Thursday, February 10, 2011

Watching Charlie Gasparino Tweet: Meredith Whitney on My Mind

On Tuesday, Gasparino thumbed:
I will be attending the Muni Bond hearing on Whitney’s prediction tomorrow at 9.30am in Washington, DC. Stay tuned for updates on FBN.
Gasparino has charged that Meredith Whitney does not have the backup for her warnings on the muni-market. Here's an early Wednesday morning tweet from Gasparino the hearing:
Major problem with Muni Bond hearing - no investors, all academics as witnesses. Whitney is no show.
First sign of possible Gasparino ADD. Although he has bitched that the problem with Whitney is that she is not backing up her statements, Gasparino registers concern at the number of academics who are witnesses at the hearing and who would presumably have the backup data.

The note about Whitney is odd, since it has been reported in the media for days that Whitney was not going to appear. Charlie, I think, reported this 8 or 9 times, himself.

As for no investors at the hearing, who is Charlie suggesting be brought in to testify, George Soros, one of the most successful investors of all-time, who backs up Whitney's view.
Muni bond hearing is a snoozer, everything we already know about crisis facing muni market and state pensions....drink lots of coffee.
Now, I'm confused? Charlie thinks there is a crisis and we already know about it? Maybe he is tweeting during his snooze.

Charlie wakes up:
A witness finally makes sense: 'no creditable evidence' of a muni bond crisis. Only 4/5 perc. of revenue pay off bonds - take that Meredith.
Charlie is not clear in this tweet, so I am not sure about his excitement. But it is negative about Whitney, or at least he interprets it that way, and this seems to get him generally excited.

More theoretical discussion, i.e., the backup, bores Charlie:
I feel like I am in a MBA finance class, long discussion on discount rates on pension funds. People dozing off.
Does Charlie think this is a muni bond hearing or a get Whitney hearing?:
No mention of Meredith Whitney yet, seems like witnesses, congressmen are afraid.
Finally, the name Whitney is mentioned:
Rep. Maloney finally mentions Meredith Whitney's name. One witness said all of them vowed before the hearing not to acknowledge her.
Charlie, I think they wanted to keep it a discussion of the data versus personalities.

Now, Charlie is back on track with the no state defaults thinking:
So far entire hearing devoted to State Muni problems where default is highly unlikely. Panel, committee don't seem to understand that issue.
Charlie may think the problem of state muni defaults is a non-issue and Meredith Whitney is the issue, but,, in the non-Whitney obsessed world, a lot of people are concerned about state muni defaults, in fact, I just got invited to in Washington D.C. conference on the topic:
States in Trouble: Bankruptcy, Bailout or Default?
Should states in fiscal crisis be able to declare bankruptcy? As California and Illinois hike taxes and slash spending to avert disaster, Congress is faced with growing pressure to rescue ailing state governments. Join us to hear leading scholars discuss the political, policy, and legal concerns surrounding the danger of state bailouts. The panel will present a variety of viewpoints on the pros and cons of bankruptcy and default, and on the tools state governments need to get their fiscal houses in order.
Moderated by James Pethokoukis of Reuters, the panel consists of:
Nicole Gelinas, Searle Freedom Trust Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Senior Policy Advisor at e21
Clayton Gillette, Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law at New York University School of Law
E. J. McMahon, Senior Fellow at the Empire Center for New York State Policy

David Schleicher, Assistant Professor at George Mason School of Law
Glenn Siegel, Partner at Dechert LLP

David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

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