The day I love a pet more than this guy loves his is the same day Steve becomes a Philly fan, Josh crawls in a corner when challenged to a fight, and I don’t worry about the way I look.
One of our commentors made his plan known in the comments section of Steve’s post regarding the $700 billion bailout bill that was voted down in Congress yesterday. My thoughts on his comments are below:
MJ, I’m with you a few points. I agree that the mark-to-market law needs to be updated, I agree that the FDIC insurance rate should be increased, but I think $1 million is a bit high. Maybe doubling or tripling it to $200,000 or $300,000 would be sufficient. I disagree with giving each American family $1 million as well.
With this bailout plan as it stands, even without the necessary addendums and revisions it’s going to get to make it better, the government still stands to receive most of the investment back over the next 5 years. Giving that money to American families would yield little or no return to the government investment and would only serve to get people in even bigger holes. People who have poorly managed their finances in the past will not suddenly be good money managers when you gift them $1 million. The same is true for these mega corporations (I’m talking to you Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) who were not only allowed to increase lenient lending practices to the sub-prime borrowers, but encouraged to do so by the Clinton Administration.
I think the additions of the FDIC insurance increase, the mark-to-market law revisions and the increased oversight and longer payout of the $700 billion are all good steps that will help get this bill passed. I would MUCH prefer that the government just insure the bad loans that these banks and mortgage institutions have on their books instead of purchasing them, but apparently that’s not an offer that’s on the table right now.
Side note – if the only thing that makes these loans worthless in the marketplace is the fact that other businesses think they will go into default before being paid out, why doesn’t the government just insure them, thereby restoring value to these sub-prime mortgages? That would cost some money when some of the mortgages do default, sure, but nothing even remotely close to $700 billion. If the answer to my question is that the money has to be injected into the marketplace right now, instead of whenever the mortgages can be sold, then I say we don’t have the money now, anyway. Mortgaging the economic future of this nation on money borrowed from countries who despise and detest us is a much worse option than having to tighten the pursestrings a bit and live within our means for a while.
I commend the House Representatives, Democrat and Republican alike, who voted against the first version of this bill. I just hope they all have the courage and fortitude to thoughtfully approach the next version with the same standards for America in mind. Special big props to Reps. Culberson and Hensarling, who are from our neck of the woods, for voting no. I guess my calls to the House and Senate offices of our reps do get noticed from time to time. Who knew?
Today is truly a dark day in Dallas. Robert Wilsonsky at the Dallas Observer is reporting that one of my favorite places in the entire city, CD World, closed its doors over the weekend. This is just one more nail in the coffin of the independent music store scene. Big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Borders Books and the digital music revolution (iTunes, etc.) have the left small record stores on life support.
CD World was my favorite because of their huge selection of music by local artists. Often times I’d go in there looking for nothing specific, listen to a dozens records at their listening stations and walk out with a stack of goodness I never would have imagined purchasing. CD World was the perfect place to kill an hour when you had nothing better to do. The place just had character, and I think in our increasingly sterile corporate culture, character is a dying trait. Who needs unique when you can have convenient?
Here’s to you CD World. Thanks for all of the good times.
P.S. – Eff you, iPod. I may own one of you, but I hate your kind today.
Congress wisely voted down the $700 billion debacle this afternoon. The stock market is in free fall, but one economist, like me, agrees that bankruptcy is a much better option than a bailout. Read his thoughts here.
The Office season premiere sucked balls.