I've been pondering the heart attacks or strokes our economy has been going through since I began writing about it last summer and fall. Like a few others out there in Blog Land, I could figuratively hear the train coming long before I could see it.
Like a deer caught in the headlights, however, I've been too frozen to post much about it - that's how dire it is - and I think February will be a very cruel and memorable month for many Americans, and a prelude to our complete descent into a society like Les Miserables or a Tale of Two Cities.
I haven't been too frozen, however, to do my own personal run on my bank or file my taxes before the federal government goes bust.
And right now, "the federal government - working without a road map, and without a net - is putting together a plan to keep U.S. banks from collapsing. Not just to get the banks lending again. To keep them alive.
The government is expected to announce Monday a plan that analysts expect will include lifting soured mortgage assets off selected banks' books, possibly along with guarantees against other losses and maybe more direct injections of cash.
Financial industry experts say it is a matter of choosing the best of several options, none of them very palatable. And no one knows for sure what will work because nothing like this has happened in living memory.
Getting it wrong could trigger a replay of what happened after Lehman Brothers collapsed last fall — the stock market in free fall, seizure of the credit markets, ripples of layoffs. Perhaps even a run on other banks — so many customers rushing to pull out their cash that it would make the bank run in "It's a Wonderful Life" look like, well, a feel-good holiday movie."
I see the Stimulus package as life support for a nation that is a few heartbeats away from economic death. It may delay our demise, or if it works, nurse it very slowly back to life... but the good health and accompanying freedoms we enjoyed may not recover for a very long time. It's also a gigantic IF.
In the meantime, this cartoon below partially nails it for me:
Source: Harpers magazine; Hat tip: Macon D
The only missing is the GOP, banksters and Wall Street sharks circling the boat.
The GOP tries to be slick. By standing together and refusing to vote for the slim chance that this new bailout could resuscitate the economy, The Party That Wrecked America thinks they'll come out smelling like a rose with their phony "I told you so's."
Those bitches are gambling for failure because that's where the odds are, and more infuriating, had no plan of their own and are even hoping for it.
Instead, except for three who voted for the Stimulus package, the rest will come out looking like what they are - public relations whores for top 5% wealthiest people and corporations, and possibly racists who'd rather see our country turn into an impoverished Third World nation than see the new President with African ancestry succeed.
I am fairly biased toward Barack Obama. I think he's the closest thing to a genius the White House has seen in a long time and I desperately want him to succeed. I also get annoyed at my black folks who chip away at every piece of the economic plan he and his team put together.
Team Obama knows what odds they're up against better than anyone in dealing with everyone from the sabotaging bigoted haters in the GOP, to the amoral international parasites in control of the markets, to China who says they want guarantees that its $682 billion holdings of U.S. government debt won’t be eroded by “reckless policies”. That's just the short list.
Surely this Stimulus package is only Phase 1 of his plans with more to come, so I take a wait and see approach and ignore the bullshit over "yo, we gotta make him accountable, and I'm gonna do that on my blog".
Folks need to stop trippin' with their wish list, especially when they blog in their underwear. Yeah it's fine to give support or criticize, but what's with this inflated sense of self-importance? I run across it again and again. Half of us can't even make our dang kids or significant other accountable, much less the President of the USA.
When you get to the nitty gritty, even Fixed News TV and radio are power-trippin' if they think they're doing anything beyond stirring up the poisonous pot of hate, suspicion, confusion and low morale.
Barack is doing his best on this issue and I give him credit for that... and that doesn't mean I'm not in a snit over some other things he's done or hasn't done. However, this financial tsumami is numero uno, and will make Hurricane Katrina look like a Spring shower. I'm even guesstimating that what he described as our situation being "the most profound economic crisis since the Great Depression", that a third to half of us may be lucky to have Internet service next year.
Maybe none of it will matter. When Rome burned and fell the last time, I imagine that the money burned with it. Best we can do hang on to our jobs, hope we'll see the day America locks up the arsonists, and as a nation take inventory and pray we have enough strength and unity to rebuild.