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« Google's Offensive Strategy | Main | WSJ: Clean Up Print »

September 15, 2008



Gosh, I wish McCain's advisors read this column and it's companion back in January, 2008.

Kurt Hinz jr

Couldn't agree more Andy!

Unfotunately, people will question the "free-market" even more. Wall Street definitely begs for more regulation & state. So be it.

BTW, Richard "Dick" Fuld -CEO of Lehman- some time ago threatened to break the legs of any partner(!) caught shorting Lehman stock...
How symptomatic, the boss of the oldest investment-firm spoke.
As if shorts or speculators in general were somehow magically be able to alter the company's, i.e. LEH's balance-sheet.
Well, Dick of course knows how the game is being played as an investment-banker, hence the thread, but obviously has no clue about economics, and he's probably not the only one.

So, now it's AIG, hours ago biggest insurer on the planet (hmmm maybe besides Berkshire Hathaway). Proud member of the mighty Dow-30 industrial avg.

And here one sees the difference(s), it's all about individuals: Golfcourse-CEOs -vs- WE Buffett & C Munger.

Ergo: back to the "free-market"-model: lets just hope the Warrens & Charlies prevail!! THEY know and focus and act much better, smarter and efficient in their businessfield as any leviathan ever could!

I wonder!
If pros in the US act so poorly, that is professional bankers screwing it up so royally, what the hell is going on in more remote thingies...
But this is part of the job.

Keep it up, Andy. Back to work, gems are out there.

John Davidson

You suggest, "Inevitably, too many players and a bit of technology in the form of electronic trading squeezed the profitability of Wall Streets bread-and-butter businesses."

I certainly agree that events squeezed the profits out of Wall Street's bread and butter business, but if some one is able to get a true read from the data I would be surprised if the culprit was found to be a lack of demand for basic investment banking services caused by several factors, of which the primary one is globalization. There is, I would argue, little need for capital in a country undergoing rapid deindustrialization via globalization.

John Davidson

should read "not be surprised"

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Lehman borrowed significant amounts to fund its investing in the years leading to its bankruptcy in 2008, a process known as leveraging or gearing. A significant portion of this investing was in housing-related assets, making it vulnerable to a downturn in that market.

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