March 17, 2008

Farewell Bear Stearns

As of Sunday night, Bear Stearns basically ceased to exist as JP Morgan Chase purchased it for $2 a share. This may be the bargain of the century, by the way. The building alone is supposedly worth $8 a share. The CDO Book, which is illiquid and not tradeable, and therefore not really possible to value, is apparently performing. This means that the debt obligations which were sliced up to create the debt instruments are still paying out. In other words, while you can't trade 'em, at its most basic, people are paying the debts that make them up. If the instruments pay out and perform, it will be one hell of a coup for JP Morgan Chase.

Of course, the roughly 14,000 people of Bear and the investors who bought Bear are fucked. The retirement portfolios made up of Bear stock are ash. The jobs are questionable. The investments are up in smoke.

But there is still liquidity.

I do not share the view of the fellow this morning in my train station. I was buying my paper and overheard the following exchange as a man came in:

Woman: Hey! What are you doing here this early [5 a.m.]? I never see you this early.

Man: I always come in early when the earth is about to end.

Who was it who said that eternal nothingness was ok so long as you were dressed for it?

It is going to get a lot uglier out there before it gets better.

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March 11, 2008

A bit torn

As you may recall (or not, I don't flatter myself that what I wrote about some time ago was so interesting that, however central it may be to my life, you might actually have burned a brain cell to remember it), we applied to private school for the Boy Child for kindergarten. He was waitlisted on an unranked waitlist. We viewed his chances of actually getting in as dim and were waiting for the final confirmation that he would be attending public school along with his sister. We figured that would come shortly. It didn't. I got a call today with the news that despite the odds, he is the only child being admitted off the waitlist. The school had one slot, one single, solitary place open up and they have offered it to the Boy Child.

It is expensive. One year is more than one year of undergraduate university cost me some (*sob*) 18 years ago. One year is one thing but we will be buying twelve years of this. And, of course, our inclination would be to unite the children at the same school so that the Girl Child might go there, too. Her chances of acceptance, by the way, will go way up if she is a sibling of a current student.

The public schools in our town are very good, for sure. Most people, us included, move to this town for the schools. So, are we crazy to be contemplating this?

The college acceptance list for this charming, beautiful little school is un-freaking-real. I was astonished by their reach at the top of the top of the top universities in the country.

I don't know. I am a big believer in independent education. I prefer it, truthfully.

I look forward to the extended conversation my wife and I are going to have tonight, that is for certain. It ought to be interesting. We will have that conversation in the car in the way home from the City after a Scotch Whisky Tasting Dinner. I will endeavor to restrain myself.

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March 10, 2008

Your witness, counselor

I caught the Girl Child, just aged seven, in a lie last Sunday. It was a stupid lie, uttered without thinking about it, to avoid getting yelled at. Not a great success as the world came down around her shoulders. I detest dishonesty and am doing my best in inculcate in my children habitual honesty in response to questions, even in response to questions which might get them in trouble. They are always in worse trouble for lying than for telling me the truth.

Anyway, while I was putting the lass to bed on Monday night, we had the following exchange:

Me: Did you lie to anyone today?

GC: I have no recollection.

When I was seven, I doubt I even knew the word recollection, much less how to use it in a sentence.

Upon further probing the matter, she told me that she didn't think that she had lied that day. Still, I am regularly surprised when I have to cross examine my daughter as if she were a witness.

Posted by Random Penseur at 03:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bye, Gov!

Breaking news (not that this is the first place I would suggest coming for breaking news, but, just the same): Gov. Elliot Spitzer, Democrat of New York, has been caught up in a high-priced prostitution scandal and will be taking some time to deal with the personal issues (you know, the ones where his wife kills him?). He was found on a Federal wire tap placing an order for a call girl while in Washington D.C. That explains why, when the prostitution ring indictments were handed down in Federal Court here in New York, the Assistant United States Attorneys were all from the Public Integrity Unit and not from the regular Criminal Division.

Next step? Resignation from office?

Bye, Gov!

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