Martial law for the markets
Last Friday, the U.S. government waved the white flag and surrendered the capital market process when it banned short sales in the financials. See related Minyanville item.
It was a profoundly sad day for the free market system. I felt as if I lost a close friend of 17 years that I was intimately involved with.
Over the weekend, I discovered there might have been more to that decision than I initially thought. There was chatter on the Beltway that we may have been the victim of economic terrorism, a coordinated short raid that originated in London and Dubai.
While the legitimacy of that remains to be seen, my source is well-respected. Further, as the goals of terrorism are economic destruction and social upheaval, it makes some sense. The stock market is the world's largest thermometer and breaking the capital market construct -- as some would say they did last week -- would effectively achieve both goals.
This is a separate conversation from the financial fabric itself, a monster created through years of experimental engineering. It simply speaks to the fact that we're vulnerable and that weakness may have been exposed from afar.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This time from Todd Harrison from Minyanland via Marketwatch.com