Monday, July 09, 2007

A few thoughts on Ben Stein's latest column.

Ben is someone I would describe as a grand old man of personal finance, who usually retains his perspective when looking at things. You have to like the guy. So what's he saying?

"First, I'm not at all worried about the stock market despite the recurrent panic about subprime mortgage problems and resistance to some loans by lenders in private equity deals (which used to be called, appropriately, leveraged buyouts, or LBOs)." Neither am I. The economy is still just too good, and not looking like 2000 (for example).

Ben rather politely throws verbal ice-water on the hysterical financial media types for all the cat-fits they have had over the sub-prime lending industry's return to sanity: "Subprime is a small sector of the mortgage market...If all [distressed sub-prime loans go] into foreclosure (which is unlikely) ... the real loss might be about .9 percent, or less than 1 percent [of mortgage loans]." He provides enough detail to back this up. The financial media gets awfully lathered up over almost everything. It gets viewer attention but lessens their credibility.

He talks about how traders work, and how he sees their antics as not affecting the market in the longer run. Nicely done, Ben.


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