Friday, April 02, 2010

Fold It In Half

There’s a piece of advice my father read not too long ago and passed along to me. I think it allegedly came out of Texas. No matter. I bet the basis of it is as old as the hills.

The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

Wise advice. Up to a point. Even if your money is actually in cash, you still have to store it someplace. I’m told that under the mattress is a poor choice. Accordingly, I’ve been looking for a place to store mine. Preferably, someplace that earns a little money.

The stock market looks like a good place right now. I don’t know if you’ve kept up but “The Market” is up. The chart is for one year -- twelve months.

Mighty attractive. Until you read this from Robert Reich.

”The Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s recent report details what just about everyone on the Street has known since the firm imploded – that Lehman defrauded its investors.“

Lehman, as it says, went bankrupt. So what’s the problem ?

”The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it had begun an inquiry into two dozen financial companies to determine whether they followed accounting practices similar to those recently disclosed in an investigation of Lehman Brothers. “

”Think back to the corporate looting scandals that came to light almost a decade ago when the balance sheets of Enron, WorldCom, and others were shown to be fake, causing their investors to lose their shirts. Nearly every major investment bank played a part in the fraud — not only advising the companies but also urging investors to buy their stocks when the banks’ own analysts privately described them as junk. “

It’s not real hard for me to think back to Enron. I was invested in a mutual fund that was invested in Enron. I still haven’t earned that money back -- 10 years later.

In addition, I also read Professor Reich’s next column.

The Fed in Hot Water

”The Fed has finally came clean. It now admits it bailed out Bear Stearns – taking on tens of billions of dollars of the bank’s bad loans – in order to smooth Bear Stearns’ takeover by JPMorgan Chase. The secret Fed bailout came months before Congress authorized the government to spend up to $700 billion of taxpayer dollars bailing out the banks, even months before Lehman Brothers collapsed. The Fed also took on billions of dollars worth of AIG securities, also before the official government-sanctioned bailout. “

You might also know that The Fed is where Congress wants to put the new regulatory body that is supposed to protect consumers. Protecting us publicly while protecting banks and brokers secretly. I don’t think so. I think I’ll fold my money in half and put it back in my pocket.

Don Brown
April 2, 2010

No comments: