Mum’s the Word
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 10, 2009 12:40 PM |
The movie Goodfellas provides a wealth of material for comparative analysis of the markets. The “insider activity,” the “fooling around,” “the payoffs,” and “the gambling” all make for great drama on the screen. Truth be told, one does not have to look all that hard to find striking similarities to certain activities in the world of Wall Street, and for that matter, Washington.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie occurs after the boys make the big heist. Immediately, the word is put out to keep your mouths shut and no indications of newfound wealth.
Back to reality. In terms of “putting the fix” into the world of our major money center banks, isn’t the relaxation of the mark-to- market the “newfound wealth”? Isn’t the “keep your mouths shut” the equivalent of the Treasury telling the banks not to comment on results of the Bank Stress Test? Speaking of the Bank Stress Tests, Bloomberg reports:
The U.S. Federal Reserve has told Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other banks to keep mum on the results of “stress tests” that will gauge their ability to weather the recession, people familiar with the matter said.
The Fed wants to ensure that the report cards don’t leak during earnings conference calls scheduled for this month. Such a scenario might push stock prices lower for banks perceived as weak and interfere with the government’s plan to release the results in an orderly fashion later this month.
Clearly the Fed and Treasury are trying to keep their “boys” quiet and lay low while the real regulators of the market, that being honest investors, are walking the beat.
If any of the boys talk, then the leaders of the family won’t be able to coordinate the stories and hoodwink the public.
Whatever happened to, “as long as you tell the truth, you don’t have to worry about having a bad memory”?
It seems we are operating much more in the realm of, “well, I can tell you but . . . ”
Henry . . . Jimmy . . . Paulie . . . Tommy . . .
Please let me know who in our government and world of finance are most appropriate to play each of these individuals? Let’s have some fun.