Don't get me wrong, Obama was dealt a terrible hand by the previous croupier. But this administration's handling of the banking crisis, something that has brought Citigroup (C - Get Report), Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) and even JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) to their knees, has been devastating. The indecision of Geithner, who has floated to the media every single idea in his head, only to announce none orally, has created a vacuum that has allowed short-sellers to dictate policy.
As someone who just wants to help people preserve capital and help it appreciate when the time comes when it is not too risky to do so, I am appalled at the attack and badly want to engage in the issues and tone down the rhetoric. What's the point? The country's in crisis. We need to stop the lurching nationalization of banks, something that's come about because the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have not been able to regain control of the banking system from the short-sellers who seek to wipe out the common equity and "win" by placing all banks in receivership.
The pundits won't engage in the merits of, say, favoring Tier 1 capital for the banks vs. common equity, or forbearing on the banks to work the situation out over time because the banks can be profitable if we have some patience. They just attack me.
Take Frank Rich and Jon Stewart. Both seize on the urban legend that I recommended Bear Stearns the week before it collapsed, even though I was saying that I thought it could be worthless as soon as the following week. I did tell an emailer that his deposit in his account at Bear Stearns was safe, but through a clever sound bite, Stewart, and subsequently Rich -- neither of whom have bothered to listen to the context of the pulled quote -- pass off the notion of account safety as an out-and-out buy recommendation. The absurdity astounds me. If you called "Mad Money" and asked me about Citigroup, I would tell you that the common stock might be worthless, but I would never tell you to pull your money out of the bank because I was worried about its solvency. Your money is safe in Citi as I said it was in Bear. The fact that I was right rankles me even more. I never said the same thing about Lehman, where your accounts weren't safe. I expect a skewering from the comedian Stewart. I was shocked, however, that the rigorous Rich wouldn't investigate further and relied on the show's truncation of the truth. After all, how many times were the pull quotes from reviews by Rich used against him when he may have been panning a play in his former role as entertainment critic?