Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm too tired to write. I think I did really well to get as far as uploading pictures to the website. Let's just say that I'm really grateful to Google Calendar so I can keep track of who is doing what, when, and where. Let's not even think about the why right now. That was supposed to have been taken care of when we made the schedule.

All you have to do is take a look at the calendar at the bottom of the page to see that we were overzealous in our scheduling. Here are some of the highlights of the past month:

August 25 - School starts for Jenny, Lydia, and Jack

Soccer games every Tuesday, Thursday, and twice Saturday for the girls for the entire month of September

September 12 - At the Adams' Family reunion, Jack falls off the play ground and breaks his arm (notice the cool cast).

September 26 - Western Days at Challenger. (Jack enjoyed dressing up like a cowboy today. I will have to reimburse the school for the sandbox that he brought home in his boots. It was left on my kitchen floor.)

But that is only the highlights (or lowlights)

Now for a little political controversy. For those of you who didn't get to read Dave's email, I would like to include opinion of the current financial crisis. This is his response to the recent email that some Democrat sent out in response to the $85,000,000,000 bailout plan.

By the way, anyone who happened to forward the first email to their friends, helping propagate blatant stupidity, please send on my response such that we might help the President do the right thing in guaranteeing that our financial system does not have to suffer what Japan's did 20 years ago when they let their banking system collapse. It took them nearly a decade to recover. (By "recover", I mean get back to where they were when it collapsed.)

Also, for those who just listen to the 10 second sound bites on NPR and CNN, when the talking heads refer to it as a "buyout" (as if it's a bad thing), they are correct in their terminology. The US Government is purchasing the assets of AIG at pennies on the dollar. As part of the loan, the US Treasury ended up with 80% of the stock as well. It was a pretty savvy purchase/"buyout". Many experts expect the US to actually make money on the deal. The $700 BILLION buyout of junk loans is also a great deal along the same lines. The Wall Street Journal stated in a recent editorial that the US Treasury could easily earn $1.5 TRILLION on those loans as they are sold back into the system over time. That's a 200% return over just a couple of years. That's around 20% of the national debt. How smart would Bush look if his emergency "buyout" completely paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Bank of America made a very similar "buyout" of Countrywide Financial. Everyone lauded them for making such a great deal. These loans that are being purchased are backed by actual property...houses. The last thing most people want to do is default on their loans, destroy their credit, and end up on the street. If the US Treasury can purchase these loans at $.50 on the dollar or better, wouldn't you consider that a great deal? Even in California and Arizona, where home values have dropped 30%, this would still return a great profit.

This isn't the government offering to salvage a few favored banks. The banks have already lost the money. They've written most of these loans off their balance sheet as a complete loss because there is absolutely no market in which they can sell the loans to get the cash they need to operate. The problem with the current financial system isn't that it's bankrupt; it's insolvent. If you've ever heard the term "grease the palm" with some cash. Right now, the US banking system has no "grease" and the entire system is at risk of freezing up like an engine without oil. The banks need to have a certain amount of assets to back their loans. If they don't meet the minimum criteria, they can't borrow money from the Federal Reserve. If they can't borrow from the Federal Reserve, they can't lend. Thus, we, the American people, can't borrow either. No more credit cards... No more new home loans... No more anything... It's not that people aren't good credit risks and the banks aren't good banks. It's just that everything is frozen. People can't purchase. Stores close. People lose their jobs. More people can't purchase. More stores close. More people lose their jobs. Welcome to the Great Depression revisited.

I hope you aren't listening as Barak and other Democrats blather on about the flaws in the idea. Again, you're getting 10 second sound bites rather than actually learning about the issue. He's a lier who is playing on everyone's fears and the lack of education of the majority of Americans. It's true that the "buyout" isn't perfect, but there really isn't time to work out all the kinks. Last week, the market was entering a tailspin that would have been the last straw. After the government came out with the offer, people started talking about how the US financial system was days, not months or year, but DAYS away from complete collapse. This "buyout" is averting a situation that would make 9/11 look like just another bad day on Wall Street.

Don't just take it from me. Warren Buffett, an outspoken Barak supporter, is endorsing the buyout. His quote on CNBC was, "I think the Treasury will pay back the $700 billion and make a considerable amount of money." He's probably wishing he had $700 billion to make the purchase himself. In fact, he's already invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs knowing that the firm will recover as these junk loans are turned into regular mortgages. He's planning on making his share on money on the deal.

Sorry to rant, but nearly everyone I talk to, including people I highly respect and consider to be well educated, don't understand what is really going on. This is my chance to ensure that at least a few people I know are educated on what is really going on since the talking heads on the news don't do it.

Have a nice day,


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