Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Talk like a pirate week on Capitol Hill

I watched a little bit of the bail-out hearings on C-SPAN yesterday, and ended up with smoke stains all over the seat of my Jockey shorts. Today, I am going to take a teaspoon of Tequila every time Paulson fails to complete a spoken sentence. I fully expect to suffer alcohol poisoning.

I once had a Financial Planner tell me that I was effectively losing 7% a year on my money because I was sticking it in a savings account at a little under 3% interest rather than investing it in a risk portfolio that was returning at a rate of 10%. He was an excellent sales person, but when he remarked that “even an idiot can see which the smarter investment is”, I had to walk away. I wonder how he is doing this week…

My Mother was firmly against using credit because it tended to make a difficult situation worse. She raised five children as a single Mother on Welfare, and her frugality and sacrifice didn’t escape any of us. Her circumstance was one that could befall any young woman with few employment skills and a husband who decided (after the first four children) he would be better served on his own. Only her oldest son failed to graduate high school, opting to enter the military instead, and he later furthered his education beyond most high school graduates. The rest of us eked out an existence that was below middle class, but did culminate with a high school diploma in hand. Upon graduation, each of us was shown the doorway out of our Mother’s rented house and into the world.

I haven’t always followed my Mother’s example regarding credit, but (except for a brief period following a separation and divorce) I have tried to use credit sparingly and responsibly. I feel much more comfortable drawing 3% interest on a savings account than I feel pushing my money into the hands of a professional counselor who is going to purchase paper with it that has my name on it but yields value only to the people handling it.

My view of the stock market has always been skeptical. I prefer to deal in real estate that might fluctuate in value, but is always something I can place my feet upon. I also enjoy having a pocket full of cash when people are desperately trying to offload stuff that they purchased on overextended credit. I don’t get to do that very often because I seldom have even a hand full of cash, but I can easily see the upside of having liquidity rather than credit. Each situation spirals in its own direction… especially when lending regulations are non-existent, and the credit card companies are allowed to ply their tricks and traps against an uneducated public.

I guess the bottom line is being played out on Wall Street and in Congress this week with the Republican scheme to extract the maximum amount from the National Treasury before the Bush Administration wanders down the Happy Trail. I just have to shake my head because these Power Vultures have plucked and plundered their way into this current financial situation with focused attention, and they expect to wipe the shit off their shoes onto the American people once again.

I say…let the market heal its own wounds. The regulations that are being discussed by many Democrats and some Republicans should be slammed into place while the wound is raw and bleeding, and the fat cats who legislated this situation into existence should be recognized for their greed and irresponsibility. Taxpayer funds should be used to ease the burden of mortgage holders without excusing them from their obligations, but the lending institutions that are on the verge of failure should be allowed to fail if that is what the market decrees.

When the market finally settles out of its own accord (and it will), we should take our newly honed regulatory skills and abilities into the world of Government Contracting with a vengeance. We should also take a piercing look at the military weapons industry, and apply some regulatory common sense to a culture that perpetuates the ability of the world to argue lethally when diplomacy should be the norm.

There are many perversions in Government that need to be addressed. That won’t happen unless the American people insist on it, and we prosecute the Bush Administration officials (including Bush, Cheney, and their enablers) who have removed the last vestiges of honesty and integrity from the Justice Department and the Executive Branch so their political and financial Ponzi schemes could be perpetrated against America.

Country first, my ass!

1 comment:

Mr.Natural said...

Playing the market is gambling plain and simple, and the smart ones never gamble more than they can afford to lose. Looks like some never heard that advice. I feel for the nice plain folks who just wanted a house to live in who fell for these fucking snake oil salesmen. BAH!