Monday, May 18, 2015

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 05/18/15

Behavioral finance research discovered that good financial decisions are often counterintuitive.  Sarcasm can also be counterintuitive but that is not an iron law.

Credit card companies love doing business in hyperinflationary Venezuela.  Charging fees to banks that pay in hard currency (the US dollar at present) is the key to success.  When hyperinflation comes to the US, expect card companies to charge banks using Australian and Canadian currency.  Americans won't know the difference because they'll be swiping that card for a jar of peanut butter priced at $10M of worthless US currency.

Critics of the TPP's fast-track bill may be right about some of its risks.  The business elites pushing the trade deal don't care much for Dodd-Frank rules.  Wall Street sees the rules as little more than a nuisance because its lobbyists helped write the law.  Sleepwalkers at the SEC have little incentive to enforce rules that will harm their chances for future employment on Wall Street.  Waving a weakened Dodd-Frank in the progressive Left's face is a cheap tactic for policymakers who know how banks get around rules.

Fannie and Freddie securities will soon be one combined issue.  The sucker institutional investors who buy MBS will now have an easier time going bankrupt.  They only have to buy one product full of subprime mortgages for people who can't pay bills.  No one learned anything from the mortgage loan nonsense of the last housing crash.  The chase for yield in a zero interest rate world now means dumb fixed-income portfolio managers will pile into MBS all at once.

I have spent way too much time lately dealing with trivial things and people.  I must now make more effort to ignore those things and avoid those people.  I will soon discover whether a small amount of time I spent on a high-payoff opportunity was time well spent.