Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Professional Unprofessionals

As a reader may notice, I have interests in several subjects. Keeping Wall Street from stealing my retirement savings, little that it is, is a primary interest of mine. The absurd claims of incompetence about the credit crisis and what caused it boggle the mind. Alan Greenspan, now employed by Bill "Mr. Bailout" Gross of Pimco, is defining a new low. Therefore, I have recognized a new class of professional, the unprofessional.

Since none of the major decision makers, the US Congress, many CNBC contributors and hosts, President Bush, or a variety of regulators had absolutely no idea anything was amiss on Wal Street until the roof caved in, they are clearly either professional screw-ups or criminals. They're all getting paid well to be managers and leaders.

I don't know much about economics, but I do know that if there's too much easy money for too long, the credit industry gets all out of balance. I think a third grader can grasp that concept. This credit problem is not a liquidity crisis. The problem is that bankers were allowed to hide junk loans as AAA rated credit, and at the same time market those "securities" in a way that leverage of 30-40 times the suggested value. We now know that even that suggested value was only imaginary. How can it be a liquidity crisis when easy money was everywhere? Mothers and women who raise children often refer to such behavior as "shenanigans." There was usually some discipline involved when shenanigans were revealed.

If the results weren't so disastrous, it'd be funny as hell that so many grown adults are so clueless about the subjects from which they earn a very decent salary and living. It's similar to episodes of Reno 911.

I am more than willing to earn $400,000 or 100 times that for making the worse decisions one can imagine. In fact, that may even be more work than to behave in a sensible manner. It's difficult to be that wrong all of the time. On second thought, maybe they do deserve what they get paid that much. Pretending to be stupid at the same time one pretends to be the best in their field has got to take its toll on a person.

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