This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: May 30

1. No Rest for the Bearded

Here's hoping Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn't have any vacation plans this fall. The bearded banker is short-handed and someone needs to stand ready at the printing presses just in case we haven't really seen the worst of the credit crisis yet.

Fed governor Frederic Mishkin submitted his resignation to President Bush this week, with plans to go back to teaching at Columbia University at the end of August. That leaves a whopping three vacancies on the board of the central bank as Wall Street muddles its way through the mortgage mess.

Luckily, rules that once required approval from at least five Fed governors to take emergency monetary action in a crisis were relaxed after 9/11. Now, only support from four governors is required for extraordinary actions like those taken by the Fed in March when it orchestrated the fire sale of Bear Stearns (BSC) to JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) and opened up the discount window for investment banks facing a liquidity crunch.

Four central bankers are still hanging on at the Fed, and Wall Street needs every one of them -- even poor old Randall Kroszner, whose term has expired. He's permitted to continue serving until a replacement is sworn in, but he's not holding his breath. The President's appointees for vacancies at the Fed are awaiting confirmation in the Senate, where Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D., Conn.) runs the show.

Dodd takes the blame for the Fed, but what about the Securities and Exchange Commission, where the two commissioner seats saved for Democrats to ensure bipartisanship at Wall Street's watchdog are vacant?

The Washington Post reported this week that with eight months left in the Bush presidency, "scores of senior officials in the federal government already are heading for the exits, leaving nearly half the administration's top political positions vacant or filled by temporary appointees." As of December, 616 top officials at federal agencies were people appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate, amounting to only 56% of the 1,100 officials that are typical at the peak of an administration.

Never mind two wars, the threat of terrorism, soaring oil prices, the weak dollar and economic weakness. The subprime leadership problem looks contained.

Dumb-o-meter score: 95. How many congressional committees does Chris Dodd run, anyway?

1 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
GS $187.97 -1.60%
JPM $60.58 -0.62%
MCO $103.80 -0.31%
XOM $85.00 -0.74%
AAPL $124.43 -1.54%

Markets

DOW 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
NASDAQ 4,900.8850 -46.5560 -0.94%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs