Thursday, May 13, 2010

Abbott and Costello Meet Goldman and Sachs

I know times are bad, because so many people tell me times are bad. Between you and me, that's about the only way I know, or would ever know. When the bottom fell out of the secondary mortgage market, I didn't have to let a servant go or curtail the regatta junkets. When I came back to this country in the fall of 1991 and my family joined me, no one was falling all over themselves to lend money to a thirty-nine year old with no USA credit record, "ghost" was a term I heard used about me. Lenders were nervous and so we rented and have lived in the same house since we arrived.

Derivatives? I have no idea what they are. Ditto for debentures and a half a hundred other fiscal terms that have been bandied about as the deck chairs got rearranged on the Titanic (damn band kept sliding into the ocean) and the waters of high finance roiled and boiled with all manner of fear and innuendo. A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.

We had Too Big To Fail who received Money They Hadn't Earned from folks like you and me and did you ever figure out what they did with it that benefited any of us? I think some of the bailed-out banks used it to defray the costs of printing up all the new advisories to explain the hiking of credit card rates as a result of Senate and Congressional action designed to assure just the opposite. I wonder if NASA ever gave any thought of going to the moon by firing a rocket into the earth, just to see what would happen?

And then, because who among us doesn't love Search for the Guilty, and when you've got 'the Fabulous Fab' and the ensuing car crash in the housing market, start inflating the balloons because I wanna party with you, cowboy, that search is a target-rich environment. And if tens and hundreds of thousands lost their homes and their life savings because of the calculated and callous actions of a handful of self-described Masters of the Universe, welcome to the Brave New World of the 21st Century-you can keep your hat on.

Last week's news accounts of hearings on all of this seemed vaguely surreal. Everyone spoke in code but they all knew what everyone else meant, well, except the suckers on the outside looking in and they weren't a big concern. Hustling the preterite, conning the mugs wasn't even cause for pause-it's how business is done. And shame on me, catching up on this stuff on C-SPAN, to even think about the number of distinguished ladies and gentlemen asking the pseudo-pointed questions to which there were no answers and preening for the cameras who had, without hesitation, held out their open, upwards-turned palms for campaign contributions from those being questioned, in much the manner in which one dog offers its throat to another in a gesture of submission.

I'm not even going to wonder where Goldman and Sachs will get the money to pay the fines to be levied against them, because I can feel an other's hand on my wallet already searching and seeking 'every penny of it.'
-bill kenny

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