Sunday, February 01, 2004

And speaking of late hits, how about this?

Will George Soros Panic the Market?
The idea was floated first by former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin, now the chairman of Citigroup. Unless Congress scales back the Bush tax cuts, he argues in a new study, U.S. government budget deficits could lead to a crisis of confidence in the dollar and the stock market and potentially staggering losses for investors.

To conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, Rubin was "laying the groundwork for a political assault on President George W. Bush over his budget policies, hope[ing] to give the Democratic presidential candidate an issue to run on that could propel him into the White House."

But Wall Street sources say Rubin may have had other designs as well. A consummate insider who talked the market up when he was working for Bill Clinton, Rubin today could be trying to talk the market down. "This market is thin enough that if you made a big move all of a sudden you could move it," Bartlett tells Insight. "At some point, something could happen on its own, and then someone like George Soros could turn a minor blip into something else."
"Soros believes that if he can force the market down, he will have an effect in the real world," Luskin says. "If it happens on Oct. 31, people might go into the voting booth with fear in their hearts."
Those SPECTRE guys are always thinking, I guess!

By the way, the Luskin mentioned in the quote above is investment adviser and author Donald Luskin from which is on my blogroll. He doesn't think it's time to start cleaning the flintlocks, but says "investors should watch Soros carefully but calmly." I say, "Where's James Bond when you need him?"