Why Can’t AIG Be Allowed To Fail?

March 16, 2009

Over and over I keep hearing this mantra about how the American government cannot allow AIG to fail. So, because it cannot be allowed to fail, the government continues to funnel a never ending supply of money into it. But WHY can’t it be allowed to collapse? What horrible thing is going to happen? 

I know this much. Ben Bernanke must be the worst poker player in the entire world. How else can you explain the fact that he keeps telling the world that he will do whatever it takes to keep AIG afloat? 150 billion? No problem. 200 billion? Sure thing. 300 billion? Ben will be really, really mad and slamming his phone down but the check is in the mail. 

Of course the good folks at AIG are spending like drunken sailors. They have an open ended credit card and they know it. Want to spend 100 million on bonuses? Knock yourself out. Want to send billions of dollars to foreign banks so that, essentially, the American people are bailing them out? No sweat. Keep acting like you are mad, Ben. It is working like a charm. 

Up to the plate stomps Barney Gay and Nancy “who stole my eyebrows” Pelosi. Even more and more barking with no action being taken. How is it possible that the Fed AND the government have no control over the situation? Oh, I know. Because they have NEVER had control which is how this whole thing came to be in the first place. Of course, since all of these people belong to the same gene pool, I think it is a little unreasonable to think they will actually punish each other. 

Hey AIG…be very grateful that the US citizens are powerless in such matters. If we weren’t, you would be shut down by the end of the day and you could take your “bonuses” and shove them up your collective a**es. Of course, you would have no bonus to shove because we would have already taken that money back. 

If you can create the FDIC to protect banks, just make up a new acronym to protect insurance companies. Surely, it would be cheaper than just flooding these idiots with money on virtually a daily basis. Better yet, let AIG fail and let their competitors swoop in and pick the bones clean. Then, make the ex-employees work at McDonalds until they save enough money to pay the US taxpayer back. 

In the meantime, Bernanke, Frank, Reid, Pelosi and crew, could you just shut the hell up?!? Either do something to fix the problem or just shut up about it. Acting like a powerless victim is exceedingly annoying. 

And hey, where the hell is Barry while all this is going on? Can’t the POTUS shut this thing down in the blink of an eye? Well? What are you waiting for…a fist bump?


Capital One Says “Fu** You” To Its Credit Card Holders

February 28, 2009

My wife showed me some sort of pamphlet that Capital One sent us recently. If I read it correctly, the new interest percentage is 29.9%. (I think is used to be 17% or some such thing). Did you see the numbers I just typed? 29.9%!!!

Now, the truth is, we don’t carry a balance on our credit cards so maybe Capital One is just pissed at us for not making them enough money. This is their way to get us off of their books. If I wasn’t so lazy, this ploy might have worked. However, they could make the interest rate 50% and I could care less. 

Still, there is something going on in the credit world that screams deep, deep trouble is near. Besides this ridiculous jump in interest, I also found out that American Express was offering their cardholders $300 if they pay of their balance by the end of April. Again, normally, you WANT people to carry a balance since those interest rates are what drive profit. However, the apparent terror the banks feel about default loans is driving them to this madness.

Today, we find out that the US government is going to take a 35% share of CitiGroup. That’s right; the nationalization of banks is now moving full steam ahead. Hello socialism!!!

What really annoys me about this is that these decisions are being made after some $350 BILLION has already gone to these corrupt organizations. They are literally taking the money and running. And, in spite of the craziness of it all, Barry wants to get them even more! It defies even the most basic logic.

This country is pretty much officially in the crapper. That is the bad news. The good news is that Americans don’t take this kind of stuff too well. Yeah, we got kind of lazy in the last 20 years but you can feel the intensity building. While I don’t think we will see a full on revolution (Don’t you know, we’re talkin’ bout a revolution…sounds…like a whisper), I do think you will see individuals take over more control of their lives.

Hell, if I had the finger strength, I would just cut up my credit cards (all both of them) and pay cash for everything. But that would mean more trips to the bank and my wife already complains about that. If it wasn’t for the fact that Barry promised me a free PhD and house, I might just move to Nicaragua.

Oh, and good folks at Capital One, you can suck my big black (occasionally) sock!!! You are so broke you need to raise interest rates but you just happen to have enough cash to buy Chevy Chase Bank. Um…ok. Douchbags.



Government Says To Banks: Spend The Money We Gave You!

October 29, 2008

Really? You mean to tell me that in the 400+ pages they wrote to get the bailout approved, they failed to put in a “use it or lose it” clause? They actually just gave the money to the banks with no pre-conditions and trusted them to do the right thing? How is this even possible? Maybe because no one actually got to read the damned thing before it was jammed down our collective throats.

My God, you might as well set a box of donuts in front of me and say, “Now Tannerleah, these donuts are not for you, they are for the other fat people”. Sure, I will nod my head as if I am on board but I shouldn’t be held responsible for the results. I don’t want to eat the donuts, I have to eat the donuts. You might as well have the crackhead hold the crack but tell him to save it for the others. Ain’t gonna happen.

Which brings us back to the banks. Let’s see, they can hoard the money and make sure that they can take fancy little trips like AIG and make sure there is plenty in the till for their big bonus checks OR pay off debt and get their business healthy. Hmmm, what to do? Of course they are stealing the money you idiots!!! It’s how they got in to trouble in the first place. Why in the world would you think they have all of the sudden found intelligence?

At least PNC took their money and tried to do something smart with it. They went out and bought another bank, National City. What’s that Senator? That’s not what the money was meant for? Gee, we didn’t get that e-mail.

This is why the bailout was such a terrible idea at every level. You had to trust the very same people, who have shown no ability in the past, to miraculously turn around their thinking and perform in a completely different manner. If you ever watched a TV special about lottery winners, you would understand it just doesn’t happen. Invariably, the vast majority of lottery winners are broke again within 5 years. Why? Because they don’t have the skill set to manage such large amounts of money. They want to keep their money, they just can’t make it happen.

So, as an American taxpayer, I am asking the Fed Govt to take back the money they have been giving away. You gave them a chance and they blew it. Now they can go belly up one at a time and those that are responsible will survive and the rest will parish. That is just the natural order of things. (And if you want to give me any of my money back, I would be cool with that too).


What Could We Buy For A Trillion Dollars?

October 11, 2008

Thanks to the various government bailouts, I am still trying to wrap my head around what a trillion dollars really is. Trillion to me is the same as bazillion or gazillion…words that mean “a lot” but don’t really have specific value tied to them.

So, here is a list of stuff that each family in America could have received if the trillion was given to us instead of the monkeys on Wall Street. (You only get to pick one). In no particular order:

1 Chevy Aveo

20 gallons of gas every week for the next 3 years

90,000 Double Stuff Oreos

1 Chicken Nugget meal (w/medium drink) from Wendy’s for 4 1/2 years.

1,201,923 Q Tips.  (Or, using 5 per day, enough for 658 years)

For the men: 400 “sexual favors” in the worst part of your city. (Something like this):

Or 10 hours with Eliot Spitzer’s call girl:

One condom per day for the next 183 years. (You will need them if you get the sexual favors…or so I am told)

For the ladies: One 2.00 CT MARQUISE DIAMOND W PRINCESS BLUE SAPPHIRE RING 18K. Bling!!!

Six 50″ LCD High Def TV’s.

A 250 year subscription to TV Guide

One Twinkie per day for the next 47 years.

11,236 songs downloaded from Amazon. (50,000 if use use a Russian site…not that I am encouraging that).

10.8 years of a six pack of PBR, everyday. (UF – you would cut that number in half).

I think you get the picture. We are getting screwed!!! C’mon Hank and company, stop taking our money and giving it to thieves. If you must give it to someone, give it to us. At least we will buy cool stuff with it.

(Feel free to add to the list in the comments section).


Umm…Hank? About that $700 billion bailout…

October 9, 2008

Do you think the “rescue” plan should be kicking in any day now? I mean, I know you said it HAD to be done within a week or really bad things would happen so am I missing something? Granted, you were able to give the AIG guys a nice vacation in LA and I am sure they deserved it and are working hard to be more thrifty. But I really need to see my money stop shrinking like a guys testicles in cold water. You’re killin’ me here.

As you have probably noticed, most people seem to be entertaining themselves by figuring out who to blame. It’s Obama’s fault because he is a socialist and will wreck the economy further when he is POTUS. Plus, his buddies in Congress have done squat in the last 2 years. On the other hand, Bush has been on the job for almost 8 years and hasn’t really done anything to help the cause. Also, as it turns out, Republicans are just as greedy as Democrats and the “fiscal conservative” label was all just a big joke.

Frankly, I don’t care about all of that. I like to daydream about my retirement someday but now I just have nightmares. I know I am supposed to relax because the market will invariably rebound but, no offense, I am not sure you and your bunch of monkey friends have the slightest clue how to get us out of this. I realize that you and your cronies are worth over 100 million each but I am not. So, if I lose even $100, I get kind of concerned.

If you know for sure the world is going to sh**, just tell me now so I can take all of my cash to Vegas and have a better chance of securing my retirement. Plus, I can watch a Cirque show one last time. Sadly, my suspicion is that you have absolutely no clue what is going to happen on a day to day basis. By the way, are you related to former FEMA chief Michael Brown? I only ask because this has quickly become the financial equivalent of Hurricane Katrina and, well, that didn’t turn out so good.

I have to go now and continue working on my bomb shelter and storing away supplies. If you pass by my house, maybe you could stop in and loan me some lunch money? Should cost you about 200k as I am a rather finicky eater. I take large bills but I am really going to need this money within a week. Thanks buddy!


Government To Take Over Certain Banks? Brilliant!

October 9, 2008

Every time I think the government could not possibly do anymore to agitate me, they prove me wrong. The latest brilliant idea is for the government to take ownership stakes in certain banks. Which banks? No one seems to know.

Remember when the $700 billion bailout was going to fix all of this? That seems like such a long time ago.

What is particularly galling is how flagrant the government’s behavior has been recently. Well, to be fair, it has always been appalling but they are not making any effort to hide their intentions anymore. They seem to be under the impression that the money they have is theirs to do what they want with. I am not sure but, at least in theory, the money belongs to the US taxpayer. Shouldn’t we get any say in the matter?

On top of that, Henry “King of the World” Paulson seems to think he has the power to do whatever the hell he wants. Here is his latest comment on the bank takeover proposal:

“We have a broad range of authorities and tools. … We’ve emphasized the purchase of liquid assets, but we have a broad range of authorities. And I’m confident we have the authorities we need to work with going forward.”

Notice how he casually drops the word “authorities” in there 3 times? Another way Paulson could have phrased it is, “We will do whatever the hell we want to do and there is no one that can stop us”. I used to think that my crazy conspiracy friends who spewed about the “New World Order” and a centralized world government were as nutty as fruitcakes. Could it be they were actually right about this?

What is also remarkable is that neither candidate has a word to say about any of this. Of course, that actually makes sense since they are equally complicit in this skulduggery. This move to executive control in government has been building for years now and it now seems unstoppable.

So, I guess I will build my bomb shelter after all and start hoarding necessities. I wonder what they will name the new money that they will start printing soon. It can’t be the Euro since that is too small in scope and already being used. i guess it could be the “world dollar”. That sounds nice.

1984 was a little late getting here but it has arrived in a big way. I knew I should have got on that comet to heaven with those guys with the black sneakers.

(PS: Could we get those guys at AIG some more cash? They want to take another trip. Thanks Hank).


Presidential Debate #2: A Little Advice

October 7, 2008

In the last few days, I have read how both McCain and Obama are going to “come out swinging” in this debate and start slinging the mud. Mac will talk about Rack’s former “friends”, how he is a liar, how he wants to hurt the American people and crash the economy (If such a thing is still possible).

Rack wants to revisit the Keating scandal and maybe talk about Iran-Contra connections Mac may have had. Overall, trying to paint a portrait of Mac’s shady friends and his desire to screw the American public while taking care of his rich friends.

Here is the problem with this strategy. NO ONE CARES!!! For God’s sake, you 2 idiots, wake up! My retirement fund is getting absolutely pummelled, the number of people getting their power turned off is up 20% in some places and now we have crazy people killing their entire family due to financial stress (but mostly craziness).

No one cares about all of that “who’s the bad guy” crap. All I want to hear is what is the specific plan to calm down the markets, get my house to stop decreasing in value and get the average consumer comfortable with the idea that they won’t have to cancel Christmas shopping this year. I don’t want to hear about 10 years from now either. I want to know what you are doing TODAY and what you intend to do in the next several weeks and months.

You 2 ego maniacs need to show some self control and worry a little less about yourselves and more about the people that you allegedly want to represent. I already know all about the dirty laundry and, frankly, I could care less. I get it. Politicians hang with shady characters and do unseemly things. If you are over the age of 40, you already have seen this time after time after time. (Really Bill, did you have to actually point at the camera when you made your, “I have not had sexual relations with that woman” speech? I am a forgiving person but I still hold that one against you).

One more thing. Instead of saying, “Obama wants to raise your taxes” or “McCain wants to make the rich richer”, get specific about your own damned plan. I don’t care what you think about the other guy or his plans. Leave that to the voter to figure out. Instead, spend the evening talking about yourself and what you are going to do to make my life just a little better.

If you simply can’t do what is right, then entertain us instead. Cancel the debate and schedule a Jello wrestling match between Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama. Sure, it has nothing to do with helping picking the next POTUS but at least we can be entertained while the financial world burns to the ground around us. (My money is on Michelle – I think she may have had secret Muslim fight training).


VP Debate Results: Down Goes Biden! Down Goes Biden!

October 3, 2008

Ok, not really. I just wanted to use that line.

For me, this debate was just another snooze fest. If I had to pick a winner, I would say it was a tie between “Boom Boom” Palin and Joltin’ Joe Biden. However, the loser by a landslide was Gwen Ifill. She was absolutely horrible. First, she couldn’t get a coherent question out of her mouth. Even when she asked something partially comprehensible, it was the same boilerplate questions that these candidates have been answering since day one. “What to you think of the war in Iraq?” Really? That’s the best you could do? Maybe Gwen was spending to much time writing her Obama book.

The only question I wanted to hear was this:

“How in God’s name did you people come up with the brilliant idea to add another 100+ billion to the already 700 billion dollar bailout? Do you not answer your phones or check your e-mails? The American people already said, “Oh, hell no!!!” to the first bailout yet you added even more money. How is that even possible?”

Now, I realize that Biden is much too cagey to answer such a question and Sarah had already said early on she did not have to answer the questions she was asked. This was peculiar because it lead to comments like this:

Moderator: Governor, what do you think about the changes in bankruptcy and mortgage issues.

Palin: Let me tell ya somethin’ about energy, don’t cha know.

WTF? I think the rules do actually say you are supposed to answer the questions you are being asked. Still, how can you get mad at her? She is just so damned adorable! And I love hearing her stories about Alaska. I would have liked to hear why she is ok having pork added for her state in the latest bailout proposal but screw the details. 

And what about Joe “cheshire cat smile” Biden? Joe, you have been in politics for over 30 years but all you kept talking about was 3 pieces of legislation that you created. I am not math major but I think that comes out to about one good idea every 10 years. No wonder politicians will sell their souls to get that job. A bit of advice. Tone down that sh** eating grin you love to flash all of the time. Plus, there’s no crying in politics! Sarah made you cry you little candy a**.

So, after a lot of hoopla, the debate was much ado about nothing. In retrospect, I should have just muted the whole thing so I could fully drink in the beauty of Sarah Palin. I don’t know if you caught it but I think Sarah actually winked at me! Here is the proof:

 

Yeah baby! I am not going to lie. I think I may have felt a rustling in my nether regions when she did that. (Of course, it might have also just been gas. Hard to tell when you’re old). I was also pleased to see that the non-sexist camera people were out in full force and took this non-sexist photo of Sarah:

 All I can say is, “Wow!” Let me say this. If you are a man and don’t vote for Sarah then we need to pray the gay right out of you. (We can do it while we are doing the “pray the gay out of Clay” chant).

Despite our problems, you have to admit that America is still the most awesomest place in the world!


The Next “Great Depression”

September 30, 2008

Most of you who know me realize that I am 1) a people person and 2) an incredible optimist. I can’t help it; it’s just who I am. However, as I considered the current economic fallout as the stock market took a nose dive earlier today, I thought to myself, “What’s the worse that could happen?”

I went back and brushed up on the Great Depression. For the most part, it is described as a very bleak period in time. I wasn’t there, so I have to take their word for it. The problem is, when I look at some of the pictures from that era, I get a different feeling. (Again, that optimism of mine shining through). For instance, take a look at this photo:

The first thing I see is a sign that says “free donuts”. Are you kidding me? How awesome would it be to get free dounts everyday? As Homer Simpson would say, “mmmm…donuts.” How could anyone be depressed while munching on free donuts?

Ok, so let’s say (God forbid) you don’t like donuts. What else do we see in the picture? Look at how nice all of the men are dressed. I always wanted to wear one of those cool Clark Gable hats. Plus, all of these “poor” people have super nice trench coats. Hardly anyone rocks the trench coat look anymore which is a crying shame. Our dress code would actually improve over what it is today!

Plus, you notice there are no women to be found. So, this is actually like some sort of club like The Elks or something. I belong to a couple of secret societies but this looks like it would be ok. These guys get to talk about sports everyday, wear cool clothes and, did I mention, eat donuts all day!!!

I am not going to lie. If this is what a great depression looks like, I say bring it on. Screw the bailout and bring on the donuts! (I hope they have Bavarian Creme, I love those things).