Friday, September 26, 2008

Mugsy gets long-winded on financial crisis

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.


Puddleglum said...

Here's a thought: If a candidate is a senator, and has to suspend his campaign in order to properly address his duties as such, does that mean that he has to suspend his duties as a senator in order to campaign?

If the two are mutually exclusive, and we pay the salary of a senator, shouldn't taxpayers get reimbursed for the salaries of candidates who are also senators during election years?

Since that is two senators this year, that might help make a dent in the bailout package. Or, they could just pull a Bob Dole and resign entirely during the campaign. (Ha!)

PS-- As a fellow investor in rawhide futures, I feel your pain.

Nevis said...

Thought provoking post asusual, Mugsy. Thank-you for your wisdom.

Lucy said...

Buy rawhide! Sell frozen OJ! Get me my international cross debiting spreadsheets! I work for a large national bank that actually paid attention to what the hell we were doing so I say let them burn. But then again, Paulson and all his cronies came from Goldman Sachs so they are actually trying to secure $700 billion for all their friends and themselves when they go back to the street.

JMG said...

Since taxpayers will have to pay for the bailout, is it possible that your rawhide investments may be taxed at a higher rate, thus canceling out what you would have earned if the bailout goes through?

Nan and B.A.G.S. the pug said...

there is definately a time to paws...and think. heee

Nick said...

Contrary to what the main stream media says, wall street as a whole (capitalism) should not be blamed for the actions and policies set forth by OUR congress. There are, in fact, corrupt men in wall street who partnered with corrupt men in government to engineer a win-win situation at the expense of the taxpayer. Capitalism (and our nation or any nation) will only survive when the good and virtuous people are running it. Which means, come this November, you must vote for good men and women who stand by principle and uphold our constitution and not just give lip service to causes that seem noble and just.