January 23, 2010

Working for the American people

The stock market has dropped 5% in the last 3 days, confounding expectations that Tuesday's GOP win in Massachusetts would send stocks up. I'm unfazed at the down move anyway as a species of 'buy the rumour, sell the confirmation', but the drop is generally blamed on Obama's Wednesday announcement of a hot war on Wall Street banks. The specifics aren't there yet, but the general drift is to prevent proprietary trading by banks and to spend time between now and election day in November demonizing bankers. I'll pass over Obama's economic illiteracy, but here's one take in the FT:
Worse, most people do not think Mr Obama can even command unity within his own administration on the Wall Street proposals amid growing speculation about whether Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, can survive in his job. Mr Geithner was conspicuously sidelined during Thursday’s announcement by the presence of Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, who lent his name to the push to rein in Wall Street banks.

The speculation about Mr Geithner is only likely to grow. “The Obama proposals were clearly politically motivated and came from the White House not the Treasury,” says a Democratic adviser to the administration, who withheld his name.
My favourite speculator:

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