With the Chrysler bankruptcy at center stage, it's no surprise to see the Blame-It-On-the-Bankers Brigades come out in force, waving their version of "The Earth is Flat!" signs much as they did throughout the brouhaha over year-end bonuses. This time the designated villains - that particular segment of the productive class whose turn it is to get pilloried for doing their jobs - are hedge funds.
First we have President Obama flinging the s-word ("speculators") at Chrysler's hedge fund creditors who torpedoed the government's effort to settle the claims out of bankruptcy court.
Then it's the comical spectacle of a Washington Post columnist presuming to lecture investment pros about what their assets are really worth.
"What you need to know about these vultures is that their idea of fairness is throwing 100,000 people out of work and denying retirees their pensions and their health benefits just so they can liquidate the company and maybe squeeze an extra 15 cents on the dollar from their Chrysler debt," writes the Post's Steven Pearlstein.
"....And what exactly are these precious Chrysler assets that the hedge funds think would fetch them so much in liquidation? ....With vehicle sales running at a 9 million annual rate and with virtually no financing available, it's not clear that those assets would fetch the $2.25 billion in cash they were offered by the government."
So, Steven Pearlstein thinks he knows more than hedge fund managers about what Chrysler's plants and other assets could fetch in liquidation?
Am I reading the calendar wrong? Mine says today is May 1 - not April 1.
Will someone please tell this labor-union propagandist masquerading as a newspaper reporter, that his professional colleague Ron Insana already tried his hand at running with the big boys. And failed - miserably. (After an abortive stint running his own hedge fund and an even briefer stint with SAC, Insana is now back at CNBC. The word "hedge" appears nowhere in Insana's CNBC bio. How's that for full what passes as full disclosure in the mainstream media?)
Obama Vows Swift Overhaul As Chrysler Enters Bankruptcy [Washington Post]
A Laughably Late Conversion to the Cause of Fairness [Washington Post]
Here's a more rational view:
The Hedge Funds Were Right To Fight Obama [BusinessInsider]
Smallest U.S. Wage Gain on Record Is 'Upside' for Profits [Bloomberg News]
Wages and salaries eked out a minuscule 0.3 percent rise in this year's first quarter, the smallest since the Labor Department began publishing this series in 1982. Financial services workers' wages and salaries fell 1 percent, the worst decline since 1999.
Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research Names Sheryl King as Head of Canada Economics and Investment Strategy [Bank of America]