Sunday, November 9, 2008

reality check is in the mail

Crow here. I've been noticing that a few of susan's blogger friends have little tickers on their side bars counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds left in the reign of the current administration. From what I've been hearing about the state of the economy and the continuing meltdown I've been thinking the tickers could be counting the money that won't be available for Obama to allocate when he takes office in January. Things are going to get worse before they get better and everyone had better be prepared for any major changes to be slow.

AIG wants another $50 billion this weekend and who knows what next. The company is expected to post huge third quarter losses again on Monday which are mostly the fault of credit default swaps they shouldn't have been engaging in to begin with. Would anyone in their right mind purchase insurance from a casino? Wasn't it the AIG kingpins that were caught at a posh spa, getting pampered with massages shortly after they were first bailed out? Wasn't it the AIG managment who were defending their spa vacations because, darn it, they worked so hard and they deserved some relaxation? I believe that they said something to the effect that they were under great stress and needed to decompress.

GM needs $75 billion in order to retool but they haven't designed or built the kind of cars people want or need for the past 30 years. The banks all want $100's of billion more. The other insurers want bailout money. The major home builders want bailout money. This is insane.

If we really were engaging in free markets, the failing companies would be allowed to fail and stronger companies that were run intelligently could take their places. Pretending that growth will be constant and unlimited isn't part of a free market system, it's just a scam that the scammers themselves ended up believing. If we're going to have a market, let's have one, and let it really work. If a company can't do business, too bad.

Well, don't be afraid, CHANGE is coming but like Paul Krugman mentioned - couldn't we maybe move it up a bit before all the money's gone? Never mind. Soon it will be sunshine everywhere, birds chirping non-stoppingly and, of course flowers and more flowers. It will be a BEAUTIFUL WORLD starting January 21, 2009. Perhaps we can let Alaska secede and invite Iceland to be the 50th state. There are only 300k Icelanders and they're all very well educated and civil.

Okay, gotta go. I have a night flight planned with a couple of old friends and I see one of them coming in for a landing now. I wonder why he looks worried?

21 comments:

  1. I think a whole mess a' people are in for a big disappointment.

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  2. Hi Susan - I noticed General Motors stock reached its lowest intraday mark since the 1950s, and will run out of cash by the first half of 2009 given a continuance of current market conditions which seems likely.

    I think there is a limit as to what can be done and this time you can’t spend your way into prosperity, although many might argue that was always an illusion.

    Even so money is not everything and optimism and a more trusting environment also ultimately make a big difference to economic outcomes. Still it will be interesting to see whether Obama moves to ‘bail out” the auto industry.
    Best wishes

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  3. fairlane - It's time to focus on realistic expectations.

    lindsay - If GM had been making an honest attempt to develop more environmentally sound personal transportation, I could almost envision the company being worthy of some government assistance. As things stand the officials in charge are more likely to be planning a very comfortable retirement with any funds they manage to garner from the public purse. Michael Moore showed us a long time ago that GM is not interested in community benefit. Why should we or Obama believe that's changed?

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  4. And, I have always wanted to go to Iceland.Iceland seem so much groovier than Alaskans, except they eat a lot of rotten shark.

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  5. lbr - Yes, Iceland gave us Bjork, who I always suspected was an alien from another galaxy. This may prove it.

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  6. dear president bush,
    i too have been under considerable pressure, with the weak economy, failing companies and a dropping balance in my 401(k) retirement plan. but i have been working very hard, like millions of others, and i deserve a spa vacation like those working for AIG.
    a spa massage and foot reflexology would be helpful, not only for me, but for all working americans. and better sooner rather than later, before the treasury runs out of money.
    sincerely, sera k.

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  7. There's a lot of hard work ahead of us, that's for sure.

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  8. sera - I think a facial and a gourmet lunch with a vintage Dom Perignon would go nicely too.

    The only mistake Circuit City made was in not getting so badly into debt they'd take the whole economy with it when it failed. Then they'd be trading at $3 a share like AIG was today.

    dcup - I'm just concerned we're all going to be working harder for very much less.

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  9. i wonder if eventually we'll have to break up some of these megacorporations that are 'too big to fail.' because once they become too big to fail, they become a burden on everyone when something goes wrong. aig and general motors are great examples of what i mean. the impact of failure becomes too great to bear.

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  10. sera - There used to be laws against such practices. Maybe it's past time to resurrect them.

    As goes General Motors, so goes the country. Ooops! There goes the country.

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  11. You know what we haven't tried you? One superduperultramegaokcorporation. That can't possibly fail!

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  12. randal -

    actualy, we already have one: u.s.a, inc. & everything paulson & bernanke have done & continue to do is indeed premised on the fact that it is too big to fail...

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  13. um,... make that 'belief', rather than 'fact' :) ...

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  14. //Pretending that growth will be constant and unlimited isn't part of a free market system, it's just a scam that the scammers themselves ended up believing.//

    {{{standing ovation}}}

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  15. Susan - I very much doubt Barack Obama will not be heavily involved in rescue package for GMH - since already he has spoken with Bush about the extreme urgency for aid to U.S. automakers at recent White House meetings. That is if the auto maker lasts that long ......it shares now a carry an analysists recommended nil value.

    I also get the impression; he's looking to do something immediately, including a second economic stimulus package.

    I don’t think past practices of producing large cars will be a bar........a rescue is rescue!

    Best wishes

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  16. randal and numb - So we're like the night watchmen, janitors and greeters? It's so nice to know we're all needed.

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  17. be - Thanks for noticing that. It should be part of our core beliefs.

    lindsay - Although I understand Obama has obligations to provide aid to the manufacturing industry it is a matter of whether GM lasts that long. As a company they've long resisted mandated change of any kind and I'd prefer not to see the owners rewarded.

    It's already being noted that Mr. Paulson has spent half the $700 billion without buying any of the bad paper as promised. Now he wants the rest and there appears to be nobody to stop him taking it.

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  18. Perhaps we can let Alaska secede and invite Iceland to be the 50th state.

    Um... I believe Puerto Rico has first dibs on that, but Iceland would be cool, too... no pun intended. ;^)

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  19. It will be nice to have a president who's not actively trying to make things worse. But that's certainly not enough to turn things around.

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  20. spartacus - I'll grant you Puerto Rico having dibs since they've definitely waited long enough. I still think the Icelanders would add a nice cultural element to the mix as 51.

    ben - Yes, I'm looking forward to that too. I just wish he wasn't cozying up to so many Clintonites.

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  21. Well, the closeness of the primaries forces his hand in some ways. But in a lot of ways he'd be best off taking their advice with a grain of salt. Rahm Emmanuel is no doubt good at bare knuckles politics, but doesn't strike me as a deep thinker.

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