Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Apparently, Bush will be using the Presidential Pulpit of Bull to warn of cats and dogs sleeping together should Congress not give Secretary of the Treasury $700,000,000,000 right now.


While the economy is slowly sinking, and the stock markets are "volatile", and a whole lot of banks, big and small, are still either holding bad assets, or using bad assets as collateral for other bad assets, we have hardly reached the stage where fire will reign from heaven and the top song on the Hit Parade will be "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?"

How many banks are calling in non-mortgage loans to cover runs? How many banks are having runs? In the hours running up to the March 4, 1933 inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as President, not just banks, but whole states were giving up the ghost; Hoover had a liaison with Roosevelt's people covering phone calls from governors (Hoover and Roosevelt detested one another, Hoover thinking FDR a lightweight who didn't understand the problems, Roosevelt thinking Hoover neither courteous nor aware that he had lost the election) as they notified the federal government they had officially run out of cash. I don't see that happening.

One of the root causes of the Great Depression was the already-existing depression in the agricultural sector, with a combination of depressed prices, over-production, and the human-made catastrophe of the Dust Bowl leading to the auctioning off of farms in the hundreds of thousands of acres every week.

I don't see that, either.

The retail sector is weak, to be sure, but hardly perched on the precipice of failure.

The economy is weak, not collapsing.

One part of our financial markets, the part the is populated by those who used to be described as "social parasites" back when people thought that not working for a living was a sign not just of laziness but moral degradation, is in a mess. Does this mean the whole thing is teetering so precariously that if Wall Street doesn't get its check this week we will have a nation-wide epic fail?

I don't think so.

When George comes on the screen tonight, turn the sound down. Or better yet, change the channel to the Food Network.

Virtual Tin Cup

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