Monday, September 22, 2008

i should be working on my novel right now, but my friend jay set me to reading today about the collapse of the economy and the beginning of the whole what-are-we-gonna-do-about-it conversation. i'm still planning on disappearing into imaginationland for a while in a minute, but first i'm gonna do a little spitting about the world and the crazy shit going on in it right now.

first off, hank paulson can suck a great big cock, preferably one with some active herpes lesions on it. anyone who can say, with a straight face, that the government and, by extension, the taxpayer ought to foot the bill for this mess and just buy up all that bad paper so that the people that did all these shady deals and made all these mistakes can turn around and do it some more, collecting tens of millions of dollars in severance packages while the people that work for them default on their own mortgages because they don't have jobs anymore should be extrtaordinarily rendered and dropped in downtown sadr city wearing nothing but a pair of american flag boxer shorts and a hijab with a target on the back of the head so they know where to donkey punch his ass.

seriously, what a jerk.

"hey mom and dad, i wrecked that car you gave me for my birthday. can i have a nicer one?" then again, in the circles these guys run in, that kind of thing is probably pretty common. seriously, why are we asking the former head of an investment bank (even if it's one that hasn't gone under. yet) to solve a problem that people like him basically created? are we to suppose that, now that he's cashed in, he can afford to engage in morality and ethics?

i will say this, though: i never in my life expected to hear a republican advocate state-sponsored socialism, which is pretty much what the paulson plan amounts to. company failing? we'll nationalize it. make some bad bets and now your loan shark is at the door with a baseball bat? here, we'll pay him off, and hey, here's a little extra for your suffering and mental anguish, i hear the ponies are racing again tonight.

there is, of course, plenty of blame to go around, and everyone deserves some small share, even you and me. after the tech bubble popped, we should all have realized that what goes up must come down and that double-digit increases in housing prices couldn't possibly go on forever. i mean, even i was able to do a cash-out refi on a property i inherited from my grandparents, and i tend bar for a living, which means i can't prove my income since so much of it is in cash. i almost giggled when the guy asked me what i made each year and then did absolutely nothing to confirm that what i said was true. now i'm just glad i didn't take more out. that condo has lost at least half its perceived value in the last eighteen months.

i even realized that something had to give, slightly before everyone came to their senses, but i was foolish, and i let people talk me out of selling when i could've actually made some money on it. ah well, live and learn. but seriously, it was obvious to anyone with open eyes that it couldn't last, that the whole system was built on magical thinking that had little or no basis in reality.

all of which does nothing to excuse the real perpetrators, the guys whose idea it was to buy up all this questionable paper and bundle it together, fooling the ratings agencies into giving it the ol' triple-a when it was at best a gentleman's c. what really grinds my gears is that a few hundred people went from obnoxiously to obscenely rich, and in doing so left us with the bill when the man behind the curtain showed his ass.

and now they want a blank check, with no strings attached, to fix their mistakes without suffering any of the consequences of their own bad judgement, and that shit stinks.

No comments: