Oh Henry!

From Barron’s:

BABY, IT’S COLD OUT THERE. So let’s toss another billion on the fire.

What’s that make it? Well, let’s see: $29 billion for Bear Stearns, somewhere between $1 billion and $100 billion each for Fannie and Freddie (a nice narrow range), $85 billion for AIG, a couple of hundred billion to keep stray banks, brokers and their errant kin from asphyxiating themselves by swallowing toxic paper. And then there’s the proposed reincarnation of the Resolution Trust Corp., which all by itself may mean shelling out $800 billion, perhaps even as much as $1 trillion.

While we’re at it, we might as well include the $400 billion with which the Paulson-Bernanke grand plan envisages endowing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. so it can insure money-market funds.

But, please, understand those mind-boggling sums in no way, shape or form are to be construed as designed to aid and abet a bailout. Instead, they are merely the essential ingredients of an “intervention,” or, if you prefer, a “rescue” — just about anything, in other words, that’s semantically sweeter than bailout, with its ugly connotation of a sinking ship.

Original DVD cover.

Besides, we have it on the best authority that none of this largess will cost the taxpayer a cent over the long run, which, if nothing else, speaks volumes about what constitutes the best authority these days.


This is not to say that until the powers-that-be pounded the panic button last week, the billions they had already thrown at the problem as well as taking a big step further and making the wretched companies soaking up those billion de facto vassals of the government were completely in vain. They undeniably had an instant impact. Unfortunately, an instant was about as long as the impact lasted, and it failed miserably to becalm the frantic credit markets or rekindle investor confidence.

The sad truth is that just about every one of Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke’s previous brainstorms — and they seemed to come with increasing frequency as Hank and Ben’s agitation mounted — touched off a brief spasm of exhilaration among investors, only to evaporate in very short order as the credit crisis resolutely morphed into a credit calamity. Or, to change the metaphor, what had been a slow-motion train wreck picked up demonic speed.

On last Wednesday, investors were so gripped with fear and desperate for a haven that they poured into [Treasury] bills even though the yield was nonexistent. In effect, they were willing to pay the government for keeping their money safe. As a glance at the chart shows, that hasn’t happened since the Depression.

Then, everything changed, at least for now. And the soaring rise in the stock market that began Thursday afternoon and extended through the final bell on Friday had Ben and Hank whooping with joy, exchanging high fives and just venting their pleasure with cat-that-swallowed-the-canary smiles, a welcome change from the funereal faces they had donned for the past few months.

While we’re in a generous mood, we might as well add Christopher Cox to the cheerful circle of celebrants. The SEC chief has been the target of a steady stream of slings and arrows directed his way by John McCain, which rather than nailing Cox’s inadequacies (and they’re bountiful) once again demonstrated that McCain and his advisers haven’t much of a clue how markets work.


Frankly, it seems to us, Cox […] was more interested in covering his derriรจre than in protecting investors.




The plan, in all its extravagance, seems to have been thrown together on the fly, and once Congress gets a whack at it in the waning days before the lawmakers scurry off to the hustings, it may bear only passing resemblance, for better but probably for worse, to Paulson and Bernanke’s handiwork.

Obviously, the unknowns greatly outweigh the knowns, which make those and myriad other questions tough or downright impossible to answer.

We’re willing to concede that some forceful action was necessary, if only so the Fed can pay penance for its critical part in creating the incredible credit-cum-housing disaster.

Kids, go read the entire article. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll thank me later. In the meantime, I thought I would bring back another movie from way back in March and make it a double-feature evening.

Original DVD cover.


Filed under 2008 election, Chimpy, Congress, George W. Bush, humor, John McCain, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

21 responses to “Oh Henry!

  1. Got a Grip

    I’ve been trying to put aside being flabbergasted by the incredible nerve of these greedy a$$wipes and their enablers and find something cogent to say, but my mind just ends up turning into a bluescreen flashing one word over and over:


  2. did you see this? i assure you, your flabbergastedness is about to be raised to the tenth power! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  3. Got a Grip

    Oh. My. F^cking. God.

    I think my head may explode. Really. What in the h@ll is wrong with these people? Do they literally have no conscience or morality whatsoever?

    Wow. Just wow.

  4. told ya! they don’t have a drop of shame. i hope people forward that article to their reps in congress.

  5. Got a Grip

    Well, tomorrow I’m embarking on a letter writing campaign to hit as many Congresscritters as possible with as much pithy and well-researched material in protest of this abomination as I can possibly muster. I’ll be adding this to the mix. And you can take that to the bank (assuming any still exist.)

  6. the excuse to do nothing will be that the money is coming out of europe. however, if the company have a billion bucks lying around, then why is it necessary to bail them out in the first place? it’s dizzying. ๐Ÿ™„

  7. nightowl724

    I’m so dizzy, my head is spinnin’
    Like a whirlpool, it never ends

    And, then there’s these:

    Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter

    Welcome to the final stages of the coup…

    nonnie, you cooked up a real corker again!

  8. Got a Grip

    Thanks for the links, nightowl. Just so you know, I’ve had my torch and pitchfork waiting beside the door for quite some time, just in case. It looks like they may come in handy very soon, which really bums me out even as it pisses me off.

  9. nightowl724

    I hear ya, gotta! How did we get here? What the h*ll happened?

  10. Got a Grip

    Bush happened. This is just another step in the consolidation of power to the executive branch. And what really scares me is why. Why are they doing this now? If Bush is really going to leave office, why would they be working overtime to consolidate that kind of power? Are they going to pull a fast one and just take over the country and keep themselves in power? Are they going to steal the election and use McCain as the new figurehead?

    There’s something dastardly going on. This goes deeper than just saving their rich buddies from having to lose money. And yes, I have my tinfoil hat firmly screwed in place. And I’m keeping it there until I see a reason to remove it.

  11. This one really does bug the $hit out of me. Cost the tax payer nothing? Greedy bastards.

    I guess I should think like a banker. I should think it should be more like this if I did –

    I purchased a much more expensive home and way out of my real potential worth but I know the system can work for me. I Qualify for a reverse interest loan by paying off the mortgage broker at a bank with a night of cigars, drinks and strippers who mentions that it’s no problem with no interest loans as the interest rates will be next to nothing when you need to re-fi in a few years, as a gesture of good will he adds $100k on top of the real value of the house so I can do ‘remodel’ work. He knows a ‘guy’ that he can get to appraise my home for even more money to get rid of the PMI. Swell fellow.

    I take the money out and invest in a multi-level marketing scheme, Rent the million dollar house to losers that eventually destroy the place and need to be evicted, but not after disrupting the lives of the entire (hard working) neighborhood. I will, however, collect rent and keep the security deposits, then sue for damages.

    While all along my 100K is hard at work invested in a company that sells dangerous weight loss products over the internet, which in times of economic troubles always seem to sell like hot cakes.

    After a relaxing morning, I open my mail at one of my many Post Office boxes and I get a special notice from my bank that I qualify for free checks. And a little extra bonus as it seems I qualified for getting a tax rebate to help stir economic growth.

    Life is good, I think I’ll relax and have another cappuccino and steal some internet access to look for another investment home or maybe take out a second mortgage while I sip my coffee thinking, boy it is sure great to work in a system where you can succeed if you just work hard and apply yourself.

  12. Friend of the court

    Gotta, I think what they are doing, now, and for some time, is using the best legal minds they can buy, to cover their a$$ES from prosecution. Interesting legal concepts have long been a speciality of this herd of mof weasles. The bail out bill has that provision to make the Treasury Secretary able to act with out any legal review and secretely. All he has to do is lie to congress twice a year. They will clean out the cash box and wait for the public to forget, so they can do it again.

  13. Just saw this on Yahoo which I’m not sure is part of the Dog and Pony show –

    And I Quote End Quote

  14. Well the Quote didn’t make it… Here it is again

    WASHINGTON – The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration.

    Two law enforcement officials said the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and insurer American International Group Inc.

    A senior law enforcement official says the inquiries, still in preliminary stages, will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them.

    Officials say the new inquiries brings the number of corporate lenders under investigation over the last year to 26.

  15. Friend of the court

    Oh Great!!!! Now the Chimp can say the companies are part of the government, so they can claim executive privelege. Maybe under the magical Fourth Branch.

  16. Got a Grip

    Forth Branch didn’t get a very warm reception today on the Hill, fotc. Seems his credibility has suffered a bit under the weight of his lies and manipulations. Kind of warms the cockles of my heart.

  17. I wonder if this is just a scam for Bernanke and Paulson to use one of their credit cards to pay off the debt to get some free airline miles? Or a cash back card, man that would be sweet, what is it 3% of 700 billion? They seem to be selling hard for socialistic solution if that what you might call it.

    Lots of interesting news just popping up too. You all will be glad to know that Bush has assured the UN that he is taking ‘Bold Steps’ to prevent yada yada yada. Sorry I stopped reading after bold steps ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Friend of the court

    Thanks Gotta. That SOB has always given me heart burn, too.

  19. nightowl, gotta, and fotc,
    i am shining my tinfoil hat, too. i can’t get away from this feeling that this is exactly what the secret cabal has wanted from the very beginning, and they have now succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    my, my, my! when you come out of your shell, you really come out of your shell! your scenario was painful, yet hilarious! i think you are onto something with the credit card angle. unfortunately, the socialistic solution does not work both ways. we bail them out, but we get nothing out of it. in rethug terms, that’s fairness. ๐Ÿ™„

  20. But don’t we get the satisfaction knowing that we have help bail out some ‘companies’? You have to feel good about helping ‘companies’? Just kidding, yeah, this is going to shake out to be a major scam as everyone is anticipating. This is going to be a historic failure no matter what they do and how much $$ they spend.

    I would be investing in Green Ink and Paper Pulp as the the treasury will be running those presses for a long time to pay this mess off.

    We should all get a share in any company they bail out, and I want the keys to all executive wash rooms made available to any that has to pay to help. Buffet can have a special key as it seems he is going to kick in 5 Billion out of his pocket to help things out for Goldman and Sachs.

    I’m sure you have already use the DVD cover from Idiocracy, but might be good for a repeat ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good times

  21. sandy,
    i never heard of idiocracy, but thank you, i have it bookmarked now for further consideration! ๐Ÿ™‚

    not sure if green ink and paper pulp is a better investment than the wheelbarrows we will soon need to carry the cash to buy a gallon of gas or a dozen eggs.