Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The New-New Bank Bailout Plan, AKA "Thing Which Makes Me Contemplate Mob Hit On Self To Collect Life Insurance For My Family"

So I caught some of Obama's bailout road show in Elkhart, Indiana, in which he said we're in the run-up to something like another Great Depression, only probably worse. Something in that subject inspired a Washington Post reporter to ask what the President thought of Olympic swimming Wheaties-box superstar Michael Phelps going to a frat party and taking a bong hit before getting laid by a cadre of sorority girls. Or maybe he asked something about the pre-Madonna A-Rod taking steroids and how he won't ameliorate his contrition intravenously with the two hundred million dollars he's made as a baseball player. Either way, the Infinite Estate just reached a new journalistic high.

This caused me to look up the stimulus plan between panic attacks, and to actually listen to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's interview about his enhanced bank bailout plan today, or at least to some of it. About three minutes in, I hurriedly ran out along with the rest of Wall Street hitting the mute button on my conference calls to start frenziedly converting cash and redeemable assets into more gold bullion and stick it in hard-to-search places. (Did you know you could get gold femur replacements?) Liquidation is a vexing, complicated process, so we could only sell enough of the Dow to lower it by 4.8% in two hours.

Having known some bankers, I empathize. Geithner didn't name even one of them or confirm their home address so he could send them, their lovely wives, mistresses, call girls and children seven or eight figure magic checks. More palliatively for their panic, however, the "bad asset bank" you may have heard about was discussed in the form of a "Public Private Investment Fund.” Apart from language being officially dead after a life-long torture by Washington beaurocrats, Satan ruling with blood and power on this earth, and people getting tax cuts for buying crappy new cars, those words don't even form an acceptable acronym. Attempting to explain the PPIF makes even less sense, because it will be “jointly run by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, with financing from private investors, to buy up hard-to-sell assets that have bogged down banks and financial institutions for the past year.”

Bogged down? My plan for bipartisanship was to cram a stimulus bill down Republican throats, getting two votes short of cloture and then letting them make more fulsome assholes of themselves by filibustering for three months on the Senate floor reading autographed English and Arabic translations of Mein Kampf. But no. We got this. Maybe, as Lord Wife urged Team Obama, they can just take the bill back into committee and add stimulus in, with a provision for razing the vacant public school three blocks away from our house and turning it into an Indy-Car race track for hyper-competitive children. Also with some other stuff like job creation, public works, renewable energy projects which would never get built except by a government and will move us up into this century and keep giving back for 120 years.

I've just taken two deep lung-fulls of air and have started holding my hopeful breath. The political system could change from within, unlike the rioting by the without in Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Greece, Argentina, the demonstrations and strikes in France and England. And what would happen here? We shoot socialists, don't we?

14 comments:

Vincent said...

A gold femur replacement is hardly a liquid asset methinks, especially when you are short by only a few dollars.

Over here it's all bread and circuses. Yesterday's circus spectacle was four top executives of HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) called before a Parliamentary Select Committee to say sorry for losing billions and having to be bailed out. They said sorry with eloquence and without loss of arrogance, having been carefully trained by PR experts; but could not give such an eloquent answer to what they were actually sorry about. Obviously they were sorry to be sacked and face public pillorying but they were supposed to be sorry for squandering other people's money recklessly, in such a way that recognized that they ought to have behaved differently. But still, it was a popular show.

Other popular shows are the perennial use of arguably racial slurs by members of the Royal Family, Lady Thatcher's daughter Carol, and the most recent: a British diplomat's ranting soliloquy against Israeli military action whilst working out in a gym and watching TV at the same time. He was arrested, under new and untested legislation criminalising "incitement to religious hatred".

Just thought you might like to know.

MarcLord said...

Vincent,

Yes...when more or less living there, I was ga-ga over England whilst recognizing it as the prime source of my country's insanity. I'm all for getting Page 3 girls along with the news, but that last item with the diplomat is worrisome. It should be enough for Israel to run the US, they don't need the UK too.

A. Peasant said...

They arrested the guy, but not to worry. The Israeli ambassador said this will not upset the "treadmill of diplomacy." Whatever the hell that means. He didn't deny the Holocaust(tm), after all.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5693687.ece

isabelita said...

I saw a pretty good acronym to replace TARP: BARF - Bad Assets Relief Fund.
Course a tarp covers up stuff that people want to hide, so it has a bit of resonance...

Jon said...

Marc, Tuesday's stock market sell off was Wall Street's managers' reaction to the prospect of having to live on a mere $500,000 a year. Such a pittance can't maintain the lifestyle to which they have grown accustom, so they had to sell off assets to cover the gap until the Palin-Bush(Jenna) ticket comes to power. I'm thinking of holding a bake sale to send aid; anyone want to buy a $20,000 cupcake?

MarcLord said...

Pez,

"The treadmill of diplomacy." That's just what it must be like, for them. Like evil hamsters buying a little bit more time. Thanks for digging up the the psy-op article, and for being smart.

MarcLord said...

Iz,

BARF. That's the right one, felt it coming for so long and I have, I have.

MarcLord said...

Jon,

Jenna! Jenn-aaaa! I will steal your virginity and take you to Paraguay, I will give the Bush family sons who will come back to run the New World Order.

Still Life Living said...

ML,

This is what a system looks like when it is dying. We are caught between two forces: one being the internet and the other being biologic structure. They are fighting on a metaphysical level. The internet can't afford capitalism's antiquated notions of business and individual failures – those processes are too slow for the junk the system has been snorting. It requires national health care (and not just AMA medicine), efficient but accurate justice, and a desire to get it right – or something that looks like divine socialism.

The internet cannot function without novelty. It has to grow, replicate, and do all those things biology does. But without novelty, just as in linear algebra, the matrix collapses is there is not true independence between the vectors.

On the biotic front, we are no longer animals. We have evolved. But now we are fundamentally questioning whether we have been relegated to serving machine-language gods, individual Bobby Fishers battling Big Blue (or John Henry). This relegation is somewhat analogous to our historical experiences with slavery, indentured service, and the student loan program – all of which restrict and dominate creativity (which is how novelty comes into being). So our capitalist system that begins with homogeneous religious experience, tv, conformance education, student loan indenture, and ends with 401K/HMO/paycheck protection and the hope of a better eternal life for our reincarnated DNA.

And this is what is breaking down. It has been leveraged, nipped and tucked, carroted and sticked, broken and beaten, excommunicated and reborn to a point we don't really understand, on an individual level, much of anything except the kabuki rules of how to carve out some shelter in this harsh virtual world.

We are fast approaching the pinnacle of our humanity. We, in the west anyway, have everything that has ever been promised by society, Milton Friedman, and Ronald Reagan. And it is not working.

We have a choice. Are we going to move into a Gaian reality of balance and sustainability (with or without technology) or are we going to hire Halliburton/Bank of America/Carlyle Group to develop our strategy for the next eon?

My biggest concern is that the latter does nothing to preserve novelty. In other words, dharma comes to a stop.

Zoey and Me said...

I never thought I'd ever hear anyone want to bring the Bush's back into government. Christ. I would be the one leaving for Paraguay and I'd find a way to take my cat with me.

Naj said...

Hi Marc,

I wish to seek your opinion on this: Madoff, Mossad link

Also, any 'guesstimate' of the distribution of AIPAC dudes in opposition to the stimulus package?

Bee said...

Does anyone even want to think of how even massively more this country would be f-ed up if this financial debacle had hit in 2005? Just thank the lucky stars that it finally all fell apart at the end of BushCo's tenure.

MarcLord said...

Naj,

I've had my suspicions, yes. There is a secret war being fought behind the kabuki screens. It is still very much in doubt, but in short, Obama is a personal supporter of Palestine. He still has to hide that fact politically.

As for AIPAC, it's just their money anyway, right?

MarcLord said...

Queen-Bee,

no, only the people like me who became clinically depressed on 9/12/01 when they just happened to have names and pictures of all the hijackers on the evening news.