Sunday, January 24, 2010

Heckuva Job, Bammy

For a guy with an approval rating tanking badly and whose party suffered a humiliating defeat this week in Massachusetts, it's probably not the best idea to be ragging on the banking industry so much. Especially when you consider his words caused the banks to lose as much as $66 billion in just two days.
This one is going to leave a mark -- a giant void, in fact, that used to be filled with profits that drove New York City's economy and helped fuel the last bull market that created millions of jobs.

President Obama's latest attack on Wall Street -- his third in a week -- aimed at hemming in risk by keeping banks from making corporate bets with depositor cash, wiped out more than $66 billion in value from the country's eight largest banks in two days.

Investors raced for the exits last week after Obama unveiled his surprise new banking regulatory framework -- without providing much insight into exactly how it would shape the future of financial institutions.

One thing is certain -- if Obama succeeds, the profits of the banks will be crimped.

At the same time, critics charge, the moves will do little to prevent the exact thing the White House said it wanted to insure --keep the US economy from another meltdown.

The Obama plan, while apparently part of his populist screed aimed as shoring up his political base, clearly ignores the off-balance-sheet moves, namely derivatives, placed by embattled firms like AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which clearly brought the economy to its knees.

But while those firms, along with GM and Chrysler, continue to survive only because of taxpayers' handouts that have yet to be repaid, they have not been singled out for higher taxes, tighter regulation or scorn.
A look at the losses by company:
Goldman $7B

Citi $5.9B

Morgan Stanley $3.85B

BofA $13.8B

JPM $16.7B

Wells $2.6B

Barclay’s $7.6B

HSBC $8.7B

Total: $66.3B
Now Obama is whining to no end about the Supreme Court ruling this week easing limits on corporate spending on political ads. If any of those eight banks listed above survive into the next election cycle they really might want to consider whether contributing to Democrats is in their best interest.

Same if you're an investor. There's still 23% of them mired in the Hopenchange quagmire.

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