(May 16, 2009) Yesterday I woke up a lot earlier than I like (that would be noon) to do the Fox Business 8AM Money for Breakfast show with Alexis Glick. Our assignment was to review the impact of recent government policies on the economy. It was set up as a debate with me squaring off against Christie Hefner (yes, that Hefner). Fun stuff. Here are a couple of the things we discussed.
JOBS- Government policies are destroying jobs, not creating them. The Treasury alphabet programs (TARP, TARF, BARF, TALF, ALPO, WALDO, DILDO,…) should have been titled the Hedge Fund Relief Act. They have set up a situation where banks can make tons of money by selling bales of certain kinds of paper to hedge funds who will make 30% returns on the paper. Banks have responded by ordering their troops to shut down all other activities, including small business loans, personal credit lines, home equity lines and jumbo mortgages.
Memo to Geithner (the Doogie Howser of finance): ALL JOBS come from small businesses. The shutdown of business credit lines is forcing small businesses to fire people. We get heart-breaking calls from these people every Saturday noon-2PM on our FBN entrepreneur show. You can measure the impact of the working capital shutdown in the weekly new unemployment claims reports (+637,000 last week) and the monthly job reports (-539,000 in April). You can also measure the loan activity directly in the chart below.