Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hazardous Assets Symbol

(Originally published 12/1/2010)

A while back, the banks created worthless mortgages and then bundled them into "valuable" securities, selling them as "sound investments". When the housing bubble popped, those same mortgages and securities became so worthless that they were dubbed "toxic assets" (akin to "toxic waste").

Moreover, the effects of those bad securities have spread like a plague, dragging down firm after firm and requiring governments to commit trillions of dollars to keeping the world financial system afloat.

An investor shouldn't have to guess whether they're buying a sound investment or some fraudster's snake oil. It seems to me that we need a mandatory hazard label to be placed on any asset proven to be as unreliable as the ones the banks threw together in the 2005-2006 timeframe.

The symbol above fills the bill, not only carrying the triangular warning aspect but also the spreading symbol similar to the biohazard symbol, fittingly expressed by the horns of the bull market so likely to create such hazards. Buy an asset bearing this label and not only will you go down, but everyone associated with you; gored by the horns.

We could even use it to label the banks that created that financial trash.

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