Tuesday, May 29, 2012


A long time ago, back in the 1960ies, when people were beginning to talk about a unified Europe in timid, halting terms, a new baseball team was formed in New York called the New York Mets.  At first they weren't very good; in fact they were awful, but a New York writer by the name of Jimmy Breslin chronicled the first year of the team's exintence with a book untitled, "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?"  It remains one of the funniest books on sport that has ever been written.

Jimmy's still around which is amazing in itself given his lifestyle which I witnessed and was part of one night quite by accident.  Accident is the proper term, as in a train derailment.  It took me about a week to recover.  Jimmy went on to write, "A Drinking Life."  Because of that night, I think I was the inspiration.

Jimmy could have a field day with Europe.  Greece.  "They really want to stay in the Union."  They are flat broke, they can't no matter who wins the election unless Angie gets EVERYTHING she wants (see last post).  Spain.  18 billion to recapitalize their banks.  Now regular readers will know what I think about bank capital.  For those of you who aren't, it's a myth.  Recapitalize during a period when there are no solutions to the underlying causes of the crisis and all you will be doing is to watch the "capital" flow right back out.  All that counts with banks in times such as this is liquidity:  guarantee liquidity you have a chance.  Provide a method by which liquidity can be lost...i.e. "recapitalization..." and you're toast.  Not only that but the only source of bank capital is governmental liquidity and at the end of the day you will have an illiquid government, illiquid banks and very happy--and highly liquid--bankers in Germany or Switzerland or London.  Thank you very much indeed.  Can't anybody here play this game?

Amazingly, the markets are trying desperately to believe that there are all these really good ideas that something good is going to come of all of this.  Hope springs eternal.  Maybe people remember that 7 years after their founding, the Mets won the World Series...that team forever being remembered as the "Miracle Mets."  The battle cry for the year was, "You gotta believe!"  By that time, however, they had acquired a couple of guys who actually play the game.  If anybody out there runs into a couple of guys like that in Europe, give me a call.  I'll ring Jimmy.

Tomorrow marks the start of my 50th. reunion of my University graduation.  Postings may be...ah...intermittent.  See ya.

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