Thursday, September 18, 2008

Financial terrorism?

It almost feels like financial terrorism. It feels like we are in a moment where there are institutions that are willing the destruction of our banks, institutions that want the nation's financial system to fail. I have no evidence of any of this, honestly, and I have canvassed enough short-sellers today to be able to say that I do not know one of them at this point who wants our financial system to be destroyed for his or her own profit.

I have no facts, no understanding of the situation that would ever for a moment be able to explain what's going on.

I literally am searching for a reason why this is all happening and why people believe that a failure of a Goldman Sachs (GS) or a Morgan Stanley (MS) can actually occur, given how well they are doing. But I will tell you ahead of time that any investigation at this point of the selling in these firms might prove that it is motivated by more than just typical short-selling.

Still, I believe it is imperative to point out the non-terrorist causes, if only because I don't want to believe that there are others at work trying to bring the U.S. financial system down.

First, all of these firms took on too much debt, even Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, to make loans to all sorts of players. Many of those loans are being repaid, in fact almost all of them. They are current.

Second, when the government seized the common stocks of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it did unleash a view that common stocks of even the best financial institutions -- and Fannie and Freddie were hardly the best -- could never be trusted.

Third, if it didn't have tangible assets and just relied on confidence and faith, which is the nature of a financial institution, the faith has been destroyed by the subsequent Lehman and AIG (AIG) failures.

All of these could very well amount to reasons for Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to fail. But I don't think they do.

Should they be "allowed" to fail simply because of a temporary loss of faith?

I don't think so.

My conclusion: I believe that fear can destroy many stocks, but this selling feels motivational and not done by those who sell short stocks as a way of living. I sure would like to be able to see who is selling these stocks in order to take financial terrorism off the table.

long ms and gs

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