Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bailout bonanza part I

Well, I'm back.  I'm sure many of you thought (or hoped) that I was lost forever to a Vermont hippie commune, sitting around a campfire and singing "Kumbaya" with a bunch of scraggly long-haired shower dodgers.  Or maybe you thought I was actually a major investment bank in disguise as a blogger and had gone the way of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch.  Well the truth is that I occasionally have to deal with this minor annoyance called a day job, and let's just say that if things went sour I wouldn't be the last person they'd show to the door.  Anyway, I'm back and ready to start bloggin' it up once again.

So, in case you haven't been following the news, the U.S. economy is in shambles!  Americans in all walks of life are beginning to suffer, but none are suffering more than the honest, well-meaning bankers and traders on Wall Street.  I would like to share with you a few examples of the horrors they have had to face.  WARNING: What you are about to read is extremely disturbing and may not be suitable for small children.  Here are a few of the more heartbreaking cases:
  • Scrooge swimming pool
    The investment banking managing director who, thanks to a meager $2 million bonus instead of last year's $15 million, has to survive in the dirty squalor of a house with only 3 butlers instead of 5.
  • The hedge fund manager who is struggling to make ends meet and had to go as far as to sell his private jet just to afford the mortgage payments for his 8th home.
  • The bank CEO who recently lost his job and was thrown out on the street with a mere $40 million and is now scraping by to survive.
  • The head of mortgage-backed securities at a major bank who now has to suffer through the heartbreaking indignity of having to fill his Olympic-sized swimming pool with $100 bills rather than gold doubloons worth over $1000 each.
Roulette wheel
The humanity!  Fortunately for these poor, dejected souls, there is a ray of hope: a $700 billion government bailout.  If it works, this could put the beluga caviar back on their plates and the doubloons back in their swimming pools.  Unfortunately the bailout failed on its first vote in the House, but most people expect that a slightly modified bill will be passed within the next month.  Well, when you recklessly gamble and lose, it's nice to know that the government, led by Henry Paulson (or "Saint Henry" after he heroically rescues the American people) will gladly repay your debts.  Speaking of which, I lost $50,000 on the roulette wheel when I was drunk at the Mirage last weekend - remind me to call ol' Henry and have him cut me a check for that.

You see, the U.S. government has access to an endless supply of money that it can whip out at any time to do whatever it pleases.  If you succeed in getting the politicians in Washington to feel sorry enough for you, you will be rewarded with a huge check.  But you'd better have a pretty damned sad story (see those above).  Do NOT go crying to Uncle Sam with something lame such as, "I'm a recently widowed mother of 4 who has been working two jobs since the death of my husband 6 months ago just to make ends meet.  Now I can't pay the mortgage for my family's home since the rate has jumped from 7% to 20% and my home's value has been cut in half.  Please help!"  If you whine about a mild inconvenience such as this rather than a real problem, the government will not only ignore your request, but will take actions to spite you, such as giving the CEO of the bank that will soon own your about-to-be-foreclosed house a $1 billion check, no questions asked.

Where does this money come from, you may ask?  Well, there are 3 major cash cows that the government can milk until the cows come home (sorry about all the cow references):

1) Taxpayers
A sucker is born every minute, and these suckers are known to the government as "taxpayers."  There are approximately 140 million of them in the country.  The best thing is, they're usually so caught up in party bickering that they won't even notice if you stick your hand in their respective cookie jars and pull out $5,000 or so from each (on average).   They'll be too busy having arguments like:
"Bush ruined the economy!"
"No, Clinton ruined the economy!"
or
"Palin's daughter is a slut.  Like mother like daughter!"
"Well 'Obama' sounds like 'Osama.'  That proves he supports terrorists!"
or
"I heard Obama once snorted coke off the buttcheeks of a transgendered prostitute!"
"Oh yeah, well I heard McCain once clubbed a whole bunch of baby chipmunks to death!"
These people will NEVER notice the missing cash!

2) The national debt
Why even bother robbing the general public when you can just borrow money and never pay it back?  Right now, the U.S. government is over $10 trillion in debt and couldn't give a rat's ass!  Who cares if we owe China $1 trillion and they want us to pay it back?  George W. Bush can just walk up to Hu Jintao, slap him across the face, and say something like, "You ain't getting it back, because we're America!  Woohoo!  Deal with it, bitch!"

Money printer
3) The money printing machine
Finding some cash to throw around is never a problem when you're the one that prints it!  Want to give your Wall Street buddies some money to cover their losses on Bear Stearns stock?  Just print out $100 billion and give it to them!  Want to fund a war in Iraq?  Fire that thing up and print out $1 trillion!  Want to cover the entire outer surface of the White House in high-quality diamonds?  Print out $10 trillion and "git 'er dun!"  It's that easy!

So bring on the bailouts!  What's the worst that could happen?

7 comments:

The Archiphage said...

You mean what's the worst that can happen other than a hyperinflationary disaster in which the value of the dollar goes to zero?
The answer is: The dollar could hit zero before I have the chance to accumulate a Buffalo-sized pile of silver and gold. Other than that... by all means, print away Ben! Whoo-hooooooooo!!

Nick said...

True, there is a good chance that all of this will lead us to the point where you need to bring a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. This is not good news for most of us of course. However it is good news for two important demographics:
1) investment bank executives, who will undoubtedly be receiving bailouts on the order of several quadrillion dollars, and
2) bakers, who after getting all those wheelbarrows of money from people buying bread will be able to fulfill their lifelong dream of swimming in a pool full of U.S. currency.

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