Thursday, April 22, 2010

I've got a bad feeling about this...

Fresh from unsolving the health care "crisis", the ruling party isn't resting on its laurels, but rather putting on a full court press for solving the financial "crisis".

The catch, of course, is that not only are there wildly differing views of the proper solution, but there is also little agreement as to the nature of the problem. This is leading to what the press calls "partisan obstructionism", but only when it comes from one party; when it comes from the other, it's called "principled opposition".

Whatever the legislation that comes out of it, odds are good that it will only make things worse.


Brian J. said...

When I was a young man, I thought it would be great to be around for a systemic collapse like in Atlas Shrugged.

I don't feel that way any more.

Bram said...

Well there really aren't any more actual industries in the U.S. to tax and regulate out of business. So it is only natural that the administration would turn to electronic and service based industries.

The healthcare and insurance industries and now doomed, Finance and Banking are up next. Energy (cap and tax) is on deck. Food, Fishing, and Farming are in the hole.

Grey Mann said...

While in grade 8 my History Teacher, not fond of me in the least, told me he hoped I was around when society collapsed. I hope he's happy.

Rabbit said...

BrianJ, I'm well on my way to being an old man, and pretty fond of (at least the basic concepts in) Atlas Shrugged. I can't say I'm anxiously awaiting a catastrophic sloughing of a systemic collapse, but most days lately I can't say a front center seat wouldn't be interesting.

The problem with that is that there won't be any ringside seats. We'll all be on stage, carrying a spear, albeit a cardboard one. I'd prefer to preside at the serial bludgeoning of Congressmen with a bound copy of the 2011 Federal Budget. Once done with that, perhaps we could start over in both houses.

Bram said...

For some reason that "recovery" I keep hearing about doesn't seem to be happening.

Those of us in the business world can't be bothered to throw our cash and our energy into new projects and / or investments. Not when I'll be lucky to keep half the profit and risk being regulated out of business by DC.

theirritablearchitect said...

I may search YouTube a little to find it, but I saw Little Timmy Geithner on the idjit box last night doing his gummint-must-do schtick. He said, without saying what it was directly, what the 'solution' from the gummint was, and that was a takeover, to, get this, make sure that the next time a too-big-to-fail business goes down, that the taxpayers DON'T get stuck with the bill, but just the shareholders of the Evil Corporate Empire.

I about shat my pants at his "solution."

Someone needs to show that slobbering idiot two things: A) The fucking door, and B) Austrian Econ 101.

Yes, folks, we are dealing with an entirely inferior sub-species, here, and they are Hell-bent on killing us through slavery.

Weer'd Beard said...

I dunno about y'all but I'll look good with a colander on my face!

TJP said...

Considering specifically the causes of the current "financial crisis" (that's sort of a mild way to describe the misfortune of parties holding billions in asset value that doesn't actually exist), it was about forty years in the making. Even if Obama was my ideological complement, I would nonetheless admit that he has zero chance of fixing it during this term or the next. The solution is too large to fit within a single election cycle, and is therefore impossible.

I have to admire the position of the parties involved--if only for the comedic value--who swung the instruments of financial control with the skill of a ten year-old wielding a pair of foam nunchucks; their penchant for using tax collection tactics that terrorize people with the possibility of losing their most valuable possession, and a suddenly shrinking revenue stream when those who had so little invested made the perfectly reasonable decision to abandon the property, and necessarily the taxes that accompany it.

It's absurd. We're paying money through direct taxation or through currency devaluation, so accountants may spill red ink over ledgers accounting for "assets" no one is willing to own. The intelligent thing to do would be to follow the example of the borrowers, and simply abandon the worthless liabilities.

Should I use the word "corrupt" to describe how central banking, government assessors, false-market dingbats and real property brokers have cooperated (in plain view mind you--not a conspiracy) to create a system so heavily in favor of only one side of the transaction, that the Local 86th Numbers Union had to put in over-time keeping the production of zeroes high enough to represent the money that was aggressively make-believed in support of false-market pricing?

No, I won't use the word "corrupt". I have been informed that I want the market to "recover" to the way it was. The American Dream, apparently, is to have have a central banking leviathan with an accounting system so abstracted no one notices that layers of references are either circular or resolve to non-existent points.

No one possesses the competence required to un-fuck this situation, therefore all choices are of equal value. I bet Ronald Reagan's astrologist worked for a lot cheaper than Turbotax Tim.

Dixie said...

I dunno about y'all but I'll look good with a colander on my face!

Me, I'm gonna go with a balaclava and goggles. A colander on the face is all traditional and stuff, but what are you gonna do when it rusts? And you can't exactly stockpile spare colanders, you know.

Nathan said...

Well, they do make plastic colanders, ya know.

But the balaclava and goggle look is probably better for me, too.

Ken said...

Balaclava, duster, goggles, and a pith helmet. Gotta keep up gaslamp appearances even after the Fall, don't y'know?

atlharp said...

A government solution usually ends up looking like the "Final Solution." Regardless, they are just trying to wreck the apartment as much as they can till they get evicted. Bad tenants have a habit of behaving that way. I think we should keep their deposit (i.e. Pensions). ;-)

Rabbit said...

Atlharp, couldn't we just throw a Raid Whole House Insect Fogger through the mail slot and nail the doors and windows shut and cram a towel under the door? Seems like that could mitigate the damage until the eviction paperwork is done.


Borepatch said...

Let's see: the Insurance companies gamed the health care fiasco. The got the Republicans to kill the private option, and then got the Democrats to tell everybody to buy insurance or else.

Want to bet that Wall Street's fixin' to do the exact same thing in this "reform"?

Desertrat said...

I'll offer a couple of points: Had any sort of free market been allowed to work, back in 2007 or so, we'd have had a very sharp but relatively short period of misery. Odds are that we'd have already hit bottom and could see some potential for a recovery.

The "compassion factor" of pain-avoidance has driven much of this Neo-Keynesian inflation of the money supply, along with the corruption mentioned above which has catered to Big Finance. Thus an ineffective effort to minimize and suffering--but that will spread it out over a decade or more.

(Yeah, oversimplified, but I drove 860 miles, yesterday.)


Pathfinder said...

FTB: "Whatever the legislation that comes out of it, odds are good that it will only make things worse."

And isn't that exactly bho's objective? To make things worse?

The statists are in control, and the statists will have their way - unless they are stopped. The partisans stopped Mussolini the statist in a particularly creative and photogenic manner that I think would be an interesting commentary on American politics if done here.

Brad K. said...

I think it was Sharon Astyk that pointed out a year ago - Banks held $800 billion in bad debts. The government gave them $1.3 trillion to clear the bad debt.

They still have $800 billion in bad debt on the books.

And the ads are still airing for the Carter/Clinton CRA loans for folks without the ability to pay it off.

1) Cancel CRA, so banks don't have to *by law* continue writing bad loans.

2) Clean up and close down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - without the federal mandate penalizing banks for failing to make bad loans, there is no need for them.

3) Pay attention to what government is actually responsible for - national security, including a robust (i.e., reasonable tax rate and responsible degree of regulation).

4) Investigate every instance of organized crime, and resolve the legal bind on legal citizens that creates black markets and under the table dealings - like anything with a punitive tax. Like cigarettes, carbon emissions, and union demands in the absence of worker abuse.

Brad K. said...

Oops. I meant in step 3, "robust economy".

Anonymous said...

How about just enforcing the laws currently on the books and make the SEC get off its collective @ss and actually investigate things, rather than waiting for people to come and say "Big Banker is being bad" and then doing nothing because the illegal activity will take more than two days' work to bring to court.

Oh, and stop the CRA loans and ditch Freddy and Fannie. preferably into the Marianas Trench.

TJP said...


Which noun goes between "how about" and "just enforcing the laws"?

The King? The Obergeldfuhrer? The Banking Czar Czar? God Almighty?

Furthermore--and aside from the last choice--how many of these would the job require? And how come we're starting with the presumption that laws are perfect, should we just choose to obey them?