Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Economy:
Drowning In An Ocean Of Problems

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.


  1. Great post, Kit.

    I hope that you're dire analysis is wrong. I hope that sometimes around the middle of 2011, you'll say to your readers. I was wrong. But I have to say it doesn't look right now. I think Obama and Democrats should be thinking broader and bolder. I don't like all that money going to banks with the same jerks in them that participated in bringing down the economy.

    I think we Obama needs to think more broadly and more boldly. We need to put the people's money in a government bank or nationalize banks. A public bank would be easier to swallow and probably work better with less complications. Because the money would be guaranteed by the government, and because it would be run by people who are not swindlers, Americans would be more likely to put money into it and keep it there.

  2. It's really tough to keep up that good ol' American optimism these days. Those oceans of debt just seem too big, don't they? And from what I can figure out, no matter what finally ends up in the stimulus package, it just adds more water. "Bail out"? Hmph. And for WHO? Not us, never seems like it's for us.

  3. Kit, once again, I'm afraid you've called this situation right, and as always, I like your sense of humor and telling it like is. We're in deep with no way out anytime soon except to get our money out of the bank and cross our fingers we don't get laid off.

    Thanks for spreading the truth and I hope you return to doing more of these kinds of posts.

  4. Economic death is a perfect description of what could happen without thorough, inclusive intervention. It amazes me how folks expect the Prez and Congress to rebuild in a month what took 8 years to destroy.

    I don't even what to think about the bank CEO's plastic heroics of bypassing a bonus...give me a friggin' break. There's no doubt that the love of money is the root of all evil.

  5. "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."

    Also living on credit, as we experienced in the last 30 years, has never happened in the history either. I guess these two things are connected?

    Take care,

  6. Elli, Heh-heh, you're a wise one indeed to pick up on that. The writer who quoted that sure didn't come up in my late mother's generation or mine either. She grew up in the last Depression, and almost never used her credit card, and she could save money like crazy.

    Curvy Girl, "the love of money is the root of all evil."
    I cosign to that. I should be shock-proof by now, but I'm still amazed how so many people compromise any semblance of principles for not only big bucks, but pocket change and pseudo-fame that they think will bring in a small (or large) income. I'm not sure if this an epidemic in our culture or if the masses of human beings have always been like this in non-life threatening matters.

    Kitchen Angel, Yeah, I have been blogging fairly light for awhile. I began blogging about the meltdown over half a year ago, so watching the media and others talk and write about it now is a bit of a rehash for me. The big boys knew this was coming and now they're pretending like it's a surprise. Much worse is yet to come and they know that too but they ain't mentioning it yet.

    I'll be doing some more posts about that, but you know what? It's kind of lonely because a number of folks don't believe it until it's on tv, and by that time it's pretty late to help folks... which is the whole point of my blog.

    Macon D, "Bail out? For WHO? Not us, never seems like it's for us."

    Ain't that the damn truth.

    Mac, It would be truly nice to be wrong... and I'd never have a problem saying so.

    About your idea to nationalize banks... nationalizing the oil companies might solve even more problems.

  7. Another great post. I have also avoided posts (lately) about the economy. It's like I'm holding my breath and if I breathe the economy will collapse like a house of cards. LOL (blame the girl in Joisey).

    Hawa, author of Fackin Truth Blog and Cleanse Master Remix

  8. As always another great post. I don't know but I am with you, I have my moments when I wonder what Obama is doing but really I think he is doing the best he can.

    The more I look at this situation, the more grim it looks. As part of my job, I have to pick up food for out afterschool program from the local food pantry...well they have been so busy that they barely have anything to pass on to my agency.

    I'm sorry but that is a sign of the times and I don't see it getting much better anytime soon.

  9. Nice post Kit!
    I read another blogger bitchin' about the new stimulus pkg. & tax cuts and that in "real terms" it only means an extra $13 per paycheck for the average Joe. Hell, quit your bitchin if you still have a job! Be thankful for that!

    Obama told us before he was even inaugurated that the economy was in such bad shape that it will take time and in time all will be well again. He said he may not even be able to fix it completely in his first term.

    You are right in the fact that everyone is looking for the easy fix, to wake up tomorrow and all be well like fairy tales. Where we spend hoards of money on needless crap just because we can.

    Misery loves company and the miserable love to blame.

  10. Great post and you said what I am thinking.
    The Republican clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Iam so glad we finally got a intelligent man in the office. HALLELUJAH!

  11. You are always able to put into words what i am thinking about the economy. Obama is doing what he can. People act like this is an autocracy where he can just make it all better the way HE wants to. He can't. He has to take into consideration the host of people who have the power to veto or pass anything he spearheads. So basically I'm with you. Give the man a little credit. He'll never get it right for EVERYONE and even if he wanted to, he can't, because The Hill doesn't work that way.

    I'm also waiting and seeing with the full conviction that the GOP couldn't have done it any better.

    PS: Kit, I am writing again. I've had two blogs up since the last one you read. I'm just temperamental and hide it whenever I found out some of my friends are reading my blogs. As a matter of fact, I actually asked for your help on one of them and was so sad when you didn't reply. Don't count me out!

  12. Emeritus, What? I had no idea! I don't delete my email except spam and just checked all the way back to Christmas; don't see a thing. I'll email you now.

    JJ Brock, Agreed. It's reassuring to have a compassionate, interested adult in the White House. What a breath of fresh air!

    TriState and
    Black Girl In Maine
    Thank you, and I so agree it'll take a long time for the US to undo the damage and become solvent again... and that's in the best of circumstances.

    Hawa, Speaking of cards, there was an excellent one hour special on CNBC yesterday called House of Cards. I'm sure they'll repeat it, so if you have cable TV, try to catch it. It's not fluff.

  13. Okay, Emeritus, we got that cleared up. I missed the comment on one of your posts asking me for an opinion; just sent it! That was easy.

  14. I don't think nationalization is a good idea, the problem is management, not ownership. As for Barack, I think he's doing a good job, not a great job, but a good one. The problem I have with him is this whole bipartisan crap he keeps saying. Fuck bipartisan, he conceded way to early to the republicans at the beginning of this bill thinking they would follow this bipartisan shit, and that was one of his biggest mistakes. I understand that he is trying to split the GOP and weaken them for 2010 so he has to put a show on that he is reaching out, but this only works if the stimulus is successful, and it won't be if it takes to long. What's really important is to halt the downward trend of the Michigan Index, because that is really the only way the economy will improve, and the longer it takes, the bigger the hole is. What is really impressive about Obama though is his delegation skills. How he knows just enough of every subject and surrounds himself with people who know the rest of what he doesn't know and can teach him on the go, that is a pretty impressive trait.


Hi, this is Kit.

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