Friday, August 10, 2007

The Market Undergoing a 'Full-Press Leotardo'

Over the past couple of days, the market has been roughly in the position of Phil Leotardo. As fans of The Sopranos will recall, Phil Leotardo was the mob boss whose head was crushed by his car.

I feel sorry for stock market writers, who have to figure out new and better ways of quantifying the pain wrought by mortgage backed securities. What happened was quite simple but complex in the details, and it makes for some dull writing.

Thus an AP writer says this afternoon that "Wall Street headed into its final hour of a volatile week down but off its lows after the Federal Reserve said it would for the third time inject liquidity into the banking system. The afternoon move made for jittery stocks, perhaps raising the notion that troubles in the credit market are worse than perceived."

An easier way of translating that would be that "Wall Street's head was being crushed by an SUV this afternoon." But that would not be consistent with the AP stylebook.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site,


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