On the good ship USA, George W. Bush has abandoned the bridge and is in the main cabin working deals for his…business associates. What’s he’s doing exactly you can read about elsewhere. Let it be enough to say that whatever he’s doing, he’s doing for others (bless his Texan heart) and by others I don’t mean you and me. It is a time honored tradition, all presidents do it as they leave office – the worst was Carter. It ensures that favors are repaid, that their personal future is underwritten – who knows the why? It just is. Clinton earned $110 million since leaving office; that shows you how important these last minute deals are. Oops, reportedly are.
I’m bringing this up to show that while GWB is busy in his Nero-esque fiddling, the wheel house is empty while our economic engine room burns. He’s left the fighting of the fire to a reputed economic arsonist and a group of amateur economists who have no idea what they’re doing. I refer to all economists as amateur as they are but academic soothsayers. Relics of the 1970s who have survived by confusing employers into thinking they are an essential part of economic planning. They are, in reality, as incapable of predicting the future as a stopped clock; which, admittedly, is right twice a day which explains their occasional success.
Oh, they know what they’re doing alright, they just can’t explain why. Despite their abounding ignorance, this group of merry men frequently demonstrates their insecurity through the sheer contempt they have for the American people; the very people who’s money they are plundering in their grand experiment.
Don’t believe me?
How then can you explain the increase in bailout money from the $700 billion that we told congress not to give out (and they did anyway) to $8.5 trillion as reported by Bloomberg News.*
How indeed? When Bloomberg News asked for information as to the beneficiaries of this opulent and generous granting of public funds they were politely told to ‘f**k-off’ and have had to resort to suing the Fed under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act to find out more.
The loud hissing sound is Paulson hosing the economic Hindenburg with the fire hose of borrowed public funds. Public money spent without authority; without seeking permission; without personal consequence or recourse. Much of which is being borrowed from the Chinese, good friends of Paulson when he worked on Wall Street. He had 70 trips there in his career. Am I the only one who sees a screaming neon sign of conflict of interests here? Anyone?
Will all of this expenditure work? Nobody knows. An economic meltdown like this only happened once before, during the great Depression. At that time the Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon advised letting the market settle of its own and in doing so to “purge the rottenness out of the system.” President Hoover rejected this advice and started numerous programs which didn’t work. It took a world war to get the economic engine started again.
So what’s different now? This time the Fed is hyper-aggressively injecting more money into the system that we’ve got – borrowing cash based on the perceived strength of the U.S. system. They’re sailing us into Terra incognita – uncharted territory. Early results show that we may well be peeing onto a gasoline fire; the results are not good. In fact, they’re dreadful; nothing is happening. Except of course that the Wall Street bankers got their gambled money back and Americans will end up with near un-repayable national debt.
Paulson’s confident demeanor at press conferences laminates a very real fear that the economy may not recover as a result of Fed action. He has no idea whether it will work or not. He does know however that he’s got an unlimited budget and until January 20th has the power to do whatever he wants before he may have to retire and live off his $700 million in personal wealth. Poor fellow. Soooo in touch with the common man.
In the mean time, fellow countrymen, we have been bent over a barrel without so much as a kiss. Our future, the future of our children is being squandered by an absent lame-duck president and his appointees who have nothing to loose by spending our money. If it doesn’t work, Paulson will stand there, bank notes bulging from his and his banker buddies pockets, hands upturned, with a look of feigned anxiety on their faces as they plead to a broke country that “they tried.”
The question is. Will we?