Friday, October 10, 2008


Ragged Depressing/-ion Thoughts

Yeah, it's difficult to have the usual happy-go-lucky attitude when one wakes up to yet another day of Wall Street in meltdown, the outgoing President Clueless having no idea what to do to reassure either the markets or the public and the aspirants for his job don't exactly sound like they have magic bullets with which to fix the situation. And the stock market goes on its daily roller-coaster ride (a 1000 point swing today, from minus-700 to plus-300 before settling down "only" 128 points).

Though this is usally a politics-obsessed blog, I'm not going to just aimlessly talk about whether McCain is whipping up his crowds into an Obama-hating frenzy or whether Obama should have distanced himself from Bill Ayers 15 years ago.

Instead, even though (or perhaps, because) I'm not an economics or financial expert, I thought I would just post some items that have caught my eye in recent days touching upon the enormity of the problems facing the country (and world).

1) Iceland is bankrupt. In light of everything else, perhaps that's not a major issue (Pakistan's problems are far greater in the big picture). However, the fact that the United States is clearly not in any position to try to help -- but Russia (despite sliding oil prices) is -- really underscores the US's suddenly weakened poisition as an economic player.

2) Italy's Berlusconi says that the world leaders are considering briefly closing down the financial markets. I do believe that the Depression equivalent of this was a "bank holiday." Not good (as a sign, I mean).

3) My friend and former Newt-world colleague Rich Galen says all that needs to be said about A.I.G. and their spa-going junket partiers. In words of one phrase, f**k 'em. Here's a sad thought: Paulson made the wrong gamble -- the US arguably should have bailed out Lehman Bros. and let A.I.G. sink, instead of the other way around. Had that happened, the current crunch might have been averted (given that Lehman's demise had a greater ripple effect on the credit markets than A.I.G.'s would have).

Finally, in honor of the GOP's collective heads exploding over the boost that the bad economy is giving to Barack Obama's presidency, let's head into the weekend with this classic from Public Image Ltd:

Gotta love that great refrain, "Anger is an energy, anger is an energy, anger is an energy..."

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