Friday, March 13, 2009

A Rant on the Economy

A Rant on the Economy

Today the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced that they might run out of money this year. Of course, this is the same FDIC which bumped the amount of money insured in bank accounts from $100,000 per person to $250,000 a few months ago. And now it needs more money.

For some odd reason, this is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for me. AIG just announced losing $59 billion in the first quarter of 2009. If my math is right, that’s something like $666 million a day! This was after a huge infusion of federal money because they were considered too big to let fail. Wasn’t anyone in Washington watching as AIG did this? And, today there was a little piece in the news that says that auditors for GM have informed the SEC that Chapter 11 bankruptcy is getting closer.

The stock market fell also when Warren Buffett announced that Berkshire Hathaway’s profit was down 60% for 2008. This was also part of Buffett’s “mea culpa” when he admitted to having made some errors this past year in his investments. Now, this is seen as bad news. Not to me. Buffett is smart and shrewd. Always has been. He’s the only one who predicted the recession when it started last year by saying “to the average person, we are now in a recession”. It took the so-called experts 6 months longer to even start hinting that a recession was in the works.

In defense of Buffett (compared to all the bonus earning geniuses on Wall Street who are still in denial after screwing their banks, home owners and the public into the ground) Berkshire Hathaway’s profits were down by 60% but it still made a profit. AIG just lost $59 billion in 1 quarter!

We don’t own a house (we’d like to but fortunately held off—thank God because right now I’m unemployed and we’re living off the money we had saved for a down payment). Plus, we watch TV on a 20” model I got at Target for $90 rather than on a HDTV big screen that might have cost two grand. We’ve got credit cards—all total maybe $40 or $50k worth of credit limits—and our balance is maybe $200. Our cars are paid for. We’ve basically done things right.

So, why are we being punished? Where’s our “bail-out”? Or, are we the ones who have to pay for all the fools out there who crammed us into this mess?

Bernie Mac used to sit in his easy chair, lean forward and peer into the camera and say, “America…”. Yep, America, we have “screwed the pooch”. All the bills have come due.

I kind of resent the folks out there who had to have a big SUV and who re-financed their house to pay for it—and then 2 years later did it again. I resent the bankers and economists (and former President) who told everyone that consumer debt was good and we should borrow to buy stuff and keep the economy strong (maybe the Asian economy where all electronics are made). I really resent that I’m 57 years old, Social Security is broke, my IRA is in the tank and I don’t have a job right now.

Who’s going to bail me out? No one, that’s who—except for my wife and I. Well then, I don’t feel like bailing anyone else out either—unless one of our kids needs some help. I didn’t help make the mess. The mess was entirely predictable. The piper now has to get paid and I get to pay him to bail out all the morons out there whose idea of happiness is SUVs, big screen TVs, 3500 square foot starter houses and all other kinds of crap they couldn’t afford. That ain’t happiness. Happiness is being content with what you have and loving those around you. Misery loves company. We’re all going to be miserable together for quite some time. Where is Bobby McFerrin when you really need him?

No comments:

Post a Comment