerce: "US inflation's
The lowest in two generations."
In recession so deep,
Our labor is cheap,
Which is no cause for wild celebrations.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Intra-European Wealth Transfer

Says Herr Pöhl, ex-Bundesbank president, 
"This bailout's akin to embezzlement
Greek tycoons and French banks 
Owe my countrymen thanks 
For this really regrettable precedent."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In too deep?

The story of deepwater drilling
Is laden with dangers quite chilling;
Says BP's Tony Hayward:
"Our safety, though wayward,
Will hereafter get the top billing."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why Does the Greek Crisis Matter?

Josef Ackermann deftly explained
Why Greece has the markets so strained:
Like a wellhead that leaks,
A default by the Greeks
Could probably not be contained. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Perfect Game

Wall Street's "too big to fail" titans
Had a quarter so good that it frightens;
On the trading parquet,  

They made money each day -
Is it rigged? Incredulity heightens...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Limerick Day!

The limerick started with Lear,
Who could tell us, if he were still here,
That the soul of good wit
Is to carefully fit
In five lines all one needs to make clear.  

Thanks to Edward Lear, born on this day in 1812, who first popularized the limerick form in his 1846 Book of Nonsense.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dear Uncle Sam...

Fannie Mae wrote the Treasury a letter
For a bailout that's eight billion better;
Although Fannie and Fred
Were both presumed dead,
It turns out she's quite a bit debtor.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post Mortem on the Dow's 1000-Point Drop

Said CFTC Chairman Gensler
To Geithner, "Are we among friends, sir?
(I'd like to say how
They whipsawed the Dow,
But I really don't think that I can, sir.)"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Diagnosing the Dow's Dizzy Drop

While coaxing the PIGS from the trough,
Some bankers developed a cough,
Which an I.T. snafu
Turned into swine flu,
And a feverish market sold off.

(Acronym alert: PIGS = Portugal, Italy/Ireland, GREECE and Spain)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happiness is Just Around the Corner

An economist wanted to teach
What the prophets purported to preach:
With material gains,
Satisfaction remains
Elusively just out of reach.

Thanks to Real Time Economics, for illuminating the economics of happiness through the work of Prof. Richard Easterlin.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Questions, Fundamental & Technical

"Dad," asked the girl with a frown,  
"Why are bond prices up, and yields down?"
"In a bull market trend,  
One will likely expend  
More pence for that guaranteed Pound."    

"Mom," asked the boy with a frown,
"What makes equities hop up and down?"
"Earnings releases,  

And stock-picking theses  
With words from wise men of renown."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Great Financial Crises I: "The Trouble Stops Here"

Among Wall Street's Croesian bosses,  
J.P. Morgan stood tall as Colossus;
He laid down the law  
With the clench of his jaw,  
And the point of his purple proboscis.  

In the 1907 collapse,
Mr. Morgan saved Wall Street perhaps;
He commanded the banks
To pay up and close ranks
With a contract he dropped in their laps.

Before they created the Fed,
Mr. Morgan did not fear to tread;
With an effort titanic
He stemmed a bank panic:
"The trouble stops here," Morgan said.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Greek Debt Crisis, Explained

Greek protesters pensions Athens
There are two indisputable facts
That toppled the Greeks on their backs:
Every third Greek today
Works for government pay,
And the rest are evading their tax.

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