Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We Welcome Our Chinese Overlords

Over the last seven years or so, we here in the marbled halls of IM Central have had occasion to remark on the fact that our elected officials, or in this case the Bush administration has, in certain situations, and on particular occasions, when given the opportunity to be forthright and above board with the American public, instead chose to lie their scrawny white booties off.

We point this out, not from any sense of malice, or desire to malign what has perhaps been the most corrupt, inefficient, dishonest, inept, despotic, unscrupulous, dishonorable, unprincipled, unethical, amoral, untrustworthy, venal, underhanded, double-dealing, nefarious, crooked, shady and sleazy administration since Caligula.

Did we mention incompetent?

But that's not our point. Today Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in "no danger of failing."

Which of course means that within a year we'll all be living in the back of our SUV's and cooking road kill squirrel over a fire started with what's left of our retirement portfolios.

And those are the lucky ones, so how does Chairman Bernanke explain the approaching extinction level tsunami of debt about to wash over our financial system? Let's listen in:

The two mortgage giants are "adequately capitalized," Bernanke said. However, "weakness of market confidence is having an effect" on the companies, making it difficult for them to raise capital.

Umm...Chairman sir? If Freddie and Fannie are 'adequately capitalized' why do they need to raise even more capital?

The companies' shares have plunged as losses from their mortgage holdings threatened their financial survival.

Ah. Well, thank you sir. A follow up: Would it be possible for you to keep the banks open long enough for us to get down there and get our money out?

"We will work our way through these financial storms," Bernanke said. "Who gets thrown over the side?" How long before we hear a splash? Is there a bottom?" Representative Emanuel Cleaver asked, stuffing papers in his briefcase and instructing his aides to bring the car around.

Gentleman? Speaking of splash, we're concerned members of the crew...say the entire middle class, might end up as jetsam if you get our drift.

Caught between risky cross currents of plodding growth and rising inflation, Fed policymakers are facing "significant challenges" as they try to find a way to right the economy, Bernanke told lawmakers. "And by 'significant challenge' we mean in a couple of years this country is going to make Thunderdome look like a meeting of the Ladies Axillary."

"I think conditions clearly call for a second flailing, ineffective, desperate attempt to stave off disaster," said Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the Financial Services panel. "Let's send everyone enough money to move to Belize."

Bernanke said it was a "bit premature" to go that route just yet but he didn't rule out such a course of action. He repeated his belief that the most important action Congress could take was to shore up the front entrance and bar the windows. It's difficult to chart a course when you're drunk most of the day, Bernanke said. "Do you have any contacts in Belmopan?"

Over the rest of this year, the economy will grow "appreciably below its trend rate" Bernanke said. "And by 'appreciably below its trend rate' I mean weasels will feast on the entrails of the old and infirm left by the road as families dissolve into roving bands of scavengers."

On the bright side, shorter lines at the unemployment office. Watch out for the gunfire though.

No comments: