Random thoughts on the coming Apocalypse

Does anyone else find it amusing (I laugh so I do not cry) that both campaigns started immediately pointing fingers at each other about all the Freddie Mac and Fannie May insiders that pepper both their campaigns?

Am I the only one who sees McCain’s “OMG lets stop campaigning and deal with the crisis” as a reprise of Jimmy Carter’s “I’m locking myself in the White House till the Hostages come home” from the ’80 election? Am I the only one who sees it playing out at least as well? (I wonder if disco will come back?)

I get the whole “let’s grab the guillotine” attitude about these CEOs. It feels good to pile on these lowlifes. But, you know, taking a few hundred million from those folks is going to do exactly jack and shit about the trillion dollar elephant sitting in the middle of the room. (We shut the barn door, but the horse is gone and the tractor’s on fire.)

All these economic experts who are rushing headlong to solve this problem are the exact same people who somehow didn’t see this coming. This didn’t happen overnight, and any economist that actually said that the economy was sound any time in the last two years should be automatically disqualified from proposing a solution. (But they got us into this mess, of course they can get us out, right?)

Whatever Washington does isn’t going to actually fix the problem, the best they’re going to do is amortize the pain over the next five to ten years. We’re going to end up with a larger, more invasive government, higher taxes, more expensive gas, and the person we elect in November, whoever it is, is going to receive a good part of the blame for not fixing it. Our credit bubble that’s been blowing up since the 90s? Watch it deflate. (No! You can’t haz home equity line, not yourz!)

If you want to invest in something right now: Duct Tape, Canned Goods and Euros.

4 Replies to “Random thoughts on the coming Apocalypse”

  1. An article in the LA Times from May 31, 1999 (http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/31/news/mn-42807) talks about the boom in home ownership of minority black and Latinos. It credits Clinton with the increase in minority home-ownership. It talks about how the government’s requirement of the financial giants to take on high-risk loans was the reason for the increase in minority home ownership. It also states this:

    The top priority may be to ask more of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies are now required to devote 42% of their portfolios to loans for low- and moderate-income borrowers; HUD, which has the authority to set the targets, is poised to propose an increase this summer. Although Fannie Mae actually has exceeded its target since 1994, it is resisting any hike. It argues that a higher target would only produce more loan defaults by pressuring banks to accept unsafe borrowers. HUD says Fannie Mae is resisting more low-income loans because they are less profitable.”

    So, this financial meltdown disaster has been a long time in the making. 42% – that’s almost half the loans produced and we wonder why they’re failing? And I’m sure this is only one part of the problem, but a part worth noting that probably won’t get much media attention.

    As for McCain going back to DC – call me old-fashioned, but since I’m paying the twit 6-figures to do a job, I sort of expect him to do that job, regardless of how many babies he has to kiss and who he has to ramble at on Friday night TV. I’m disappointed and rather disturbed that Barack doesn’t feel he needs to earn the salary I pay him. I hope he changes his tune, as we really need both of them and every other Senator and Congressman trying to work this out. It’s the biggest thing that’s happening in probably 100 years. If the US economy fails, it won’t really matter who is President.

  2. I think this is actually a very good argument to disqualify current office holders from running for higher office while they’re seated. You want to run for office, effing commit to it. Not only are you cheating the people who elected you to the last job of your service, what job you do do is going to be mucked up by the politics of the job you’re running for. Retire, resign, serve your term, then run.

    Oh, and for further *headdesk* amusement: The $700bn figure is not based on anything, it’s just a number someone pulled out of their ass.

  3. “Retire, resign, serve your term, then run.” Oooh, I _like_ that idea. Something to keep in mind should one ever have the opportunity to offer amendments at a constitutional convention. Whether that would apply to a candidate running for reelection to the same office would be a fun detail to hash out. One possible solution for congresscritters: campaign season lasts 6 months, and they are _out of session_ during campaign season, unless the veep and the speaker declare and emergency, and no campaigning allowed until the emergency session ends. If that certain November Tuesday should arrive and the session is still busy, too bad, the voters will have to decide without the benefit of attack ads _ad naseaum_.

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