Sitting in my room in the Monte Carlo hotel on the Las Vegas strip, I've been watching the absurdity of the last few days. Needless to say, I'm disgusted. However, that's not why I'm writing this. I'm writing this because for some reason, the elected officials in DC are getting on my nerves with all of the political pandering we've seen. However, its not their fault. They're doing what they were chosen to do, with a bit of criminality thrown in for good measure.
(Thank you, America, for voting in these cocksuckers! Just had to throw that in. YOU got the politicians YOU DESERVE. I hope you're proud of yourselves, American public, you fucktards!)
Moving on, everyone wants to know what should be done. I think its pretty obvious that there is no "right" answer. Shit is fucked. All of that said, here's what makes sense to me given that we live in a world of probability. (Nothing makes that clearer than walking around the casinos in this town.)
First, the bills hitting the congress need to be simplified. I don't honestly care about the numbers being bandied about. We long ago passed the point of those being relevant. Plenty of people have already noted that the $700B is a ROLLING number. Once $700B is burned, a next $700B is up. The $700B is the amount outstanding that Treasury could put to work at any given moment. THAT'S ALL. So I wish people would get off that one. Just make it a cool trillion even. The amount is somewhat irrelevant. Its a question of what happens to it - how is it used - that matters the most.
Second, the notion that Treasury should not have oversight is patently absurd. Paulson had a better chance of getting a blowjob from an electrical socket than getting that one through. If it somehow has crept back in...well, see paragraph 3 above. No, he wasn't elected, but his boss was. Utter bullshit that should be thrown out.
Third, the purchases by Treasury should be at market price. I think Merrill put down a $0.05 price on its most recent sale. Hey, at $0.05, I'm a buyer of as much of that paper as possible. Hell, that's a 95% markdown or better. I doubt 95% of the mortgages in any securitized deal are going to hell. 50% - maybe. 30% - likely. 80% - oh please! If you want private buyers to come in with capital, the price has to be right. Getting these illiquid assets off the books of public commercial financing institutions is the order of the day. Allowing the Treasury to buy this crap from the banks at par - THAT is a monumental mistake which will accelerate the downfall of the American empire. I don't know who Hank was blowing (or being blown by) to put that fuckery into the measure, but THAT is my biggest problem. The folks sitting on this debt either need to put a bullet in their own heads and be done, or sell that shit for the best amount they can get. The writing is on the wall. Will their brains be as well? If the price is $0.05, then dammit, sell and move on.
Now, what the hell is with all of this partisan politics adding pork to these bills? Again, thank you America! You have no one to argue against about greed when clearly, by virtue of the fact that your elected officials are sticking in amendments and other dick sucking measures into this legislation. You know, this is one of those times (like, well, really, EVERY OTHER TIME) when legislators shouldn't be playing sides, state against state, pork against pork. These motherfuckers need to be doing the best for the ENTIRE NATION, not sucking their constituents' dicks on some bullshit. How come no one is calling in to make sure that shit doesn't pass? Because YOU, American public, are a greedy, selfish, self-centered motherfucker who doesn't honestly give a flying fuck about anyone else in this country except yourself. I guess we can nickname you Gordon Gekko. You want a better outcome? Get the legislators to remove all the bullshit and get the bill down to the basic, fundamentals to address this ONE ISSUE.
But where are you when it comes to making that call? Absent. As expected.
You know what is really upsetting about this whole thing isn't that the politicians are doing what they are doing. They're mostly pathetic cocksmokers pandering for votes anyway. Expecting more from them at this point is useless. However, the dicks they are trying to suck -- their constituents' -- aren't out there instructing them to do the BEST thing for the NATION. No, the constituents are out there saying that the pols should be fucking over the next American so that they can sleep well, have their cake and eat it too. The pols are just doing as they have been instructed.
I'm inclined to ask people how it feels to be greedy, evil bastard motherfucker willing throw your fellow American under the bus. But I don't even know that there's a point to that. If you people actually gave a shit about anyone other than yourselves, you'd be encouraging - nay, screaming for - your representatives and senators to cut out the bullshit and whittle down the bill to the simplest incarnation to address the short term credit market liquidity problem. PERIOD.
But considering there is no heart left among the populace, I don't see that happening. You people want it nice and easy. Fuck, if everything were meant to be easy, everyone would do it. If marriage were easy, no one would get divorced. If saving were easy, everyone would have 6 - 12 months of funds put away for an emergency and no credit card debt. (Not saying I'm perfect here. Just making the point, plain and simple.) If college were easy, more than 25% of the population would have college degrees. If being healthy and fit were easy, less of you people would be clinically obese, overweight, and about to drop dead due to your inability or unwillingness to be disciplined about exercise and eating in a healthy manner. Worthwhile shit is hard to do. That's the price of doing it. At the end, you're supposed to feel good about overcoming whatever you had to overcome to win the ring. That's how it works.
This is the most difficult economic problem to face this nation in a long fucking time, and the easy solutions were passed over decades ago. So get over it. You - yes, you, American public - chose this course with your willingness to be forgo difficulty, your willingness to throw your fellow man under the bus so you could get what you wanted, and your willingness to believe that the economic fundamentals of the last 300+ years of capitalism had been suspended in your favor.
I laugh when I hear people talk about the character of the American public. It sure hasn't been on display in my lifetime. If you people want to start claiming any sort of high ground, then the simple fact is that you need to take your medicine. The American public - everyone, myself included - created this problem. There is no easy way out. So just deal with it and get to the other side as quickly as possible. It won't be easy. That doesn't mean that good companies need to go to zero because of the over-emotional American investor. But the pain has to be felt, lifestyles have to be adjusted downward, and EVERYONE has to de-lever. That's all there is to it.
If you're really up to it, then do it! Fuck talking about it. BE ABOUT IT.
Or don't. It really is your choice. But if you're not going to take the pain; prepare for emergencies; cut your standard of living; eliminate your debt; put your foot on the neck of the politicians in Washington, DC; bust your ass adding or creating value at your employer or in your business; and otherwise tighten your belts, then realize that the shit only GETS WORSE from here.
What are you going to do?
Ahhh, I feel much better now. Time to see what's going on outside of my room.