Cause this explains it right down to the pickup truck

I heard this the other day on NPR’s Morning Edition (click link to listen for yourself), and then found it on Paula Poundstone’s Facebook page.

They Don’t Make Financial Crises Like They Used To

I keep hearing our current financial crisis compared to that of the 1930’s, which I don’t know that much about, although I did just reread The Grapes of Wrath to prepare for the challenges ahead. The good news is that, after the foreclosure, when we pack the truck, there’s a way of folding Grandma so the kids won’t even notice she’s dead. I myself, however would rather just die than take a pull off of Rose of Sharon’s breast, if it comes down to it.

Gee, this stuff is hard to follow. I don’t think I even know how many zeros are in a trillion. I didn’t ever think anything I used would go up that high. John McCain says it’s time for Obama to stop lecturing and admit that he used bad judgment in dealing with these LOBBYISTS, and then he makes a face like he just found a sandwich in his lunchbox that he lost last year. He says that the Wall Street crisis started in, “the Washington culture of lobbying and influence pedaling and he (Barak Obama) was right, square, in the middle of it.” Yet, I heard on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer that according to the Federal Election Commission McCain has taken ten times more campaign contributions from lobbyists and employees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than has Obama. I could conclude one of two things from this: that I don’t know the meaning of the phrase, “right, square, in the middle” or that I can’t count on the powers that be to explain the nature of the financial crisis and that it will be up to me to inform myself.

I turned to It’s A Wonderful Life for background on liquidity and solvency, which would have filled me with hope if I didn’t have a bad feeling that we’ve already spent George and Mary Bailey’s honeymoon funds.

Unfortunately, although Clarence the angel offers some lessons that we’d do well to heed during these troubled times, our problem it seems, stems from mortgage backed securities, which are very complicated instruments that even greedy Mr. Potter wouldn’t have understood well enough to go near. You and I are about to invest $700 billion in them. George Bailey jumped off a bridge and Uncle Billy was driven to the brink of insanity over the loss of eight grand. So, what do we learn? We’re tougher than they were in the old days.

Lucky thing for me I have The Waltons television series on video. I showed it to my kids and told them they’re going to have to wear overalls soon, but that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself.

Franklin Roosevelt’s famous words keep rattling around in my head and, I don’t want to be the one to spook the herd, but when I hear our president, George W. Bush say that the government’s measures require putting a significant amount of tax payers’ money on the line, and that it entails risk, but they expect it’ll eventually be paid back, I fear I do have fear. And when I budget in his credibility gap, I have a lot of it. It could only be scarier if he asked Colin Powell to present it to us using satellite photography. Perhaps now, when our trust in him is so important, he wishes that he hadn’t been so abusive of it before. That happened to Jim Bob once. I hope the candidates saw that episode.

“Good night, John Boy.”
“Good night, Elizabeth.”
“Yes, Honey”
“What’s predatory lending?”
“Now where did you hear about that, Elizabeth? The government would never allow such a thing. Go back to sleep, now.”

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