Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barry does BARF

Barry Ritholtz has an entirely appropriate comment about the reaction to Geithner's speech yesterday.

I am out of the pocket most of today, but I had to address what I see as a misread of the reaction to the latest Bailout plan.

Both the NYT and the WSJ seemed to focus on the lack of details as the cause for the selloff. But that conclusion is belied by the "sell the news" reaction immediately as Geithner began speaking. No one could have digested anything iin that milli-second.

I have a decidely different take. Wall street was hoping for another multi-billion, no strings attached, taxpayer funded giveaway.
Instead, they got something much tougher than they expected.

Hence, the selloff/tantrum.

They wanted their candy and didn't get it…

This is almost certainly part of the story, as there was a lot of tough talk about protecting taxpayers coming from all sides.  Of course, this wouldn't exactly explain why the rest of the market also fell, and not just the financials, which would have been a continuation of the trend we have seen so far this year.  I also don't know why Ritholtz puts it as an either/or.  The guys who trade the banks were expecting another bailout, and the investors were expecting a real plan, and everybody was disappointed.

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