A blog . . . in spite of how pathetic blogging actually is.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Even if We Win . . . . We Lose?

Even though he started his career as a moderate Republican, it would appear that Timothy Geithner’s main pedigree is his un-Wall-Street-ness. Public sector finance wonkishness is hip. It's 'Revenge of the Nerds' without the frat houses.

Your first sign of hope in our endeavor to become a post-partisan nation will be around the start of baseball season. That’ll be deep enough into the Obama-Democrat-Dominance era to know how grown up everyone’s going to be when we start seeing classical government welfare (corporate and otherwise) as something that people take for granted. It won’t be long. In fact, it may already have gotten boring. I was more surprised by this morning’s snow than I was Citi’s fleet of lifeboats, courtesy of the Bush Administration. [If you want a taste of just how undeserving Citi is, read this, if you can stomach it.]

Don’t get me wrong. As nauseating as they are, I fully support the President’s economic policies in this financial-apocalyptic America, even if maybe we could all use a psychological jolt in the form of a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Bush people are doing the right thing. Doing nothing would be doing something; namely, letting a bank with $800,000,000,000 in assets fail. Happy Thanksgiving? I don’t think so.

Early April will be the time when, if they go old school, the GOP mega-minority can start making things look and sound like all of Hank Paulson’s ideas were actually Barack Obama’s ideas. This would assume, of course, that Hank Paulson’s ideas end up being silly. So what do we cheer for? If this trend toward socializing Wall Street works, then Obama’s people are certainly deft enough to own it all as their own. That could mean even more marginalization for the GOP (which took a huge beating the last time our economy was in this type of shape some 75 years ago). As much as we all should want to see the next President succeed are we also [perhaps unwittingly] sanctioning an outcome that would allow the Democratic Party to become a Superpower? How ironic would it be if a trend toward socialism made the GOP’s downfall similar to the USSR’s dissolution in 1991? Is the real cost of this economic crisis (if we get out of it in a reasonable amount of time) the existence of our bona fide two party system?

It’s a pickle. Any rational person would want to see all this market tinkering actually work, no matter who gets credit in the end. But that success could bring a major body blow to an already rib-crushed Republican Party which would leave an increasingly unchecked political infrastructure in Washington.

Don’t look to me for answers. We do our second Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday instead of Friday this year. I’ve decided to take advantage of my newly found free time and go out on Friday morning to see if there are any shoppers waiting in line to enter any building that houses anything remotely similar to a retail establishment. If I find some dutiful consumers huddled out in the cold hoping for the chance to actually spend money . . . I’m going to thank them.

But then I’ll probably tease them. I’m no Tim Geithner.


Anonymous said...

Why don't the people at CITI have any souls?

John Jacobson said...

Is that a rhetorical question?