AUDIO-A bunch of drunken sailors

By Reuters Staff
September 22, 2008

ge.jpg    Last year the lending business was as frothy as a head on a Guinness beer and many financial firms spent a little too long hanging out at the bar.
    Now, says Rob McMahon, managing director for restructuring, financial firms are looking around and trying to figure out exactly what happened, and who can still stand.
    “It’s kind of like the drunken sailors. They left the boat to take their weekend leave and now they went back to the boat and they are all talking about what they did and they are realizing after sobering up, “Ok what did you do what did I do? Ok. Oh you are 25 times levered? Yeah really, you think that’s bad? Man i’m 35 times levered.”
    Financial firms increased leverage – or debt – in recent years as money became very cheap, and they relaxed lending rules for themselves and their customers.
    Now comes the tough part. Figuring out who had so much to drink that they’ll need to check into the financial equivalent of the Betty Ford Center – bankruptcy protection. 
     
To hear the audio clip, please click here

5 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

There are no more drunken sailors or soldiers. The new word for today is DRUNKEN POLITICIANS. Drunken sailors only have a couple of hundred dollars to spend but DRUNKEN POLITICIANS can blow away a TRILLION dollars and not realize it at all. This word on politicians needs to be the new lexicon when describing a major financial diaster

Posted by w garth | Report as abusive

These drunken sailors have made a fine art of sodomizing the taxpayers.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Leaders around the world are correctly placing responsibility for this “drunken sailor”-styled global financial disaster not only on the “free market” ideologists, but also at the doorstep of their enablers in the current US administration.

Many people saw this crisis coming, and tried to avert it with timely action, which the Bush administration continuously rejected.

In fact, while Bush, John McCain, and the loud crowd of “free marketeers” have been shouting the mantra of “unregulated capital markets” without pause, we have been lurching headlong from one speculative disaster to the next (dot-com bust, subprime bust, general housing bust, and now global financial bust). Now, we may finally have arrived at the edge of the next Great Depression.

US financial managers, politicians like George Bush and John McCain, and Secretary Paulson are today calling for governments around the globe to pony up hundreds of billions (more likely trillions) of dollars to bail out greedy Wall Street investment banks and hedge fund speculators.

They will discover, however, that their call has become the biggest global non-starter since Bush & McCain’s calls to join the ill-fated occupation of Iraq.

This crisis has a long course to run, and will likely extract a huge price from citizens around the globe.

But perhaps the most intangible consequence of this crisis will also be the most significant:

—the accelerating erosion of American credibility and influence around the globe,

—and the rapidly increasing cultural, political, economic and military isolation of the US among the world’s peoples.

For Americans, who have the opportunity to vote in a few short weeks, this world crisis should be the ultimate wake-up call to junk the failed, discredited, and disastrous policies of George Bush and John McCain.

It is time for Americans to vote for serious change, elect Barack Obama for President, and become responsible and respected members of the world community again.

When gamblers lose, they have to pay up. The house won’t give it back. Perhaps Vito will show up to hurt your body.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Step back a moment from the politics “aiz853″. Unless you can name the legislation Bush passed which caused this, he is not to blame. Instead, EVERY President since Reagan, and EVERY Congressional leader contributed to this mess over the years as the gradually loosened regulations to buy votes. This didn’t happen overnight. People lied on their mortgage applications, and the lenders didn’t care. I didnt lie, and I still own my home with no problems. Now the political hacks, home buyer liers, and phony lenders want MY tax money to buy their home too! Sorry – let the whole deck of cards collapse. The $700 billion is coming from me, and I don’t see why I (and future generations) should be carrying this financial burden when the real criminals should go to jail. And as a parting comment — I fled a socialist state where the government “bailed out” gross incompetence and criminal profiteering. It makes me ill seeing the USA follow this same socialist activity here in America. Its a disgrace to the founding fathers.

Posted by turismoguy | Report as abusive