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Wall Street Follies

I keep bringing up the fact that more and more companies are in trouble because they are more influenced by the stock market than the market their company sells in. The real problem is that there are no investors left on Wall Street, they have been replaced by gamblers who are only concerned with their personal profits, and not the long-term, viability of the companies whose stock is being traded.

Colin Barr at Fortune writes about some of those gamblers in Who cares if Wall Street ‘talent’ leaves? These guys failed and almost took the world down with them, so who loses if they leave? There are plenty of people looking for work who didn’t lose billions of dollars.

Numerian at the Agonist continues this line of reasoning with Cupidity and Stupidity Run Rampant on Wall Street. These guys are only interested in helping themselves, not in fixing the mess they created, or in helping the economy rebuild. The sooner they’re gone the better. There are a lot of people in this country who believe they should be behind bars, not receiving megabuck salaries and bonuses.

What happened on Wall Street is like a very bad remake of Brewster’s Millions [even worse than the Richard Pryor remake]. It’s almost as if they intended to lose billions. If they had intended to do it, then they would have demonstrated some intelligence, but they had no idea what they were doing, other than seemingly making a lot of money on paper.

EBW at Wampum was discussing the new top level domain [TLD] .bank and was of the opinion that most members of American Banking Association should be denied the right to use it based on their recent conduct.

All this leads to my personal bank selection system. I look at two percentage rates: what they pay on a one-year CD and what they charge for a new car loan. The difference is my personal estimate of how greedy they are, and what kind of shape they are in.

Local Credit: Union one-year CD 2%, New vehicle 3.49% = 1.49
Bank of America: one-year CD 1.4%, New vehicle 3.84% = 2.44
Compass Bank [regional]: one-year CD 1.15%, New vehicle 9.99% = 8.84 [they are in trouble]
FNBT [local]: one-year CD 1.75%, New vehicle [not available]% = unknown because they set rates based on individuals.

For whatever meaning they have left, the Prime Rate is 3.25% and the Federal Funds Rate is .25%.

The local credit union is paying more on deposits and charging less for loans, so I would be foolish to deal with anyone else. They make money, and have for decades, just not all at once. There may be more “exciting” places to put your money, but boring is good in times like these.

The people on Wall Street haven’t learned a thing from what happened, and obviously don’t think they are responsible for any of it. The only reason they still have jobs is because the taxpayers stepped in and saved them from bankruptcy. At this point the need to down-size these institutions is obvious, because they have no intention of doing anything to clean up their act.