These are extraordinary times, my flock. Thursday evening, Washington Mutual became the latest victim of America's financial crisis. In Washington, lawmakers appeared to have in place a deal for a massive handout of borrowed funds from future, perhaps yet unborn taxpayers. But it all seemed to fall apart following a meeting of the minds at the White House.
Of all the high-stakes machinations of recent days, the most remarkable display came when a presidential candidate said the dire economic situation had compelled him to suspend his campaign. (He did not suspend his media-interview stump speeches, or his fundraising. But this is, I'm certain he would say, beside the point.) In this most remarkable of moves, he sought to equate a presidential election -- and one of the few forums in which voters can actually get an unfiltered view of the candidates, untainted by the distortions of campaign ads -- with petty politics. While finding a solution for the economic meltdown and credit crunch is crucial, I tend to believe that determining who will lead this country for the next four years is fairly important, too. But perhaps I am just peculiar in that way.
So where does the ministry stand on this bailout business? It is hard to say. On the one paw, I have a significant portion of my net worth tied up in stock investments and rawhide -- and both have been rapidly depleted in recent weeks. If a bailout could stabilize the financial markets and restore some luster to my portfolio, I might be inclined to support it. On the other paw, I resent the idea of taxpayers having to prop up multi-billion-dollar businesses that made irresponsible decisions in the interest of inflating their share prices and putting ill-gotten gains in the pockets of high-level executives.
So there are no easy answers. Perhaps I shall hedge my bets and support a bailout of some sort while once again ducking the IRS.