Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Administration Amateur Mistakes

The Obama approval ratings after one month in office have come in at remarkable high numbers after some early mistakes. There were the nominees who had tax problems and had to withdraw, and one who was approved even after tax problems were revealed. The most amateur mistakes of the Obama Administration have been over looked by the general public, but not by those who make their living trading in stocks and bonds.

Obama and his Administration have made comments while the Markets were open causing some good trading days to stop in their tracks and reverse. The Obama Administration must establish a simple rule, do not make comments that will cause the markets turmoil when they are open. All such comments should be held off until after trading has concluded during the day. In this way the Administration will limit the damage that occurs due to instant interpretation of what is said. When the markets are open, rightly or wrongly the markets instant calculate what is said and if a negative is perceived it causes an over reaction on the down side because uneasiness feeds upon itself. If comment that will affect trading are held to right after the close that gives 18 hours of digestion and counter analyst time to ally any fears that might be connoted in the comments. This Administration must learn a simple rule especially in these turbulent times, don't rock the markets with off the cuff or even prepared statements that traders will instantly asses while trading is going on.

A lot of the downward pressure on market prices could have been avoided if comments were held until the end of a trading day, and preferably until the end of trading on a Friday. One of the worst days was not one caused by off the cuff comments but by the highly touted prepared remarks of the Treasury Secretary about the proposed Banking Fix. After months of supposed preparation and over a week of postponement, the Secretary's Prepared remarks were no more that an abstract outline. The Markets did not take kindly to the lack of specifics in the Secretary's plan thus causing a drop in prices that continues to feed on itself after nearly two weeks. This was an amateur mistake, in the mist of economic uncertainty the Secretary and the Obama Administration would have been wiser to say that the details are not ready yet and that a specific approach would be ready in weeks. If a very specific plan had been presented with actual numbers and a system for solidifying the Banking Sector, it would have been well received by the Markets and instilled confidence in the Economy. The Plan was so general that it left many on Wall Street with the feeling of no one steering the ship.

The Markets continue to punish the bank stocks because of the uncertainty left by the Secretary's lack of plan. As the Bank stocks are rocked they are bringing down the whole market and causing more economic uncertainty throughout the financial world. The lack of a cohesive plan when the Administration had since November to solidify one is inexcusable. The Amateur Mistakes of this Administration must end at the end of this month if any of their plans are to be taken seriously by the numbers people on Wall Street.
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