Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does anyone even get this financial crisis?

Does anybody really get this? I mean, any of us here in our cubes, down on the street, driving around in our cars, sucking up that expensive gasoline?

Or has the world really spun out of control? People swapping debt? Bad mortgage payments? No one in their right in the real world would pay good money for something that wasn't worth something. Would you buy and old beat-to-shit car for $20,000?

It such a grand scale--hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars--and excuse me, but previously, these kinds of numbers were only bandied about in terms of the universe and light years--we are now putting a dollar sign in front of them and we're all supposed to just not blink?

People are scared, and our government and the governments around the world are scrambling. No sorry, this is the government's fault. Don't tell me it's the person who took on the bad mortgage then defaulted. Don't tell me it's the poor person who just wanted a house. Nobody forced that person to sign that loan. Oh, please. Some poor schmuck just wanted a house. The bank never should have agreed to that mortgage in the first place. What ever happened to the bank managing risk? There's where the failure in responsibility took place. But they sold zillions (I guess we can start using that word without a lot of hyperbole, can't we?) of crap mortgages then they sold those mortgages (who would buy that shit??) to insurance companies and banks and investment houses.

What the hell ever happened to investing in strong industries? In something you can actually pick up with your hands and look at and say, hey, that's pretty good?

And banks are raising their hands telling people not to pull their money out of the bank, like they did during the great crash of '29. Anybody remember that? No, I don't either. I'm not that fucking old, but I did and do read history so I know about it. Doesn't anyone else read?

It won't make any difference if you pull that money out, because then all you'll have is green paper in your hands. Soon, a can of beans will be worth more than the money in your hands. You'll be able to barter what you've got for awhile. See, that paper is just a loan, too...a pretty piece of paper that we trust the U.S. Treasury will honor if we go up to the U.S. Treasury and say I want to cash this in for gold.

So the U.S. Government is spreading dollars around the world, and I don't quite get what that will do, but in essence it's $247 billion--$247,000,000,000 just so you can take a good look at that. If you really want to have some fun, subtract your yearly income from that number, and you'll start getting an idea of the scale we're talking about. This ain't comparable to some young kid overextending a few credit cards or a family of four double mortgaging a house that ain't worth it's value, although oddly, deep down, this is the cause.

The cause is greed on a worldwide scale. It's some middle-class family living way beyond its means to finance SUVs and big screen TVs. It's lower-middle class families stretching themselves too thin to buy a piece of the American dream and waking up one day to find out it's an American nightmare. It's the fattest cats of all feeding at the hog trough of Wall Street.

We're all in this together, and funny, it's so obvious that neither of the presidential candidates understand a fig of what's happening. Maybe Sarah Palin can hop on her snowmobile figure this out for us.

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