Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Unashamedly Point the Finger, Yes, That Finger

Big investment banks are chalking up some impressive “loses” and “write-down’s.” I don’t feel too badly for them, after all, these are the guys and girls who get those annual bonuses that we read about every year, multi-millions of dollars, they lengthen the waiting lists for every luxury in world. Those bonuses famously piss most of us off on a regular basis.

Those banks are in such trouble now because of their own foolishness, and the foolishness of our elected officials. Oh! Regulation! Those god-damned Liberals! Let the market run itself! Who knows better, the market or Washington insiders?

Washington insiders, it turns out. In the absence of responsible regulation the banks came up with some novel ideas, some novel, irresponsible ideas. “Derivatives,” I think they were called. Loan people money for houses, then bundle the loans and sell the whole kit and caboodle to another investment entity, some poor, unsuspecting investment entity. So then the question became, how can we sell more of this crap? The answer was to suspend ordinary prudence and lend money to anyone who wanted it, irrespective of the ability to pay, the existence of an equity cushion in the property, down payments, or credit history. Who cares? We’re going to jettison the risk within a month.

Those who sold these derivatives are probably still counting the money while the suckers who bought them are declaring bankruptcy, watching their stock become worthless, sending their employees home to sell their Ferraris and let their houses fall into foreclosure. The loses that we are hearing about? That money went somewhere, and it’s still there folks.

The sellers of the properties got some of it. Small timers, mostly, I figure. The sellers of the derivatives got a lot of it. The geniuses who run the investment banks got a lot of it, before the whole scam went to hell. Now the boss-geniuses will get Golden Parachutes. Guess who’ll pay for that?

And now the entire world is paying for it. Who is responsible for this cluster-fuck?

You know my political prejudices, so you will not be surprised to find out that I blame the Republicans, with all that “de-regulation” crap. Many businesses cannot be trusted to run themselves absent some guidelines from those who are charged with running our fair country. Especially those greedy pricks on Wall Street.

You can’t blame the bankers. They are like the experimental monkeys who are given free access to cocaine, just push the button Bonzo! Almost immediately they give up eating and sleeping and push the button until they have cocained themselves to death. You can’t blame the monkeys.

No, blame the Republicans. For ages and ages there were regulations in place to avoid just this kind of unfettered, egomaniacal greed. Remember? Not too long ago banks couldn’t sell insurance and insurance companies could not engage in banking, just for one gross example. But no, sayeth the Republicans, this demonic Liberal regulation is ruining our competitiveness in the global market! So, with the lemming like compliance of the “shoot-itself-in-the-foot” wing of the Democratic party, the deregulation was accomplished and before too long the bankers and insurance executives proved that they could not be trusted after all, they needed to be regulated, or else they’d die on the floor of their cages like a bunch of silly monkeys in a lab somewhere.

I haven’t heard anyone mention this issue in the current election cycle. No, much better to keep to more easily understood so-called issues, like “Mandingo wants to teach your five year old daughter about oral-sex,” or some good old righteousness for life, or maybe some I-won’t-let-that-old-Ming-zap-you-with-any-damn-Mongo-death-ray! You know, make it up as you go, nobody will know the difference.

But chaos is so exciting. Look for the good.

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