Myopia: (n) a lack of foresight or discernment: a narrow view of something
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Jim Cramer's meltdown presages the market's?
I can understand Cramer's passion here*, but the problem is that it just won't work. Bernanke can lower rates, but he cannot make tapped-out people creditworthy. Bernanke can lower rates, but he cannot make scared people lend money. Bernanke can lower rates, but he cannot make foreigners buy our subprime garbage bonds, especially in a market where the rest of the world is raising rates. Nope, there are no more bubbles for the Fed to blow, there are no wands to wave, there is no Bernanke Put. Lowering rates today will just finish off the dollar. This end is why you never, ever, ever do this crap in the first place.
All that said, neither raising nor lowering rates is 'Armageddon,' because the economy** is not run by interest rates. We may create more or less activity, but no matter what the Fed does it will be marginal. They are not going to lower rates by 4% nor raise reserve requirements by 30%. Whatever they do in the future, especially the near future, will be marginal.
That means if we get Armageddon, it will be a result of things we have already done, the kind of things Mr. Cramer normally talks about on his show. The kinds of things, I might add, that he generally praises***.
* Even though I consider him a noise merchant extraordinaire and a mere shill on most days - maybe that passion arises from the fact that he IS so close to the street.
** which is no more than the economic activity of all of us people who buy and sell and work and eat.
*** and I imagine we'll eventually see him imitating Mortimer Duke near the end of Trading Places: "Get those brokers back in here! turn those machines back on!"