The League of Major Moneymen: Gloom and Doom

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Source: SIFMA SmartBrief today.

I subscribe to at least three of these SmartBrief interactive news clipping newsletters: One for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, one for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and one for CTAM — I forget what the acronymy means: Oh, yeah, the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing, not the Community Theater Association of Michigan.

I tend to think it is one of the best-conceived and -executed products of the genre. It does not even try to pass itself off as Journalism 2.0, but focuses instead on being a just-plain efficient news clipping service, albeit delivered in a highly usable and interactive format.

“This is what you, narrow community of interest, would want to read if you read every news source available, skipping over the irrelevant stuff — which of course would be a lot of work, which is why you pay us to do it for you.”

The upshot: Two very significant industry developments pale before the nightmare of the credit crunch!

And the major moneymen do not trust the (legacy admission) MBA President to handle it properly!

The survey could use the standard paraphenalia for surveys, however, I thought: How many people surveyed, who was surveyed, and by what means.

This is, after all, an industry in which pumping and dumping sometimes occurs. I am thinking of that story in the WSJ: Are some of the people talking trash about the subprime mortgage bailout talking short but playing long? I forget who said that: Some Bush Administration guy. Cue spooky theremin music.

I would have voted for the NYSE-Euronext deal. The credit crunch, after all, was somewhat foreseeable, even if many chose to shut their faculties of foresight to the risks.

But I would have bet you a fair sum that NYSE deal was going to bog down in Eurocracy. Say what you like about John Thain: Merrill Lynch does not seem to have hired someone with a track record of getting paid a lot of money to not get anything done — or sometimes even to get a lot undone.

Which does sometimes occur, you know: Failure gets richly rewarded. Strange as it seems, given the classical theory of the free and open market, and Social Darwinism, and what not.

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