Wednesday, September 10, 2008

white noise

stream of conscience mostly.....


So United Air lines dropped 75% briefly because google news posted a news story from 5 years ago that surfaced in Google news and made it onto a Bloomberg box. Just the other day my google news filter popped up a story on how Google is going to be archiving more and more news. It was interesting because it highlighted a Post-Gazette front page from the 1960's when Apollo first landed on the Moon. Most who read that, however, did not jump to the conclusion that there was a stealth space mission that we were just learning about, Capricorn One or not.

Why I connect this I don't know exactly. But the financial news these days is all about the problems at Lehman Brothers, which as disclosure I once worked at. Real problems there, much like elsewhere. The thing that gets me is that just a month or so ago I heard the Lehman CEO, Dick Fuld, on TV complaining that all of Lehman's problems were just the result of Hedge Fund rumors trying to push down the . From some folks I would just write that off as bluster, but most say Fuld is a competent and down the line kind of guy which makes me wonder if he really believed that and what it says if he does.

Could Lehman Brothers, one of the larger and more respected financial firms in the world be failing because of a 'internet rumors' or related talk? It makes Lehman appear to be no more solid than say Pittsburgh's own National Record Mart, itself once thought to be hit hard by pesky internet talk. Of course, NRM would liquidate not long after that. Are analogies like that what Lehman wants to put out to the world.

Lots of denial going on across the board.

4 Comments:

Blogger jtogyer said...

National Record Mart ... man, I remember when they actually sold /records/, and had a big, three-ring binder called "Phonolog" at the front of the store.

There are a lot of reasons for that company's demise --- many of them external --- but I can think of a few right off the bat:

1.) Poor selection --- I visit a record store to find things I didn't expect to see, not just the five top Billboard albums, which I can get from discount stores;

2.) High prices --- NRM was always MSRP. Always. I never remember getting any bargains; and

3.) Poor service --- Clerks who didn't know what they were selling, and couldn't be bothered to look; plus confusing check-out counters that caused traffic jams at the front of the stores.

I still love record stores, and Pittsburgh has a few good ones. NRM got battered by the Internet (and not just because of rumors about its stock price) but a lot of its wounds were self-inflicted.

Sorry for rattling on at the mouth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 2:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Could Lehman Brothers, one of the larger and more respected financial firms in the world be failing because of a 'internet rumors' or related talk?"

Vanity Fair had a recent story which asked much the same question w/r/t Bear Stearns. (Though of course, Bear Stearns was far from being one of the world's most respected financial firms.) Though the alleged culprits are actually media speculation (primarily on CNBC) and a shadowy conspiracy to gin up a panic through the use of novation requests and the like

I have to say I found it hard to work up much sympathy for these guys. But the larger danger, to the financial system as a whole, is worth thinking about.

-- Chris Potter

Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:46:00 AM  
Blogger John Morris said...

Look there are rumors and untrue rumors but to a great extent one should be grateful for short sellers and others for coming out with a lot of real dirt.

It seems like that's the spin on Fannie Mae now, that things would have been fine if the critics had just shut up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:27:00 PM  
Blogger Agent Ska said...

"Most who read that, however, did not jump to the conclusion that there was a stealth space mission that we were just learning about, Capricorn One or not."

Speak for yourself.

Monday, September 15, 2008 3:30:00 PM  

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