Monday, May 11, 2009

Timmeh Tuh: Bankster Boogaloo

I finally got around to reading the huge profile of Geithner in the NYT. It's discouraging. We cannot restore the financial system to its 2007 or 2005 state; it needs a complete overhaul and a new outlook. And now I am quite confident reform efforts will amount to squat.

Maybe we'll see better results on health care.

Situation Normal

It looks like auto sales have found a floor between 9 million and 10 million SAAR. Now the question is what will become the new normal. 12 million? 15 million? 10 million? I think we'll see 10 million this year, 12 million in 2011, and 14-15 million for a few years after that. Recently built cars (after 1995 or so) last longer and sales from 1999 to 2007 were artificially high due to the internet and then the credit bubbles. That means there is a glut of "car capacity" in the country.

My prediction about Chrysler has been right-ish so far (my timing was off). For the workers' and retirees' sake I hope Fiat succeeds at leading the new venture. But despite Marchione's record, I am not optimistic. And there has been no news about whether the bankruptcy period will be short, which it needs to be.

That's some serious cliff diving! (It's also non-zero-based, but it always is.)