This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Jan. 25

2. Greece's Legal Lesson

From the folks who brought the world democracy, check out the latest lesson in good governance from our friends in Greece.

Greek prosecutors indicted the head of the country's statistics agency this week for allegedly inflating Greece's 2009 deficit for political purposes. Andreas Georgiou and two other members were charged with "felony violations for dereliction of duty and making false statements that damaged the Greek state," according to a Greek official.

The allegations first popped up in September 2011, when a former board member of the government agency publicly accused Georgiou of using overly conservative accounting methods in calculating Greece's 2009 deficit in order to justify harsh austerity measures that were a precondition for the country's bailout package. Georgiou replied to those allegations by saying that Greece's statistical standards were simply brought in line with the demands of Eurostat, the European statistical agency.

Greece's 2009 deficit was originally projected to be 6% of gross domestic product, but was later jacked up to 13.6% after the Socialists swept into power in October of that year. That number was later upped to over 15% of GDP. Greece received its $146 billion bailout from the EU and IMF in May 2010 based on those final figures.

Imagine that. A Greek government economist is being criminally charged for totally missing the boat. Deliberately or not, Georgiou could end up in jail for blowing the figures.

Hmmm. Perhaps if members of Congress had a few hard years staring them in the face for every dumb decision they made, then maybe those bozos would govern the country with far greater care.

On that note, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart sure is lucky that's not the case here following his totally incorrect read of the banking system prior to the financial crisis. Based on Fed transcripts from August 2007 released last Friday, his goose would have been cooked if we were in Greece.

"I believe that the correct policy posture is to let the markets work through the changes in risk appetite and pricing that are under way, but the market observations of one of my more strident conversational counterparts -- and that is not Jim Cramer [laughter] -- are worth sharing," said Lockhart.

So what do you think, Jim? Should we use the Grecian formula and lock Lockhart up for being so boneheaded back then?

Nah. They may be nuts. And they may know nothing. But that's still a bit harsh.
4 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
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
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
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
STSI $0.21 3.14%
SD $0.15 -11.76%
AAPL $94.02 0.00%
CAT $66.12 0.00%
MSFT $50.16 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,204.97 -211.61 -1.29%
S&P 500 1,880.05 -35.40 -1.85%
NASDAQ 4,363.1440 -146.4150 -3.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs