Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"You Shouldn't Be Selling Junk"

Senator Levin's oft-stated remark yesterday that Goldman "shouldn't be selling junk, shouldn't be selling crap" to its customers suggests that when a stock or bond gets downgraded or falls on hard times, that it should cease to trade. There is currently a huge market in "junk" or "crap," as Levin so artfully describes it, sold daily by investment banks, broker dealers and banks. High yield debt is perhaps the most prominent example. Levin, judging from his comments, would eliminate these markets.

This is in keeping with the Democrats plans to deny funding to weaker firms and start-ups. Only well-heeled, successful companies would be eligible to sell securities in the Levin world. If your company has a "BB" rating, then, since it is junk, it should not be able to raise capital at any price.

That logic should be extended to the used car market. Only new cars should be sold by car dealers. There should be a Levin ban on the sale of all "junk" cars and "crap" cars.

Once again, this policy means favoring well heeled companies at the expense of smaller, growing companies. Employment, it is worth noting, grows most rapidly at companies that Levin would describe as "junk" or "crap." By denying these companies access to the capital markets, Levin would deny millions of American workers the opportunity to have jobs. Levin has his job. What does he care if 10 percent of American workers don't have jobs?

Levin is a pretty callous individual, to put it mildly.

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