September 22, 2008

A Few Thoughts on the Election and Bailout.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:56 pm

My cruller is cooked. Between the election combat and now the financial mess, I’ve hit “overload.”

As for the election stuff, let me say that there is nothing, NOTHING Barack _____ Obama has ever said with which I agree. If you feel otherwise, and if you have paid as much attention to all of this as I have, then neither of us will ever convince the other. We’ll just have to agree to disagree and live with the consequences of our convictions. If, however, you are an Obama supporter and you haven’t been paying as much attention as I have, I won’t change your mind, so please spare me the talking points and do whatever it is you want to do on Election Day. With any kind of luck, you won’t vote.

With respect to the financial mess, let me say that I am most skeptical of any kind of solution that can be cobbled together in a few days. I have worked on more than a few transactions involving significant sums of money, and the details of those transactions have always been damned near mind boggling. And yet, here we are, asking a bunch of goddamned legislators (most of whom, in both parties, are absolutely clueless and some of whom are part of the problem) to pass on possibly the biggest transaction in American history – one that has been put together in a matter of days!

Look, you can’t do a proper job of buying or selling even a goddamned luncheonette in this amount of time. Even with the buying or selling of a luncheonette, the devil is always, always in the details. Doing a transaction that is worth possibly a trillion dollars in such a short time is begging for trouble.

My immediate inclination is to say NO to this massive bailout. I admit that I am not an economist, but I speak English as well as most folks. I have yet to hear a single, relatively straightforward explanation of what would happen if we let the businesses that can’t make it simply fail.

Sure, like you, I’ve heard conclusory statements such as, “We must act NOW, or the entire system will collapse! Depression! The end of the world as we know it!” Maybe so, but I would like a bit more explanation than that before “we” sign off on a trillion-dollar deal.

Until I am convinced otherwise, I say, no bailout. Let the chips fall where they may.

10 Comments »

  1. I tend to agree with “NO” to a bailout, there might be some exceptions in the mix ….but to let these thieves & crooks off the hook without blame,prosecution & what ever we can recover is wrong.

    I personally believe lending institutions are like streetcars….miss one there is another coming down the block. As for predatory banks,insurance companies & other financial griups who bought up these subprime loans …..Tough Shit! Choke on them. Maybe the asshats who took out these loans might learn a valuable lesson in economic common sense.

    Comment by dudley1 — September 22, 2008 @ 8:03 pm

  2. This should be named “The Law of Supremely Unintentional Consequences”. Really. But there it is. Nothing I say will change anything. *sigh*

    Comment by Teresa — September 22, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

  3. Yep. I told my wife last night this all seems to be moving so fast.

    Comment by hoosierboy — September 23, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  4. Look, you can’t do a proper job of buying or selling even a goddamned luncheonette in this amount of time. Even with the buying or selling of a luncheonette, the devil is always, always in the details.

    The devils are also, alas, in Congress.

    With all of our money.

    Comment by Mr. Bingley — September 23, 2008 @ 9:14 am

  5. I’m with you Jimbo. On both accounts. Especially the bailout. There’s no such thing as free money…OR a quick fix.

    Period…..

    Comment by Tammi — September 23, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  6. Banks create money by lending more than they have. When they fail, the supply of money contracts with a multiplier effect. So multiple, large bank failures could dramatically reduce the supply of money, and businesses that can’t borrow can’t meet payrolls, pay suppliers, taxes, etc. Other lenders might come into the market, but not being banks, they would not have the power to create money by lending what they don’t have. I’m not saying the proposed bailout is the way to address this risk (I think it definitely is not), but I do think liquidity is essential to maintaining the economy.

    Comment by Allan L. — September 23, 2008 @ 9:53 am

  7. Yeah all that “free” money sitting there just needing to be re-directed by people who screwed things up in the first place.

    THE government is such a dismal failure in most things, why would this be any different? Oy.

    Oh the good news is Obama now says some of the SPENDING of his campaign gift-list (using all that “free money” we’ve all been sending in to the IRS, of course) MAY — MAY! — have to be set aside just temporarily while government “fixes” everything.

    Forgive me but I must now channel Chuck Heston (R.I.P.) in Planet of the Apes yet again:

    It’s a maaaaaadhouse! A maaaadhouse!

    Comment by dogette — September 23, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

  8. Since the financial failings are pretty much a direct result of so many of the institutions buying into ‘sub-prime’ (boy, were they ever!) loans to people that couldn’t qualify for REAL loans (and apparently had to lie about their assets to even get the sub-prime kind), I kinda figure they got what they deserved. F*ck ‘em. Only down side is that so many of the HMFICs are exiting with golden parachutes, instead of cement overshoes.

    Comment by DMerriman — September 23, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  9. About 30% of my wife’s retirement is through f’ing AIG and personally I would rather the damned Federal government STAY OUT OF THE MESS.

    As you said, let the chips fall where they may.

    Comment by Richard — September 24, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  10. Got an e-mail earlier today with a damn good suggestion:

    instead of giving that money to the bankers divide it up among all of us American citizens over the age of 18. It would come to over 400 grand per. A couple with 800,000 could probably pay off that mortgage on that house they couldn’t afford. The money would go into the economy in a hurry..and no doubt a lot of it in savings that would generate some capital for the banks to lend…but, hell, whose will need a loan if Sam gave us all 400,000 bucks.

    Beats Obama’s idea of a measly $1000. What the hell..either way the money is gonna have to be either borrowed or just printed..and we the taxpayers are the ones stuck with the bill. And I reckon we can do a much better job spending it than can congress or the bankers.

    Comment by GUYK — September 24, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

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