Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama's auto sale success

By Tom Toles



Friday Rant

Here's one for you. The word RISK. Pretty straightforward, that. Or used to be. Risk. Danger. Possible bad outcomes. Possibly VERY bad outcomes. The thing that TEENAGERS don't quite excel at calculating. (If you are wondering when I'm going to start in on putting all the bankers in jail, I'm coming to that part.)

Well, that was then. Somewhere along the way the "risk" part of the word "risk" drained out and was filled in by the idea of "profit." As in, "if you want big returns, you have to increase your risk." No, if you want to increase your RISK, you increase your risk. If you want to increase your profit, you have to increase your SMART, or transfer your risk to OTHERS. Wall Street decided that it would be smart TO transfer their risk to others. To transfer their risk to YOU. This is why they are still rich, and you are wondering why you didn't see the economic truck that just ran over you.

Now we have an indictment of Goldman Sachs. Now we are getting to the part of the story about how risk was manipulated. Is this particular indictment the heart of the problem? Probably not. Does it start to pry the lid off? Yes. Am I going to take credit for it because I've been calling for some accountability for FOUR whole weeks now? Of course I am. The heart of the problem was leverage, which was synonymous with risk, which was synonymous with profits. The fact that the level of profit needed to be so high meant more leverage, meant more risk. That risk had to go somewhere. It did. Now accountability has to go somewhere, too. Jail. --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | April 22, 2010; 4:13 PM ET
Categories:  Cars, GOP, Obama White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Oh, those lobbyists..
Next: No grand plan for Iran

Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:


........Estamos seguros de que todos nuestros clientes serĂ¡ del 100% satisfecho con nuestro servicio y se convierten en clientes regulares. No dude en contactar con nosotros, si usted tiene alguna pregunta acerca de los precios, los niveles de existencias o cualquier otra pregunta.

Posted by: abc7612389 | April 27, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Toles,
I have also noted the increase in US auto sales a large part of which is in the form of an increased demand for SUV's. Having been an observer of your cartoons for a while I find it surpising that you appear to be a fan of these vehicles. Sometimes you just can't tell. I gather that's a Hummer in the latest drawing. I thought they were extinct.

Posted by: RockDoctor | April 24, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

How much of your heart, your world will have much, you just look forward to a steamed corn bread every day, you also be the same.

Happiness is never stopping to think if you are uk girl Shoes .

Posted by: abc7612389 | April 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

How much of your heart, your world will have much, you just look forward to a steamed corn bread every day, you also be the same.

Posted by: abc7612389 | April 24, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

How much of your heart, your world will have much, you just look forward to a steamed corn bread every day, you also be the same.

Posted by: abc7612389 | April 24, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, you seem to have scewed view of economics that isn't really based on formal studies but rather what you think economic terms means.

There is a difference between the denotation and conotation of words used in economics. There is a language you need to learn to be taken seriously.

From an economic standpoint risk isn't a bad thing. To put it very simply, Risk is simply the chance something will or will not happen. It is nothing more than a measure of expected values.

Unfortunently people will often use risk in both contexts in the same sentence which only confuses people. Such is English.

Posted by: BradG | April 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Investment IS risk, and each and every one of us bears the responsibility for finding out FOR OURSELVES what the truth is. If we don't do that research, if we don't find out FOR OURSELVES, we deserve everything we get.

The problem is that when a company does make money, through incredible luck, investors tell themselves they were smart to choose that investment. Then, when a company does not make money, investors want to blame the company, because their only other choice is to admit that they were incredibly stupid to invest in that company.

This problem won't go away as long as investors make stupid choices. And government control won't go away as long as voters continue to make stupid choices as well. As Toyota put it so remarkably well, you asked for it, you got it.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | April 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Keep it up Tom. Don' be discouraged by the negative comments. We developed a mantra some years ago that was basically, don't whine about things, bring a solution. I hear a lot of whining but I don't see much constructive being offered.

Posted by: irharris | April 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You do know we're talking about Wall Street don't you. We're not talking about investments where you get fixed returns. What do you think Wall Street is. It's for risk takers. Investors say up front. You better be willing to lose because your not going to win all the time. When you go to Vegas, do you win all the time. No. You take risk and you expect to lose and you expect to win. That's how Vegas works and survives. That's how Wall Street works and survives. Those who take the risk have the money because they know when they hit, they hit big. Like in Vegas, nothing is a sure thing.

Posted by: houstonian | April 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 'Gary' that the auto cos were a good deal, especially for the american worker. Here's hoping them good luck into the future and congrats to your Pres. Obama.

Posted by: susanai56 | April 23, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The new america rewards failure....

Posted by: jmounday | April 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Some of the loons are still saying the auto companies should have gone under while they moan about our industries being sent away by the globalists like the bush family.

Posted by: gonville1 | April 23, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The real problem is not banks, which are still somewhat regulated after 8 years of Bush43, but bank-like entities, like hedge funds, which lack just about any regulation at all. Hedge fund lobbyists actually were successful in getting Congress to write tax breaks for hedge funds, which are now law. For an easy to read explaination of this, read recent columns by Krugman (the guy who won the Nobel prize) in the NYT.

Posted by: tokugawa227 | April 23, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

So the Auto Companies were a good investment after all. And so is the USA, despite Mr. Toles persistent and constant pessimism.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 23, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know... Acorn did it. I know because I watch Fox News... just like bobbo2.

It's everything the lying fascists feel we need to know in order to make idiotic decisions.

So they can continue to profit from our collective ignorance. They have GOT to be near maximum richness by now.

Posted by: Thinker_ | April 23, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

The banks took alot of risk. They risked business if they did not fold to the Acorn picketers outside the banks. Remember? Those protests outside lending institutions by Acorn to force them to lend mortgage money to people who could never afford to pay it back. No risk to Acorn, big risk to banks. Where were Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd when the Finance Committee should have stopped those creative mortgages? I am sure they didn't want to risk slowing down the housing boom and risk doing their job. Risk was on the banks and the American people. Come November I hope the risk that many elected officials failed to take costs them their job.

Posted by: bobbo2 | April 22, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company