Mr. Lewis from BOA (who gave this guy his job as a CEO?) seized an opportunity to buy the world-class asset manager at a huge premium. His stockholders will thank him later that he makes such smart and smooth acquisitions like Coutrywide and MER. He could have bought MER for $10/share yesterday but he insists that he had to seize the opportunity. He might even have started to consider buying AIG as well. Just kidding.
Congratulations Mr. Thain, you are quite a salesman! He called Lewis and still got a premium – that's top-notch salesmanship. Mr. Lewis emphasized that Mr. Thain was never about himself, he just had the interest of the stockowners and employees at heart. Well, that's what he gets paid for and that, handsomely, he has a $200 mil. package for 6 months of work. That's a really nice altruistic deal.
I heard today that our smart boys Paulson and Bernanke drew a line into the sand. They do that all the time only nobody remembers where the line was the next day. They have missed the chance to kick Mr. Fuld's ass to sell the stake to Korea or Japan, as it was still possible. That will cost the taxpayer big time.
The fact that, as a real smart man from Pimco El-Erian puts it today, brings the credit crunch onto the next level – "no credits at all" for Main Street. Who and what may stop the mortgage market now? The FED cut rates today by a quarter point. They will be forced to cut the rates to 1 or even 0, like Japan did. Unlike Japan however, inflation will get out of control over time, since bailing out the financial system is a choice with no other option. These guys (Bernanke and Paulson) do not get it at all and have a lousy performance. Why do they let the guys who brought us into this mess still give the chance to make any decisions? That's like expecting the virus to heal its own disease. What is Mr. Bush doing?
He is facing the biggest financial crisis in 80 years yet he assures us that everything is well and his guys will take care of everything in a two minute press statement. That is symptomatically how they take care of things. This situation needs structured attempts, which are rigid, not waiting for a miracle to happen and not doing weekend emergency sessions.