No Laughing Matter

October 1, 2008

The global financial crisis is no laughing matter for many people, but it has nonetheless laugh1.jpgresurrected some dreadful puns that were popular back during the Japanese banking fiasco in the 1990s. Doing the rounds by e-mail are the following:

Sumo Bank has gone belly up; Bonsai Bank is cutting its branches; Karaoke Bank is for sale and will go for a song; Samurai Bank islaugh32.jpg soldiering on; Ninja Bank is in the black; staff at Karate Bank have got the chop; and there is something fishy up at Sushi Bank.

The recent crisis has been less fruitful. Some people started cruelly referring to Northern Rock as Northern Wreck when the British laugh22.jpglender was nationalised and analysts have lately been toying with TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Plan. Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch both suggested that TARP could be a TRAP while Goldman Sachs suggested it had been TARPedoed by Congress.

Surely this crisis is big enough to get better than that? Your contributions welcome.


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A brief 5-minute non-laughing survey of the stock market (NYSE) reveals that American wealth (as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, i.e., “the Dow”) grew 147% during the 8 years of the Reagan administration (1981-1989).

Wow, you may say.

During the Clinton administration’s 8 years (1993-2001), however, the growth in the Dow was an incredible 227%, Mr. & Mrs. Reader!

Now, let’s look at the two Bush administrations, i.e., the father’s 4 years (1989-1993) and the son’s almost 8 years (2001 to 10-1-2008 at this very moment in history).

Mr. Bush the father presided over a modest 40% growth in the Dow up until the day Mr. Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993. So, if one were to combine the Reagan and Bush years…the growth in the Dow was 246%. In other words, Mr. Reagan (president) and Mr. Bush (VP & then Mr. Reagan’s successor) presided over a mere 19% more growth in the Dow than did Mr. Clinton (i.e., 246% Reagan/Bush over 12 years – 227% Clinton during 8 years = 19%).

As for Mr. Bush the son…well…he has managed to write himself into Dow History, and just about every other history book as well!

Between his inauguration in January 2001 (having inherited an annual budget surplus from Mr. Clinton)…the Harvard MBA holder, Mr. George Walker Bush, presided over 0% (yes, zero percent) growth in the Dow over 8 years until today!

Not only that, Mr. Bush (the son) managed to preside over a 23% decline in the Dow just over the past 12 months alone!

Do you remember the annual budget surplus that Mr. Bush inherited from Mr. Clinton?

After the much discussed $700 Billion bailout is passed and signed into law by Mr. Bush tomorrow or Friday (the Senate vote is tonight)…the federal budget SUPER DEFICIT for Fiscal Year 2009 (which begins today) will be somewhere in the neighborhood of some $1.5 TRILLION…$1 Trillion of that red ink consisting of Wall Street & Banking bailouts for American & foreign Privileged Class $Millionaires & Super Privileged Class $Billionaires!

Yes of course, if you have a 401(k), IRA or a pension fund invested on Wall Street, you have been suffering large losses. However, it is $Millionaires & $Billionaires (& Pennsylvania Avenue Non-Regulators) who have caused your losses, not Wall Street in and of itself…and certainly NOT you. Manipulating your investments in stock & bond mutual funds, and trading in extremely high risk mortgage backed securities by greedy American and foreign $Millionaires & $Billionaires…well…that is not your fault! So don’t go on the guilt trip these extremely wealthy people would like for you to engage in.

$1.5 Trillion is the largest annual budget deficit in global history!

Think about that for a moment, Mr. & Mrs. Middle Class & Working Class Reader & Taxpayer.

However, think about this more. There is an extremely important provision missing from the Wall Street & Banking bailout bill about to be enacted into law by the $Millionaire members of the House of Representatives, the Senate and a $Millionaire president.

That missing provision is a federal tax SURCHARGE and top marginal federal tax rate INCREASE(personal/corporate/capital gains) on $Millionaires & $Billionaires to pay back to YOU the $700 Billion (and the other $300 Billion that has also been expended from the U.S. Treasury & Federal Reserve Bank for Wall Street & Banking bailouts during the last month or so).

OK Jack

P.S. In addition to the Clinton budget surplus…do you also remember Vice President Gore…who would have continued a good thing, i.e., the Clinton economic policies of 1) pay-as-you-go 2) paying down the national debt & 3) no longer borrowing from the Social Security trust fund? Yes, that Mr. Gore…the guy who both won & then somehow lost the 2000 presidential election by a mere 4 electoral votes. You may recall that Mr. Gore was denied Florida’s 25 electoral votes (21 more than he needed to win) by 1 single, solitary U.S. Supreme Court judge in a 5-to-4 decision that also denied the Florida Supreme Court and Florida’s Legislature the Constitutional right to establish and interpret Florida’s election laws. When Messrs. Bush/Cheney didn’t like the way things were going, Mr. Bush’s legal team went directly to a U.S. Supreme Court that was stacked in his favor, thereby thumbing his nose at the Constitutional rights of the people of the state of Florida.

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

Does OK Jack actually think that anybody is going to read his contribution? I wish I had a bank balance as big as his ego…

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

I read his comments. It takes a lot more Guts than ego to publish the truth, when most of the World would rather bury their heads in the sand. The two major parties in the U.S. had better get theirs out of the sand, and correct the mess they’ve made. History has shown what can happen… Remember the Flag with the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me”.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive