Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Watched Pot

Via FOIA, Judicial Watch recently obtained a raft of Treasury Department documents related to the October 13, 2008 meeting with Wall Street CEOs. I'll try to get into more of this. But for now, here's an early morning email from Treasury official Jim Wilkinson to Ed Gillespie, Joel Kaplan, Keith Hennessey, Dana Perino, and Tony Fratto:

Wilkinson's interest in the Dow futures is telling. Even as a trader on one of the Street's busiest desks, I don't remember ever hearing the Dow futures mentioned. If you ask any Wall Streeter where the futures are trading before the market opens, he/she will assume you mean the S&P futures. But as a political player keenly aware of the nation's most important psychological barometer a few weeks before a presidential election, Wilkinson was focused on the Dow.

The Dow barometer became a political priority during the late nineties, when the stock market became a national raison d'etre instead of a passive reflection of underlying business conditions. After a decade of the media, public, and policymakers reacting to every tick, the market was right back where it started. Funny how that works.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are some signs that the pot is no longer being watched?

5/21/2009 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CR, are there any other people in your industry that think the way you do? It doesn't seem that way, nor many (or any) in D.C. either. I believe, and you seem to as well, that the capital markets, and the smaller chartered banks should exist to make a steady, boring profit in the process of financing the real, physical economy. Not to be a looting mechanism for a small clique of quant wizards and upper corporate management types to obscenely enrich themselves, while helping to destroy the basis for the country to produce our way out of this depression and grow in the future.

5/21/2009 11:38 PM  
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To my mind everyone ought to go through it.

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