Friday, September 26, 2008

Possible bailout proposal

It looks like we're gonna have a bailout whether we want it or not.

I'm opposed, but in the interest of offering my two cents, here's what I think should happen.

The biggest issue with the bailout comes down to valuation of the assets. The market hasn't been able to place a dollar figure on what they are worth and that keeps the market frozen. (Illiquid)

Instead of giving a blank check to Treasury (which means to the Executive Branch) , we should dole it out in increments of 100 billion. After the first 100 billion amount is used, then Congress should evaluate if and in what amount the next 100 billion should be doled out.

The benefit with this approach is two fold:

1) By allowing Treasury to begin purchasing assets, the market will quickly establish a value for the assets. This will help crystallize the market value for future purchases. It will also encourage private entities to begin purchasing the assets since the government would have set a floor value through its purchases.

2) By restricting the amount given out, we can keep control over the money and possibly conserve most of it.

I think this approach would work and would keep us off the hook for the entire 700 billion.

All we need do is help establish a value on the assets to get the market moving again. This is priming the pump rather than drowning it. Doing this would not require the whole enchilada requested by Paulson.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let the free market clean up the mess that it has created: No bailout.

After much turmoil, I've come to a conclusion on the proposed bailout.

Those who advocated for the "free market" have succeeded in bringing us this mess.

In an effort to maintain some congruence, I think the free market should be left to resolve the problem.

I mean, the free market types argue that the market can cure everything, so let them put their money where their mouths are.

I do think this provides an opportunity for us to practice some economic gardening by trimming the excesses and exercising some well-needed training of our economic system through targeted regulation.

If the market works as alleged, then it should absorb this mess and work it out.

Study shows people persist in believing lies even when faced with the truth. Scary

I came across a study performed last year with dire implications.

The study tells us that when people are lied to by a politician they support people persist in believing the lie--even when presented with evidence of the deceit from credible sources. In fact, the truth reinforces the belief in the lie.

That's a mouthful, but here's the gist: If you believe a lie told by your favored politician, you are less apt to trust someone that points it out and provides evidence of the deceit. You will even go so far as to continue believing the lie rather than be disloyal. (I think back to the Bush administration's claim that Iraq has WMDs...)

This is part of the media's problem. The more holes they poke in the candidates' lies, the less likely the truth will be believed.

This scares me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gas crisis video is hilarious...

This video sums up the gas situation here in Nashville.

Absolutely hilarious video. Make sure to watch the whole thing.

Love it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bailout in haste--repent at your grandhildren's leisure.

I've been a little troubled by the proposed bailout.

Here's a story that tells a little about it.

My problem is one of competing concerns.

On the one hand, I think the government should help stabilize the market because the volatility we have currently is nothing but trouble for jobs, business, and growth.

On the other hand, I worry that the changes in the law over the past few decades have created a situation where well-financed, and well-connected interests with access to information unavailable to the rest of us, have created a mess where a few profit while the rest of us to pay the tab.

As it stands now, my generation and succeeding ones will pay for the preceding generations inability to delay gratification. The "Me" generation is so stunningly self-centered. Why should my generation (Gen X) be forced into parenting the Boomer's excesses?

We have financed increases in wealth for a small number through policies that a few trickle-down ideologues have convinced people are in the country's best interests.

This is absurd. Trickle-down is only a euphemism for Marie Antoinette's line of "Let them eat cake."

This bailout represents emergency CPR for a few companies and industries that have profited from the rest of us. Now, when they get caught without a chair in the economic game of musical chairs, they scream for help, despite the free market ideology they've trumpeted for years.

The failure of the administration to properly plan is not cause to hand over a blank check to cover their incompetent asses for their ideological idiocy. The public apparently feels the same way.

We should all have serious concerns about an administration that waits too late to fix a problem, then tries to use the immediacy of the need created by their dilatory response to demand change without oversight. This smells of Hitler demanding emergency powers from the German Parliament to fix a fabricated crisis and then seizing power.

Congress is doing the right thing by slowing down the train.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Troopergate" will cause the McCain camp to rot from within

Here's a story from the Right-leaning realclearpolitics about the "Troopergate" scandal.

Apparently, the Governor Palin was all in favor of the investigation into the State Trooper matter. The State legislature voted to investigate.

Now, Palin has chosen not to cooperate.

This is a familiar story a la "The Bridge to Nowhere" that Palin was for before she was against it. Palin was in favor of the investigation before she was against it.

Stonewalling is troubling from a politician who bills herself as a paragon of openness and reform.

This won't turn out well. McCain should have looked into this before choosing Palin, but now it's too late.

I'm reminded of what my uncle Floyd always said: " You can't take back a screw."

In this case, McCain can't take back his screw up, even though it may tar and feather his campaign with hypocrisy's mantle and recall to voters' minds Bushco and the stonewalling they were ever-so prone to use.

So much for de-coupling from Bush....