Friday, September 19, 2008

Muzzles, Duct Tape and Presidential Statements

Dear George,

I see your handlers have you on a short lease while the economy is doing its roller coaster act. You’re like the nation’s pet dog that’s taken out for a quick dump and then run back into the house.

It’s a tactic that works every time. You appear, mutter a few platitudes and then retreat into your customary silence. The important thing is to say nothing off the cuff. It’s okay to talk like an idiot when things are going well, but when the ship of state hits a rock, it’s time to keep you out of sight and muzzled.

You praised the “extraordinary measures” your administration has taken to force the tsunami back into the ocean by packing our treasury with as much toxic paper as possible.

I love the way you’ve been ducking questions from reporters who have this silly idea that the American people expects more out of their president than a two-minute statement. When one reporter tried to question you, you claimed you couldn’t hear him. “I’m old,” you quipped.

I’m sure that added 100 points to the Dow’s Thursday rally.

Meanwhile, Paulson and Bernanke are working overtime to bail out the fellow members of their Old Boy Club by creating a government agency to buy up all the toilet paper that’s dragging the economy down. This would be similar to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) that bailed out the village idiots in the savings and loan industry.

As soon as they made the announcement, the Dow got a hard-on and shot up 400 points.

As the RTC’s architect Richard Breeden, put it, “Lesson No. 1 from that era is: Move quickly. Troubled assets don’t become more valuable over time; they become less valuable.” This is why we have to stiff the taxpayers with the losses.

Here we see how corporate responsibility differs from personal responsibility. The poor soul who is forced into bankruptcy because he’s too far in debt gets nothing, while corporations get all the help they need. That’s because the disaster wasn’t the corporations’ fault; they were victims of an unpredictable market. The individual should have known better.

We know this new RTC will fly because it has the backing of Alan “It-wasn’t-my-fault” Greenspan.

Of course, nobody has the slightest idea how much this is going to cost. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) estimates that there’s 1.114 quadrillion of toxic paper in the system.

As one former Treasury official put it, “The worry is that the system as a whole may be undercapitalized. There may not be enough capital to absorb the losses caused by the ferocity of the downward spiral.”

So, the solution is for a broke Treasury to buy up all this worthless paper with borrowed foreign money. I have no doubt that foreign governments will queue up to throw their perfectly good money after bad.

This same Treasury official added, “Doing this (the new RTC) would be an admission we are in deep trouble. [But] if the situation doesn’t stabilize, we have relatively few options left.”

I understand your handlers are going to exchange your muzzle for a strip of duct tape.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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