10 Things To Expect From The New Post-Apocalyptic Economy

<!––>Kiplinger’s has put together a list of 10 things that you, fair consumer, can expect from our new post-wall-street-apocalypse economy. Should you be scared? Maybe.

Here’s a quick summary of the article, which can be found here:

1. A much less leveraged economy — Cash will be the thing to have.

2. More modest rewards — Less risk-taking means slower growth, slower appreciation of property value, etc.

3. A feast for bottom fishers — If you’ve got patience and cash, there will be a feast for you amongst the wreckage.

4. Fewer financial firms – Big banks are swallowing the smaller ones.

5. More government oversight of financial markets. — They’re gonna be watching.

6. But a revival of private financial firms – Kiplinger’s doesn’t think that investment banks are gone for good.

7. Simpler forms of securitizing debt – Nor do they think that the secondary mortgage market is gone for good. They say it will be back, but it won’t be as ‘exotic’

8. Greater scrutiny of executive compensation — Shareholders are annoyed. Very annoyed.

9. Higher taxes and/or a bigger federal deficit – Someone has to pay to run the bilge pump.

10. Higher long-term interest rates — You saw that one coming, didn’t you?

Hey, it turns out that the new post-apocalyptic economy is pretty much just the old traditional economy — but with a debt hangover.

10 Things That Will Change [Kiplinger's]
(Photo: Joy of the Mundane )

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  1. Tyr_Anasazi says:

    Exactly–business as usual…

  2. caveman1428 says:

    Yeah might want to change that…you know some people are gonna flame the hell out of it.

    Any way I got this the other day, seems like a pretty good option, although will never happen.

    I’m against the $85 BILLION bailout of AIG. Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a ‘We Deserve It’ dividend. To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide U.S. citizens, aged
    18+. Our population is about 301 million counting every man, woman and child. So, 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up. Now, divide 200 million, 18+ adults into $85 billion – that equals $425,000.00 each!
    Yes, my plan is to give that $425,000 to every adult as a ‘We Deserve It’
    dividend. Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So, let’s assume a tax rate of 30%. Every would pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25.5 billion right back to Uncle Sam! It also means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife would have $595,000.00!

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00?

    · Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved

    * Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads

    * Put away money for college – it’ll really be there

    * Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs

    * Buy a new car – create jobs

    * Invest in the market – capital drives growth

    * Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves

    * Enable Deadbeat Parents to come clean – or else

    Remember this is for every adult U.S. citizen, 18 and older (including the
    folks who lost their jobs at Lehmann Brothers and every other company that
    is cutting back) and of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
    If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U.S.
    citizen!!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.

    * Sell off its parts.
    * Let American General go back to being American General.
    * Sell off the real estate.
    * Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
    We deserve the money and AIG doesn’t. Sure it’s a crazy idea, but can you
    imagine the coast-to-coast block party?!

    How do you spell Economic Boom? W-e D-e-s-e-r-v-e I-t d-i-v-i-d-e-n-d! I
    trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion ‘We
    Deserve It’ dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington,
    DC.

    And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 billion because $25.5
    billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    • Brontide says:

      @caveman1428: Um… it’s $425/each you are off by 3 orders of magnitude.

      • blackmage439 says:

        @snowmoon:

        You’re completely right, though the thought of receiving over $200,000 is nice. I got more than $425 back from Uncle Sam last year on my taxes…

      • snidelywhiplash says:

        @snowmoon: I got this email yesterday and crunched it a bit more – there are approx. 138M taxpayers in the USA. If you took the bigger bailout of $700B and split it up equally, each taxpayer would get $5072. Not too shabby, but a far cry from the life-changing sort of cash the email talks about.

        Besides…is there be a way to spread that kind of cash around without causing massive inflation? I’m not sure there is

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      @caveman1428: Such a long post. Such bad math.

      Under your plan, each taxpayer would get $425, not $425,000. I’m glad you’re not running the treasury.

    • NotATool says:

      @caveman1428: I’ve gotten this e-mail forward so many times now…and am always amazed that very few people check the simple math and see that it’s off by a factor of 1,000.

      Next time people, please think before hitting the FWD button.

      • Josh_G says:

        @NotATool:

        The fact that hundreds of people continue to forward and repost this ‘plan’ explains perfectly why America is in this position in the first place.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @NotATool: In other news, if you forward that email to 10 people, Pepsi will donate $10,000 to fighting hunger in Africa.

        • Bladefist says:

          @caveman1428: I love email forwards as much as the next guy. But check Snopes.com before you send it out. I’d say 75% of them are lies. The other 25% can be very enlightening.

          • ViperBorg says:

            @Bladefist: I always check Snopes.com :)

            • Trai_Dep says:

              As a guy who’s mouth fearlessly leaps to places my intellect later regrets, I breathe a sigh of relief that I’ll never be “that guy” who posts on Consumerist.
              And, uhh, my math checks out. :)

              PS: it’s pretty sad that we might need to add to The Consumerist Commentator Code, No Forwarding Email Spam.

              PPS: General Mbata’s son, with the $340M in gold, desperate to share it with a special US friend, is that you?

              PPPS: at least he’s not advocating slashing the Cap Gains Tax to zero as a solution to solve all our problems. Yet.

    • Bladefist says:

      @caveman1428: Pretending we are in your magical math land, that sounds like full on socialist/communism. No thanks.

      • dweebster says:

        @Bladefist: Yup, the “invisible hand” has done a beautiful job. Wouldn’t want to interrupt it by involving Big Daddy government to keep any “rules” in place, eh?

        You kids just take the SUV, here’s some more whiskey to drink on your ride, don’t bother checking the tire pressure, save some money and leave the headlights off tonight, and seatbelts are a communist plot so leave them off, too. Who is Big Daddy Society to restrict your magical “free market” religion? The “Magical Hand of the Market” will protect everything no matter WHAT you do.

        ..oh, it crashed? (what a surprise.) AND NOW you want your Daddy to come clean up your mess and make it all better? Sorry, kid – your “invisible hand” god had better have some magical way of fixing all this other than pulling out Daddy’s wallet.

        • Bladefist says:

          @dweebster: You totally lost me. But thanks.

        • rateoforange says:

          @dweebster:

          Is ‘invisible hand’ some sort of pet name for Franklin Raines, Maxine Waters, and the CRA? Last I checked this particular eff up can mostly be laid at the feet of government attempts to expand subprime lending. Introduce harsh penalties to banks that don’t lend to every asshole off the street. Turn the fed into an ATM. Tell everyone to go crazy and FM/FM will take care of it. Tell FM that you’ll back their debt, and FM keeps the dirty regulatory hands off by being one of the largest campaign donors in the US.

          SOME INVISIBLE HAND.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      @caveman1428: Plus, it should be mentioned that this has already been tied a couple of times except it was called a stimulus package. Don’t we all feel stimulated now?

    • Jester6641 says:

      @caveman1428: Not that I’m really sure this is the place to start with this kind of email, but here goes…
      Why give 425k to people only to expect them to give back 127.5k? Even if this plan didn’t have the obvious flaws mentioned by the previous responders, why wouldn’t you just give everyone 297.5k? It’s not like the government would come out ahead because of that 25.5 bil “returned to Uncle Sam.”
      Even if this plan were to go into action, everyone would suddenly find themselves up a tax bracket or two and most people would have a hard time understanding their new tax burdens. My 425k check says that most people would spend their entire check, then we’d have a big mess around mid April when everyone tries to figure out how they’re going to finance their tax bill.
      Oh, and the three orders of magnitude thing. And the inflation issue. And the concept that we’ve done something to deserve this money.

    • @caveman1428:

      Math is hard.

    • foo777 says:

      @caveman1428:

      The premise behind this is wrong. It’s a bailout of AIG in the sense that it saved AIG from bankruptcy and saved the markets from more turmoil, but the government didn’t just *give* AIG $85 billion. It’s a loan with pretty bad terms that AIG has to pay back. AIG had to pay a $1.7b upfront fee to get the loan. They’re paying 11.5% interest on the amount they’re actually using. They also have to pay 8.5% on the *unused* portion of the loan. The government also got an 80% stake in AIG that they get to keep even after the loan is repaid. In a liquidation that stake is potentially worth $100+ billion. I’m sure Americans would be much happier if the govt took that money and offered everyone a $425 loan at 11.5% interest and also got 80% ownership of your home to prevent “moral hazard”.

    • @caveman1428: Nice plan. Well thought out.

      And damn Geico for making fun of you guys!

    • ugly says:

      @caveman1428: I’ve seen this same displacement of decimals a couple of times now. I wonder if it’s related to the incomprehensibility of the total amount (700 billion) or what.

      Regardless, IF it were true, even this would be a tremendously uneven allocation of the win-fall. Imagine the inflation! How much would a basic loaf of break cost? Or how much it would cost to buy in to the market if you didn’t already own.

      Or if that didn’t happen how about how many people just wouldn’t show up to work for the next 5 or 10 years?

    • caveman1428 says:

      @caveman1428: hey give me a break…i mean just yesterday i learned what a “wheel” is sheesh

  3. BrownWolf says:

    Me thinks it was meant to be things.

  4. Brontide says:

    In general leverage = risk. If you are 1:1 leveraged you can cover your debt with cash, real banks are required to keep in the range of a 10-12:1 for fractional reserve, but these banks/investment firms were running 30+:1 leveraging. That is wild speculation and very risky behavior. The risk was minimized over the past 8 years through a systematic reduction in lending rates and scrutinization, I doubt we will ever see that kind of lending again in decades ( people never do learn ).

    • dweebster says:

      @snowmoon: Amen. Even as these Wall Street Republicrats are trying to pry open the treasury and give it to the criminals that put them into office, they’re avoiding the question of bringing back the serious reforms of Roosevelt’s administration they’ve worked so hard to destroy. There was a reason that those things were put into place, they kept Capitalism from destroying itself.

      Now they they’ve effectively gutted these rules we have the same problems playing themselves out, on a massive scale. Only a surprise to those that believe in the “invisible hand of the market,” Easter bunny and free Nigerian money. People are a gullible bunch when met with effective and repetitive propaganda.

  5. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I’m disappointed that I won’t get to start a biker gang driving around the desert of Wall Street: Livin’ Hard, Lovin’ Hard, and raiding passbys to steal their gas and food.

  6. Trencher93 says:

    “A much less leveraged economy” – sounds like this meltdown is a good thing!

  7. ChrisC1234 says:

    So wait… if I want to buy something now, I’m actually going to need to have the MONEY to pay for it? OH MY GOD! I can’t live like that. What on Earth am I going to do?

    Actually, I am kinda curious though: they are saying that “Cash will be the thing to have”. Are they talking about physical paper money, or just the fact that I have enough “cash” in my checking account???

  8. Gopher bond says:

    Why do people think only good things happen when the market functions properly?

  9. Fist-o™ says:

    I think they also should have put the words “Apocalyptic” in Quotes. Does The Consumerist really believe this is the Apocalypse??? Gimme a break.

    • SexierThanJesus says:

      @Fist-o: I can has sense of humor?

    • dry-roasted-peanuts says:

      @Fist-o: One of the definitions of apocalypse: n- any universal or widespread destruction or disaster.

      Think about it this way, what is the name of the small planetary satellite that orbits Earth? The Moon. The Moon is it’s name, but that’s also what it is. Titan is a moon, but it’s not The Moon. The story is referencing a post-apocalyptic economy (after widespread destruction economy), not a post-Apocalyptic economy (after destruction of the world and the salvation of the righteous economy).

  10. htrodblder says:

    No offence to the popular “give everybody $425,000 plan”
    floating around the internet, but you really think that will work? Or will it wind up devaluing the dollor so much that a loaf of bread cost $100?

  11. ARP says:

    What’s everyone’s thoughts about credit cards? I’ve heard stories of banks slashing credit limits, but I don’t know if they can contract another huge source of income without hurting themselve pretty badly.

    For some reason, I just don’t see the credit cards following exactly in the mortage footsteps.

  12. sirellyn says:

    The economy needs a HUGE correction. This will happen with or without the bailout. The bailout would only make it a decade longer and a lot more painful. I’m happy to see some things that were twisted to break down. There’s going to be a lot of rebuilding before this is all done.

  13. CrackerJaX says:

    The AIG bailout is not free money. Its a $85 billion 2-year 8.5+% loan on a company with $94-122 billion in assets they have to sell to stay afloat. I wouldn’t take a $425 loan at 8.5% for any period, but I’m probably less of a credit risk than AIG.

    • captainpicard says:

      @CrackerJaX:

      And who do you think pays for that no free money. AIG is going to pass off that extra cost to the consumers with higher interest rates, higher insurance rates, higher banking fees, etc, etc…

    • dweebster says:

      @CrackerJaX: There’s a hell of a lot of people living with 20%+ interest rates borrowed on their credit cards. Didn’t AIG qualify for a VISA?!?

  14. donnie5 says:

    WAIT, BUSINESS AS USUAL!?!?!?! Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, My local news all say the end is nigh! Are these just fear tactics?

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    Touché Caveman

  16. twonewfs says:

    Caveman, I love your plan, and the sense it makes – I’m emailing it to my congressman!

  17. Blueskylaw says:

    .

  18. gzusrox says:

    Shouldnt it be pre and not post?

  19. K J says:

    So…..the Bears-Sterns bailout will fix everything.
    And then those stimulus checks will fix everything.
    And then we have to bailout AIG to prevent an economic collapse.
    And then we have to pony up $700 billion (a number they made up) to prevent the apocalypse. But hey, if you’re in a tough election contest, don’t vote for it. It’s okay. You just worry about getting re-elected.

    Is there any question why the public at large doesn’t trust ANYONE in Washington? I mean this is Bush’s plan. He’s solved everything else, right? That Iraq thing worked out so well.

    • mike says:

      @K J: Let’s not over exagerate here. First off, I hate when politicians say that this is Bush’s fault. Politicians use the tactic of deamonizing one person to have someone to blame. The problem isn’t Bush or anyone else. It was the collective decisions of banks and customers making bad decisions. It’s like I blame you for the fact that my apples aren’t ripe.

      The problem that I have with this whole bail-out thing is that people have come to now expect the government to get involved. This evidence by the fact that markets react when the bail-out bill was about to pass and then failed. If there wasn’t an expectation, it shouldn’t have made that much of an effect.

      As distasteful as it is, we should allow the banks fail. Because of this rescue mentality, people keep waiting for the government to do something. Think of it this way: the wild fires in CA are a yearly occurance; but people still live there! And they still get money from the government. Every year!

      I’ll get off my soap box here but bailing out all these companies is a bad idea.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @mike: Sure, but the thing is, you expect that, if it’s allowed that someone can do horrendous things to others (especially later) that vastly enrich that person (especially now), then someone will step up to the plate and say, ME!
        That’s why you have regulatory structures paired with enforcement mechanisms to ensure that doesn’t happen. That’s why you have firewalls between banks and c̶a̶s̶i̶n̶o̶s̶ investment houses. That’s why wildly overleveraged techniques were viewed suspiciously since the cost of betting wrong magnifies into global economy-shaking failure. You recognize that, for a small set of limited things, the private market isn’t the best solution to address some problems. In short, you don’t let foxes rule the henhouse but you DO allow the private market to flourish. You allow success to be rewarded while ensuring that a broad middle class also flourishes. You have a mixed private/public economy, one that’s the envy of the world and it just works.

        And ideology was allowed to come in, and one of the political parties embraced it whose sole objective was “freeing” the private sector from common-sense oversight and restraint. In practice, this meant, publicizing the losses, privatizing the gains. Crony capitalism. Stunning deficits. Towering extremes of wealth.

        Please understand that we’re not filled with hate, but severe disappointment and genuine sorrow at what happened to our country. We handed over a great economy, at peace, with broad swaths of us prosperous with privacy and civil rights in place to a faction – an ideology – that turned all these positives into losses. This NeoCon/Laissez-Faire dogma has ruined our country.

        It’s not blaming for the sake of being vindictive. It’s blaming to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Those guys had their run. Ruled the country for six years, and held a veto for the past two.
        Look where we are now. Compare/contrast and see if we were in better shape when the Dems controlled the White House, or now.

        And, it’s not Bush. It’s their whole ideology. It’s failed. They ran everything, they got their way, so let’s judge the results. Blaming any single person is slight-of-hand, since it was a movement that ran things, not a person. And that movement must be held accountable for their “success”. We wouldn’t be patriots – or rational – to do anything else.

        Considering what they’ve done to this country, they’re lucky that only finger-pointing is being done to them. Seriously. Bin Laden could only dream of racking so much havoc on us, or the world.

        • whinypurist says:

          @Trai_Dep: I’m inspired to comment b/c of your comment; sorry I can’t segue to do it justice though. And heck, you might even disagree!

          I’d so like to be calm that we can repair and bail this ship out, but I’m not sanguine “that the new post-apocalyptic economy is pretty much just the old traditional economy” or that past economic crises can reassure us – ‘cept for the years of suffering – for two main reasons:

          1) The baby boomers were really planning on retiring sometime in the next decade or so. The wealth redistribution that’s gone on since they entered the workforce, i.e. the Nixon era, and the deficit that the current administration has taken on only compounds the problems that we already knew we were facing. (To put it another way, do you think you can support your parents and your /future/ children, no matter what happens to them health-wise? Do you think we have crafted our economy and our society so that nearly everyone can, and have even a bit left over for themselves? Do you need the statistics showing how the middle class is spending its income to prove that we cannot and have not? Here’s a hint: debt due to stagnant wages and health care costs, not iPods and cellphones, are the problem.)

          2) We have become rabidly anti-immigrant. To some extent this, though even more so the drop in the economy over the past 18 months, has led our immigration rates to drop more than 50% in the last year. I’m of the opinion that meeting the gap in number 1 means changing number 2 (unless living in a broken-down nursing home appeals to you. And that’s not ageism; it doesn’t appeal to seniors either.) There are still many, many reasons to want to come to the U.S. (democracy and our rights under the constitution being a couple of the biggest). Our economic fix needs to have smarter immigration policies.

          Oh, and smarter environmental policies, and foreign policies, and…

    • dweebster says:

      @K J: I think Bush would reply that the real problem is that the tax giveaways to the rich weren’t large enough. Things didn’t trickle down right.

  20. People need to seriously calm down about all of this. Nothing gets people excited quite like the prospect of some catastrophe, be it $5 gas, a stock market dive, a natural disaster, or whatever. The financial world is not crumbling, just as it failed to do during the ’81 recession, the S&L crisis, the dot-com bust, etc, no matter how much that may excite those who like to board up their windows and stockpile canned goods (metaphorically). If one soberly thinks about exactly how the financial failures of the last few months will actually, materially impact one’s life, instead of being caught up in this sensational doom and gloom news of late, the picture is far less bleak. Sure, some of us will put off a house purchase, have to work a few years longer than we thought, or cut down on discretionary expenditures for a while. Some will lose their jobs. But the country will be fine, and our lives will most likely exceed their current economic status in a few years, as has been the historic pattern. To believe otherwise is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy born of a lack of confidence in the ability of the American system to recover (which it always has) and to become part of the problem, not the solution.

  21. Raru says:

    htrodblder

    I see you 100$ loaf of bread point.. How about a National Prize Freeze on most consumer items and services for 2 years along with the citizen bailout?

  22. stevejust says:

    @mike: Oh give me a break. On the one hand, you have stupid people who can’t even get the math right on how 85 billion divides among 300 million Americans buying houses they can afford. What percentage of the blame to they deserve? Because they’re stupid, I’ll give them 10%.

    On the other, you have MBAs from Harvard and Yale creating CDOs and CDSs and stacking tranches of derivatives with more imaginary dollars than all of the collective GDPs of all the nations on the earth on top of no-doc mortgages. What percentage of the blame do they deserve? I’ll give them 90%.

    So right now all the blame is assigned. But who’s really to blame? The idiots in our government-congress and the executive branch — sat back and watched housing prices in practically every market in the US rise higher than what the median or mean income earning unit in those housing markets could afford to pay. The reason this happened is because the fed was trying to prop up an economy running on fumes, instead of raising interest rates about 4 years ago like it should have. Ultimately this was an executive branch issue. It’s the executive branch that should’ve been doing something about this all along.

    Whose fault is this, ultimately? The guy in the Whitehouse who ran his first three businesses (Arbusto, Spectrum 7 and Harken Energy) into the ground, now has done the same with the US. If you do not place the blame for this catastrophe with the executive branch, you are dumber than dirt. What do you think the executive branch of government exists for?

    • scredly says:

      @stevejust:

      I think Bush and the current Congress should have reacted to this a long time ago but no one had the courage to face it.

      This whole mess can be traced to government interference in housing and finance markets for decades.

      While I don’t agree with how much blame he puts on the CRA (Lenders not covered by the CRA took it way too far) , I think Yaron Brook’s piece “The Government Did It” in Forbes (link at end) gives a good overview of how the government establishing a market for sub-prime loans on the front end with the CRA and the back-end with Fannie and Freddie buying these loans. They then fueled the buying craze buy manipulating interest rates.

      Fannie and Freddie, wanting to remain in favour with Congress after their accounting scandals in the early 2000’s, focused on “affordable housing” and “promoting home ownership” by backing an buying any and all the “affordable housing” loans the market could feed them with their bottomless federal cheque book. Not taking into consideration sound lending practices.

      If Fannie and Freddie did not create the market for these loans, the market and sound lending principles would have limited the amount of exposure to sub-prime loans.

      I have not conducted any research into which party invented Fannie, Freddie and the CRA.

      My opinion is that the government does not exist to put up tax money to “promote home ownership” by backing ANY mortgages (except as part of veteran’s separation package) or to tell lenders to relax their lending practices because of the neighbourhood where someone lives.

      [www.forbes.com]

  23. INsano says:

    “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy was really an unlucky choice this January as the first and only novel I’ve read this year. I’ve been imagining different scenes from the book with the parties of our country and nation spliced into the plot.

  24. veronykah says:

    After watching the news last night with all their dire predictions if the bailout is not resurrected I started to really wonder about all of this.
    I am hoping someone can shed some light on it as I slept through econ in high school.
    They kept mentioning
    a. americans don’t understand the bailout
    b. not passing the bailout will cause a credit crunch
    The credit crunch will make it so you can’t get a loan…to that I say GOOD. Isn’t too many people without the means to PAY for loans the root of all this?
    They went on to say business won’t be able to get a loan therefore they won’t be able to run their day to day businesses. Example small business X needs 10k for their expenses this month, they take a loan out from the bank to cover them. Am I naive, or do I see a business in that situation as not doing so well anyway?
    It seems to me if America QUIT spending money it doesn’t have things would probably be quite a bit better. The time taking to adjust to that “new” economy of acutally having the capital to pay for things might be hard but wouldn’t it be for the best in the end?

    • m4ximusprim3 says:

      @veronykah: For average americans, you are correct- a credit contraction would be a good (but painful) thing.

      For business, not so much. Very few small businesses (aside from those funded with venture capital or by wealthy backers who have a stake in the business) have the resources to stay afloat without loans.
      If there is a slowdown or freeze in bank lending, small businesses, which really are the backbone of our economy (and are traditionally the fastest vehicle for the middle class to advance economically), will suffer greatly.

      Overall, I do tend to agree with you that a contraction wouldn’t be a bad thing. The only flaw in your line of reasoning is that for a business to be in debt, it is poorly run.

  25. scredly says:

    This same scenario played out, to some degree, twenty-years ago. No lesson learned.

    The whole bailout thing is the moral hazard created from the S&L bailout in the 80’s. The government set a precedence that it would provide a safety net for greed and unsound business practices because they want to maintain the illusion of growth (and help their wealthy donors).

    The system is clearly broke and needs to be rebuilt.

    Any bailout should only involve the direct purchase of mortgages. No mortgage-backed securities should be touched. Let the institutions that made the bad bets fail and allow the market do it’s thing.

  26. NotChoinski says:

    Dat ol’ man Wall Street, he just keeps rollin’ along….

  27. Kevin says:

    Let’s not forget:

    HIGHER CRIME – as credit gets scarce those who want too much but make too little will find ways to get what they like.

    ADDICTIONS – depressed? feeling let down? lost your way? Try drugs. Rx or black market, everyone needs an escape.

  28. JoshMac says:

    Thnks?

  29. nacoran says:

    Congratulations caveman, your math is worse than the Feds.

  30. BigTexBri says:

    Nine score and eleven years ago investment bankers brought forth on this continent, the New York Stock Exchange, conceived in tax immunity, and dedicated to the proposition that the only people that count are the ones with seats on the trading floor.

    Now we are engaged in a great bail-out, testing whether that exchange, or any derivative market environment so conceived and so dedicated, can sell short, get caught and endure by making someone else pay for it. We are met in the great court of public opinion. We have come to dedicate the rest of our savings and retirement nest-eggs, as a final resting place for any hope that our descendants might see an end to the mess we have created. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, because we could not possibly convince Congress to do anything that would remotely fix it.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this bail-out. The sane men, vocal and wise, who struggled to lead us far away from this precipice, were drowned out by talking heads, their mantra of bailout was more powerful than our poor power to add or subtract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we are paying for, but it can never forget that we did this to ourselves. It is for us the living, rather, to bear the shame of what has occurred here, to weep for the billions of those that come after us, who will be paying off this debt until time itself runs out. The great task remaining before us — blaming the whole mess on the former administration, and those that voted for them — that we here truly believe that we will probably do it again — that the taxpayers of this nation, under God, shall never be free from bail-outs– and that government spending of the Congress, by the Congress, for the special interest groups, shall not stop, ever.

  31. MorrisGanaghur says:

    Is that you. Mr. Paulson? 85 billion dollars divided by 200,000,000 Americans is $425 dollars. That is $425.00. Congress already did this in spring, although they were more generous and gave $600.00 per person. And they included kids also.

  32. tworld says:

    All I’ve got to say is VOTE FOR OBAMA, because if the Republicans are in power for another 4 years we will all be living in one of the tent cities springing up around the country.