Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wall Street and Wart Removal

Atlanta is out of gas.

The federal government wants $700 billion to bail out Wall Street – on top of the $172 billion the Federal Reserve shelled out last week.

And the warts on my thumb keep coming back.

The third item is the only one of the three I feel competent discussing in this forum. I’ve tried those paint-on, over the counter wart removal medicines, but these warts are pernicious. Isaac’s gone one as well that just won’t go away.

Maybe that’s the best way to write about the second item. No matter what kind of remedies whomever puts on Wall Street, the problems aren’t going to go away. So the government wants to buy assets at a discount from both U.S. and foreign firms, hold on to them, then sell them at a profit to get the $700 billion back. Who believes that will happen, given the government’s propensity to buy high, sell low, on just about every pie they get their finger in? These warts aren’t going to go away with $700 billion worth of whitewash. And while I like Sen. Christopher Dodd’s ideas of giving the government stakes in the companies they bail out and curbing executive compensation at said firms, I’ve got to wonder if those are only symbolic gestures. More wart remover.

Kiplinger.com has a pretty comprehensive history. a chain of events that led up to this month's debacle, here. Good reading.

But, unlike most in the Peanut Gallery section of the Blogosphere, I don’t pretend to understand all of this mess. I do know I won’t be opening the quarterly statements I’ll be getting in the next few weeks from our IRAs. I’m depressed enough with other monkeyshines at the moment.

Speaking of monkeyshines, the situation to which I’ve alluded to cryptically may be coming to a happy resolution, though it does mean another string of late-night meetings. Ugh.

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