This blog used to be about debt. Now it's about a few more things. But really, it all comes back to debt. Trust me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The "Economic 9/11" gets its Patriot Act

CATASTROPHIC events occur.

Everyone agrees SOMETHING must be done.

EXPERTS claim to know what it is.

CONGRESS listens to them. Passes something within days.

NO DEBATE. Lots of "lawmakers" don't even read the thing.

Are we in September 2001 or September 2008?

This isn't conspiracy theory. Just a plea for calm before we sign the keys over to Hank.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stop Celebrating

That uneasy feeling I had about the bailout?

Smarter people articulate the reservations with the plan as proposed.

And there’s no quid pro quo here — nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving.

I hope I’m wrong about this. But let me say it again: Treasury needs to explain why this is supposed to work — not try to panic Congress into giving it a blank check. Otherwise, no deal.


The Treasury plan outlined on Friday involves vast risks to taxpayers, huge complexity and no guarantee of success. There are better ways forward.

Check out the leaked plan here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Short Unraveling

The mother of all bailouts. It needs to go down.

People who know have been predicting the meltdown for two years. Let's not kid each other: the alternative to this bailout is global depression.

And yet it doesn't feel right now that it's here. Only a few days of pain. Two days of wild rallies?

A ban on short selling. Let me get this straight: smart people who saw this coming aren't allowed to profit from it?

I'm sorry, but this all smells like a rigged game.

Let's hope a certain someone articulates this without resorting to class warfare or demonization.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Actually, More

More details. What are you going to do differently? McCain's speech was more specific.

Tomorrow. Please do it.

Dear Barack

Thanks for listening.

You Should Be All Over This

Dear Barack:

You're the man, but will you guys get out in front of this Wall St. Crash already? You are letting McCain come out with quotes like "Workers drive the economy." Give me a break.

Hold a press conference. Please.

You're allowed to spend one sentence blaming Bush and McCain, and then you say this is not about blame. It is about solutions and understanding how we got here.

Explain the credit default swap market in two sentences:

It's supposedly $60 Trillion. But nobody knows this market’s real size, or who owes what to whom, because there is no central regulator for it! Can you believe this??

In other words, we don't even know the true impact of AIG going under, or any of the other firms at the center of this.

Add to that the foreclosures problem, the bad loans, the predatory lenders everyone can identify with. And again, for too long, Wall st. was allowed to buy and sell securities based on mortgages they assumed were perfectly sound investments.

They weren't. And some people knew this. No one did anything about it.

Then get your economic team to tell you what should be done next. You, unlike McMaverick, actually listen to advisers, and learn from them, remember?

And if they try to call you some socialist big government regulator...

....I don't need to tell you how to respond, but I'll give you an SAT question hint just in case:

Which of these is different from the others?

a. Capitalism

b. Free Enterprise

c. Rugged Individualism

d. Small government

e. Taxpayer Bailouts

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Palin Interview

I'm sorry guys, I am a fair person. And I hate liberal elitists who spout crap without thinking how people from humble origins will respond.

But she seemed like Monica Lewinsky during her first interview with Barbara Wawa. You know, when she clearly had the media coach?

It's 9/11. Something should be said.

Not sure what, exactly.

I still remember it. I was 2 miles away. I felt terrible for the lives lost. I remember thinking we were in deep trouble given who just moved in to the White House. And I ended up being right, but not in the ways I thought.

I was lucky enough not to know anyone directly affected. A friend of a friend here, a coworker twice removed. That was it. So I remember it more as the day everything started to go to hell. Made more hellish because it didn't have to be that way.

No, this day isn't about politics. It's not a holiday either. I'm at work, hoping my wife gets home safe. Hoping they don't try again on what would be the most perfect anniversary, with OBambi and McSame in the same place at the same time.

But if it's about remembrance, let's remember how the day was used.

Let's look at all the years we hoped against hope that this day wouldn't be used again.

Let's look at the glimmer that cracked through earlier this year, two good men, not prone to using it.

And now let's look at one of those men, and who surrounds him. The same people. The same users.

Maybe he's not them. But he is under their spell.

It's a day to remember. Some day it will be a holiday. For a while it may be a holiday without retail sales.

But for now we have to remember it in stolen moments.

Focus the blur of those early days. Does anything seem clearer?

It's a day connected to every day since.

I'll just remember it.

All of it.