Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Fiction, pure fiction.
September 24, 2008 10:52 PM   Subscribe

That 700 Billion Dollar number that everyone's talking about? They made it up.
posted by pjern (146 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Thiis just fills me with all kinds of confidence. Right now I feel like organizing the mother of all pitchfork-and-torches parades on Washington.
posted by pjern at 10:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


LOL FAT CATS
posted by Mark Doner at 10:58 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Your fucking kidding me, right? I mean, I know it was never said to be exactly US$700 billion, but they, 'just wanted to choose a really large number'? WTF?
posted by MrMustard at 10:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well. It is large.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:00 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Flames... on the side of my face...
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 11:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [19 favorites]


Guess I'll be filling in some numbers on my 1040; hopefully they'll look big enough.
posted by crapmatic at 11:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


09.23.08. The Day Satire Died.

NEVAR FORGET
posted by you just lost the game at 11:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


FAIL.
posted by delmoi at 11:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


psst... hey, President Bush... if you ask for $700 billion, we could slip you a few mil no problem...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 PM on September 24, 2008


$700,000,000,000.

It is an aesthetically pleasing number...
posted by clearly at 11:05 PM on September 24, 2008


Well at least the debates won't get in the way.
posted by o0o0o at 11:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The back of Paulson's fortune cookie:

Lucky Numbers: 23, 34, 8, 19, 700000000000

The other numbers weren't big enough to bail out shit.
posted by clearly at 11:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [17 favorites]


Supposedly the democrats have gotten "most" of what they've wanted in the "negotiations" (why the hell are we 'negotiating' with these idiots again? We should tell them what to do and they can do it, as far as I'm concerned). That is they're supposedly getting mortgage renegotiation rights, compensation caps and oversight, but not equity.

Other then Oversight, getting equity is probably the most important part, equity is what would give the government a fighting chance to make back their investments, rather then seeing the vast majority of the profit go to wall street.

Anyway, since they said they planned on spending about $50 billion a month, I think we ought to allocate $50 billion now -- for October, and then after the election we can take a look and see how things are going (I realize they'll still be in charge until January, but it's unlikely they could cram anything past congress with a new president elect who isn't John McCain)

Spending $700 dollars tomorrow makes no sense whatsoever. I think a little patience is called for.
posted by delmoi at 11:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Earbucket brought this up on the really long McCain "suspends" his campaign thread, and I responded to it as well.

Of course the number is made up; that's how Wall Street operates, and this plan was bought and paid for by Wall Street.

Also from the article:

"Do I expect to pass something this week?" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., mused to reporters Tuesday. "I expect to pass something as soon as we can. I think it's important that we get it done right, not get it done fast."

Amen to that.
posted by ornate insect at 11:12 PM on September 24, 2008


a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Until now, I thought it was only men who exaggerated size.
posted by crossoverman at 11:14 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


OTOH, I do like how Forbes has that cutesy "welcome screen" with an inspirational quote. And oh yeah, a giant ad.
posted by niles at 11:21 PM on September 24, 2008


Well. It is large.

Meh, I've seen bigger.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:26 PM on September 24, 2008


Of course they probably low-balled it, later on they're going to say .. "weeeeeell ya see whatcher problem is the doohickey is jamed in the thing-a-ma-bob and that's gunna take a whilllle to fix, gunna be costin ya extra, mkay?"

fuckin swindler mechanics
posted by axltea at 11:26 PM on September 24, 2008


And remember it's not size that matters it's what ya do with it that counts ;)
posted by axltea at 11:27 PM on September 24, 2008


And remember it's not size that matters it's what ya do with it that counts ;)

With this $1 bill, I am going to paper cut the skin between the fingers of every investment banker, financial analyst, and backdoor accountant involved in this mess.
posted by clearly at 11:31 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I do like how Forbes has that cutesy "welcome screen" with an inspirational quote.

Every time I read a Forbes article online it scares the shit out of me. I think to myself, "Dear God, our economy is run by people who enjoy insipid self-help pablum like 'Many a man has failed because he never tried' and find it to be 'inspirational.' We are all going to die of exposure selling apples on the street corner." Usually I start drinking around that point. Does the opposition version of the bailout include a provision for adding an insubstantial bullshit detection component to the Series 7 exam? Because I think that could really go a long way.
posted by enn at 11:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Okay, during the past few weeks I've gotten into Ska. I'm not gonna lie, part of it's due to 90's nostalgia and the other half is I need something real upbeat to listen to.

So, most of the big stories on bank failures and bailouts are read with some uptempo tune in the background. I have a bad feeling that the more I get into Ska, the worse the markets will get. I guess it's time to get back into Electronica or whatever they're calling it.

$700 billion dosen't sound so bad when you're also listening to Reel Big Fish's cover of the Tetris theme.
posted by hellojed at 11:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have a bad feeling that the more I get into Ska, the worse the markets will get.

Nurse! 20ccs of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, stat!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Of course they made it up. It's free money.

It's all made up now. The value of a dollar or a loaf of bread, the value of a car or a home, the value of art, the value of religion, even the values of your own self image and feelings of self worth.

The values of a nation.

Crafted and spun in boardrooms for maximum return on investment, broadcast and mandated throughout the land from priviledged places - these values devalue you for profit.

Babylon come. Who builds the ziggurat? Who climbs it? Who whips the builders? Who steps upon and casts the others down?

*cues righteous dub*
posted by loquacious at 11:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [20 favorites]


Plan’s Basic Mystery: What’s All This Stuff Worth?
posted by ornate insect at 11:39 PM on September 24, 2008


Who curdles the milk? Who wipes down the badgers? Who drizzles cream on the berries? Who fellates the president? Who baits the hooks? Who chisels my likeness? Who sings redemption songs? Who farted?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


Too much pressure... oh pressure got to stop...
posted by loquacious at 11:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Right out of the fucking Onion.
posted by hellojed at 11:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


"It's the size of Texas, sir."
posted by Iridic at 11:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


BUSH: We've gotta teach this financial crisis a lesson!

FED: Yeah, but we would need a plan. Hey Paulson, you're smart, right?

BUSH: He's so smart!

FED: Oh yeah? How much should the federal bailout be?

PAULSON: $700 billion.

FED: OH MY GOD!

BUSH: I TOLD YOU!

FED: THAT NUMBER IS HUGE! *vomits*
posted by Rhaomi at 11:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [17 favorites]


No, Really, How Much Is $700 Billion?
posted by homunculus at 11:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hah! Fools! See what happens when you don't VOTE FOR RON PAUL?
posted by kaibutsu at 12:02 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Vote? Vote! You said to Google him

Arse
posted by fullerine at 12:16 AM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Why give money to those who have failed to handle it correctly? Give every American citizen with a Social Security number an equal share of that money (probably borrowed from China).
Those with debts at the institutions in question would have their share applied to their mortgage; the remaining people would simply get the money. What a boon to local merchants while the ill-run institutions would get enough money to bail them out, a t least partially. If they have to sweat a little, fine.
Also unseat all the Boards of Directors that allowed the hideously disproportionate salaries to the CEOs, CFOs and top management. Absolutely NO golden parachutes, maybe a few jail sentences instead.
posted by Cranberry at 12:18 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Use a golden parachute, go to jail... I like the sound of that.
posted by pjern at 12:48 AM on September 25, 2008


Earbucket brought this up on the really long McCain "suspends" his campaign thread, and I responded to it as well.


I missed it buried in all the other stuff in that monster thread, butthought it was important and maddening enough for its own thread.
posted by pjern at 12:50 AM on September 25, 2008


*sigh* but thought
posted by pjern at 12:50 AM on September 25, 2008


Don't they give these people any media training?
posted by salvia at 1:10 AM on September 25, 2008


yes, it's big all right, but is it big enough to be treason? ~^
posted by sexyrobot at 1:11 AM on September 25, 2008


Is $700 billion the smallest "really large" number I wonder?

To try to get some idea of what $700 billion would actually look like consider this version of how to visualise the piffling $315 billion spent on the Iraq war as of July 2006.

If it were stacked as dollar bills then $700 billion would be equivalent in size to a building 125 feet wide, 200 feet deep and, er, 1,000 feet high - about 90 storys.
posted by rongorongo at 1:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


People, people... please... we have to move past the incredulousness... John Stewart asked "What is left for them to de-complish?" Wait until they've been out of office for awhile... we only know about what they couldn't cover up... they will be de-complishing for years to come.

This crisis revolves around "assets" that no one knew how to value. When the value was thought to be high, everyone bought, good times. When the value was thought to be low, the market crashed. Of course they made up the number. No one knows what those "assets" are worth.
posted by ewkpates at 1:16 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'll confess. But, in my own defense, I had no idea.

As it happens, I was getting the kids ready for school, running around getting jackets and boots and hats on and all that crap and the phone rang.
"Hello?"
"How much should it be?"
"I dunno. Who is this?"
At that exact moment, just as the younger one fell down and started crying and my wife stormed through to ask, loudly, about a bill I'd forgotten to pay, my five year old stopped mid-boot to come over, pushing his mother and little brother out of the way, and ask,
"How many buses are there in India?"
"I don't know."
"We NEED a number."
A felt this funny little - fffftt - in my head and I stopped seeing the hallway, everything around me -
"A million. No, 7 billion. 700 billion. 700Billion"
"Thanks." *click*
"Thanks" *finish putting on boot*

Wife looked at phone,
"What was that?"
"I have no idea."

And now I do.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:24 AM on September 25, 2008 [12 favorites]


They should have gotten the born-agains on their side by asking for $777 billion.
posted by dawiz at 1:36 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, is it time to switch all my currency to yaun? You'd think Walmart would just take the yaun directly.
posted by dawiz at 1:39 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


so the american taxpayer is going to be footing this bill?
my guess is that it won't be all of them.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:57 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


(isn't it funny how that map looks sooo familiar...)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:59 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


'Reagan proved deficits don't matter," Dick Cheney told Paul O'Neill during a Cabinet meeting. - quoted everywhere.

I say no bailout, just let the banks/investment companies have a meeting with the dick because perception is reality.
posted by Bitter soylent at 2:20 AM on September 25, 2008


Isn't 7 lucky in China...?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:37 AM on September 25, 2008


Isn't 7 lucky in China...?

No. You're thinking of 8.
posted by blue mustard at 2:48 AM on September 25, 2008


We need an anthem for our discord.... something that only the Mefi Music people can provide ... something about punching bankers in the dick!
posted by pjern at 3:17 AM on September 25, 2008


7's lucky here. (For some values of here.)

So what this means is we could have been enjoying talk of the 777 billion dollar rescue plan? I mean what's 77 billion dollars? Easily worth it in increased luck alone.
posted by Wood at 3:18 AM on September 25, 2008


They should have gotten the born-agains on their side by asking for $777 billion.

Hello? 700 Club?
posted by dmd at 3:46 AM on September 25, 2008


No. You're thinking of 8.

I forgot what 8 was for.

They made it up.

We prefer the term "Rectally Selected."
posted by eriko at 4:02 AM on September 25, 2008 [14 favorites]


Q: How much money will we have to suck from the government in order to make universal/national healthcare financially impossible for the next administration to even consider?

A: Oh, I'd say 700 billion or so. Give or take.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, $650 billion is also a large number. If they already have $700 billion written on a bunch of forms, I could take the extra.
posted by DU at 4:19 AM on September 25, 2008


Use a golden parachute, go to jail... I like the sound of that.

Friends don't let friends use golden par -


They do?



Never mind.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:27 AM on September 25, 2008


Oh yeah, is it time to switch all my currency to yaun? You'd think Walmart would just take the yaun directly.

That would be a really bad move right now. The yawn is going down like Teutonic.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:31 AM on September 25, 2008


I'm not gonna lie, part of it's due to 90's nostalgia and the other half is I need something real upbeat to listen to.

Check out Mephiskapheles' "God Bless Satan". Besides the fact that it's a great record, the whole Satanic theme ties in well with the fact that the economy is going straight to hell.
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:49 AM on September 25, 2008


I think 700,000,000,000,000 was all that would fit on the 3 pages of the bill. Yes, that's right, the plan proposed by Bush et al. was only three pages long.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:58 AM on September 25, 2008


"ONE... MILLION DOLLARS"
posted by matteo at 5:06 AM on September 25, 2008



The number four means nothing to me but the
number four means death to Chinese.
Number seven is lucky in Japan. Here we don't give a damn.

posted by ghost of a past number at 5:11 AM on September 25, 2008


Here's my 2nd favorite part (after the pick a really big number part)

Dodd proposed his own counter-proposal to Paulson's plan earlier this week. Among other things, it calls for limits on executive compensation at troubled firms and for the Treasury to take a contingent equity stake in those firms. On Tuesday, Paulson rebuffed both ideas, as it might discourage firms from participating in the bailout program.

So Paulson is fucking worried these biznuss geniuses are going to turn down a (really big number) bailout because they can't have it their fucking way? He's concerned it might make the people who are fucking bankrupting what is left of this fucking country fucking discouraged? Those same motherfuckers who will not be able to remember how many houses they have or at which one they left the fucking Bentley? The fucking Bentley that has a full fucking tank of fucking gas in it? Seriously? no, fucking S E R I O U S L Y ???
posted by ElvisJesus at 5:15 AM on September 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


I smell a bit of salesman psychology here. After floating the $700B figure for a few weeks they can decide on a lower number (say, "only" $350B) and people will think "Wow! 50% Off! What a bargain!". It's the same way you get people to fork out for $150 designer jeans "on sale", and with a smile on their face.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:17 AM on September 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


After floating the $700B figure for a few weeks they can decide on a lower number

Lower? Seriously? Fucking seriously? And the bailouters will be greeted as liberators with flowers thrown at their feet. And the bailout will pay for itself in increased taxes the CEOs will be paying. Somebody get me a fucking tranquillizer ....
posted by ElvisJesus at 5:31 AM on September 25, 2008


The estimates for the cost of all the bad securities is about $500 billion to $1 trillion. Nobody knows the exact cost of all the securities. Not even the financial institutions themselves know the exact cost of all the securities. Paulson is picking a number that is somewhere between the estimates because it is vitally important we get some liquidity in the markets now. See, tallying it up would probably be a few weeks of tallying, especially since you've got to sort out who owns what. And then teasing out which mortgages are good and which ones are bad is going to take God knows how long--not even the investment banks and whatnot know that information right now (otherwise, we wouldn't be in this mess). The longer the government waits to do something, the more you lose investor confidence, and the greater the likelihood of a run and the subsequent collapse of the goddamn financial system.

Look, it sucks, but guys--this is not money that can be used for healthcare, or poor people, or AIDS in Africa, or any of that. This isn't about just keeping trading going so the evil investment bankers can keep making gobs of money. This is about making sure that you still have money in your bank accounts, and retirement accounts, and can still use credit cards, and that small mom-and-pop around the corner from you can still get a loan to expand, and people can still buy houses without having all the cash up front, and mortgages can still exist so you can stay in your house, and everything else in the world that requires some form of credit (which is the entire banking system).
posted by schroedinger at 5:36 AM on September 25, 2008


It's like they wanted to be 7 times worse than Dr. Evil?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:37 AM on September 25, 2008


I smell a bit of salesman psychology here. After floating the $700B figure for a few weeks they can decide on a lower number (say, "only" $350B) and people will think "Wow! 50% Off! What a bargain!". It's the same way you get people to fork out for $150 designer jeans "on sale", and with a smile on their face.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 8:17 AM on September 25


Actually, it's the opposite. If they cut the money significantly, the market will think it the plan isn't enough so save the system, and the markets will go right back to destroying anything bank and mortgage related.

At it isn't actually $700b. The proposal allows them to come back and ask for another $700b. It's an unlimited amount of money in $700b chunks.

By the way, the size of the derivatives bubble is $516 trillion. But the size of the stuff that's bad is probably closer to just 2% of that, or $11 trillion. The plan calls for $0.7 trillion, so by no means is everyone being made whole.

we need oversight, but Congress isn't smart enough to do it. Congress needs to appoint a panel of experts, preferably composed of old school types and not Wall Street hotshots. Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Jack Bogle, etc. These guys and their teams will be able to make sure that the money isn't spent imprudently. I don't know that I trust anyone else to do the oversight. In my opinion everyone working at one of these i-banks or on Wall Street is tainted, including Paulson, btw.
posted by Pastabagel at 5:41 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're selecting ska and rocksteady to go with the economy, obviously the entire soundtrack to The Harder They Come should be on your list.

However, don't ignore the more apocalyptic strains of roots reggae as well:

Niney- Blood and Fire (turn up your bass bins for this one)
Willie Williams- Armagideon Time
Culture- Two Sevens Clash
The Maytones- Money Worries
Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus- Keep Cool Babylon (for that heavy Nyabinghi sound)
and of course Burning Spear- Marcus Garvey
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:49 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, and I almost forgot: Junior Murvin- Police and Thieves

Actually, a lot of these can be found on the soundtrack to the film Rockers.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:55 AM on September 25, 2008


Of course they fucking made it up. Our spending has been decoupled from our revenues for generations and no public figures - save a few people commonly derided as nutjobs - plan to do anything about it. When government doesn't have a mandate to pass a balanced budget and can spend as much as it views as necessary, obviously it will be arbitrary, excessive, and stupid.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:02 AM on September 25, 2008


Really, the only proper ska for the current economic situation is stuff by Fishbone.

Because of how boned things are.
posted by mephron at 6:10 AM on September 25, 2008


So Paulson is fucking worried these biznuss geniuses are going to turn down a (really big number) bailout because they can't have it their fucking way?

Actually, the problem is more fundamental then Paulson being worried about what companies might do. I watched just a minute or so of the hearings yesterday, but I caught a congressman commenting to Paulson on the irony (hypocrisy?) that the administration was selling this as NECESSARY TO SAVE THE ENTIRE U.S. ECONOMY RIGHT NOW THIS WEEK, yet at the same time was implying that Bush might veto any bill that has onerous executive pay restrictions. So the message is that the bill is necessary to save the economy, but saving the economy takes a backseat to executive pay.

And, of course, any company that would turn down the bailout probably doesn't "need" it in the same way that we're being told.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:41 AM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Let it burn.
posted by empath at 6:43 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


And the Bush Administration sings the same old chorus:

"We must act quickly; we don't want this global financial crisis to come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:43 AM on September 25, 2008


Dear God they want 700 billion dollars of our taxes to pay for some dumbass's financial mistakes and they CAN'T EVEN GET THE FUCKING NUMBER RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?!!

Getting angry...... TURNING GREEN!!!!

Mastercheddar NOW ANGRY.... Mastercheddaar SMASH!

Grumble grumble... I wish I could make billions of dollars worth of bad business mistakes then have all of you cover my ass with your tax dollars.......

EPIC FAIL.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:44 AM on September 25, 2008


I am not a mathematician, but I am pretty sure seven hundred billion is the biggest number there is. At least this is what my four-year-old niece tells me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Among other things, it calls for limits on executive compensation at troubled firms and for the Treasury to take a contingent equity stake in those firms. On Tuesday, Paulson rebuffed both ideas, as it might discourage firms from participating in the bailout program.

I tend to wonder if these "executive compensation limits" are going to be the smokescreen to prevent the government acquiring equity. I looked at the mainstream newspaper yesterday and there was a lot of noise about that and nothing about equity. So, while the government ought to be saying, "You need a sugar daddy? Well, you're our bitch now. We own you and you work for us," instead the Treasury gets looted and in return executive compensation goes from $WTF to $(WTF - Token Sum).

Also, these firms are going to be discouraged? If this is a such an OHSHIT big deal that drastic and radical measures are necessary, I believe the monopoly on the use of force could be used to provide some encouragement.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:45 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Guess I'll be filling in some numbers on my 1040; hopefully they'll look big enough.

Remember that the Pentagon 'lost' 2+ trillion dollars they were given when you get audited.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:48 AM on September 25, 2008


I want a T-shirt that says I AM TOO BIG TO FAIL.

I really do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:53 AM on September 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


Hah! Fools! See what happens when you don't VOTE FOR RON PAUL?

It also happens when you do vote for Ron Paul.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:54 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dammit, that fiddy cent Fannie Mae stock could now buy me a bottle of Two Buck Chuck.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:55 AM on September 25, 2008


Dammit, that fiddy cent Fannie Mae stock could now buy me a bottle of Two Buck Chuck.

Is that a blues song yet?

No?

How about now?
posted by rokusan at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2008


All I'm sayin' is, 24.
posted by jbickers at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Paulson rebuffed both ideas, as it might discourage firms from participating in the bailout program.

Soooo...... they might choose to not participate? They have other options? They don't NEED a bailout?

That seems to be an important question to ask Mr. Paulson. Someone get Katy Couric on the blower.
posted by rokusan at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2008


Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Jack Bogle, etc. These guys and their teams will be able to make sure that the money isn't spent imprudently. I don't know that I trust anyone else to do the oversight. In my opinion everyone working at one of these i-banks or on Wall Street is tainted, including Paulson, btw.

This the same Warren Buffet that just took a $5bn position in Goldman Sachs, which is going to earn him $500m a year? Yeh, I definitely think he's the guy to decide if taxpayer money should go to Goldman.
posted by bonaldi at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Me? I'd staff the oversight committee with blue-collar workers laid off when their firm got bought out by a private equity giant.
posted by bonaldi at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


I added this as a favorite because it will always help me remember what it feels like to BURN WITH RAGE INSIDE.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:32 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Honestly guys, thanks for this post and amazingly funny thread. After years being appalled by BushCo, becoming a crescendo of disgust this month with the so-called financial 'crisis', it's truly a relief to come to the blue and laugh in the middle of horror and bewilderment.
posted by nickyskye at 7:48 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I'm not about to give a $700 billion appropriation to a secretary I don't know yet," says Dodd.

Don't worry. Senator McCain is coming down to explain it to you.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:51 AM on September 25, 2008


You know 700 Billion is $2300 from every American man, woman, and child. Why don't they just write a check for $2300 to each American and stimulate the economy that way? I'm sure some of that money would make it into banks. Most would be spent on shiny things. Personally, I'd use mine for gold bars, a shovel, and a crate of ammo.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:05 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'd use mine for gold bars, a shovel, and a crate of ammo.

I suppose that's why they don't want to give the money to individual citizens... *shrug*
posted by voltairemodern at 8:20 AM on September 25, 2008


it calls for limits on executive compensation at troubled firms

Limits???? How about ZERO, NADA, NOTHING!! How about you're fired, pack your crap and get out!
I admit to being a bit of a financialtard, especially at this level. I don't understand how the mess happened, and I don't understand how this $$ is supposed to fix it. My basic understanding is that these "troubled" firms lost their asses somehow and now the gov't is going to bail them out by buying there debt off of them? WTF!?
Is there a bailout plan for dummies I can read somewhere?
TIA
posted by a3matrix at 8:25 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire ...
posted by DaddyNewt at 8:29 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


buying there debt should read THEIR
Sorry.
posted by a3matrix at 8:31 AM on September 25, 2008


Frankly I'm more surprised that the "wereallfucked" tag has only two posts.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


The more I think about it, they probably should have asked for $911 billion to, you know, remind everybody that this all Sadham Hussein's fault
posted by ElvisJesus at 9:33 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


You maniacs! You made it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:34 AM on September 25, 2008


You know how, when you were younger and poorer, you had a threshold for impulse buying? If you were in line at the store, and you saw something on the end cap that you didn't really need, but kinda wanted, and it was less than a buck, so you grabbed it. Then you got older, and the impulse threshold went up to $10, and then $20, and then maybe $50...

That's how I've been viewing all the news these past few years with regard to money; I remember when a million dollars seemed like a lot of money. Then the news started talking about issues that related to tens of millions, then hundreds of millions. Now the unit has jumped and everything is talked about in billion dollar increments, and just lately we've jumped into talking about hundreds of billions.

The thing is, I have a hard time even really grasping what a billion dollars is: a million dollars, carefully tended, would be enough to live the rest of my life off of. Ten million is "fuck you" money. A hundred million is "fuck everything" cash where I'm lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills.

What is a billion, let alone seven hundred billion?

The numbers are just too big for me to even get my head around.
posted by quin at 9:41 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


As for the television's so-called "plan," why don't you give me a call when you start taking things a little more seriously.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seven hundred billion dolllars is 100 billion dollars more than NASAs entire combined 50 year budget
posted by dng at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why was six hundred billion scared of seven hundred billion?
Because seven hundred billion eight hundred billion nine hundred billion.
No wait, that's not right.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I want a T-shirt that says I AM TOO BIG TO FAIL.

There really should be a corollary to Rule 34 involving t-shirts. If it exists, there will be a t-shirt for it. Too bad it's on CafePress.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 10:17 AM on September 25, 2008


CNN: Bailout foes plan protests
posted by delmoi at 10:17 AM on September 25, 2008


In other news: Bush Asleep While Iraqi Fraud Funnels Millions To al-Qaeda
posted by homunculus at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2008


If I were an editor at Forbes, I would replace the headline "Bad News for Bailout" with "Democratic Congress Grows Testicles".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2008


The numbers are just too big for me to even get my head around.

I was going to come back with a pithy answer along the lines of enough to give seventy thousand people fuck you money.

But I've spent ten minutes playing with zeroes when just six of the round little fuckers would probably mean financial security for me and mine.

Now my head hurts and I need a drink.
posted by fullerine at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2008


They've reached an agreement...

Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, emerged from a morning-long meeting on Thursday with top House and Senate lawmakers to tell reporters that he thought Congress could act within the "next few days" to pass a bill.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 10:28 AM on September 25, 2008


Seven hundred billion dolllars is 100 billion dollars more than NASAs entire combined 50 year budget

*feels something die inside*
posted by sexyrobot at 10:29 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


I want a T-shirt that says I AM TOO BIG TO FAIL.

Funny that. My underwear already says TOO BIG TO FAIL.

Because of my tremendous wang.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy crap they approved it. This is fucking nuts.

Still, why do I care so much? Now you're all going to be bailing out our banks, in return for ... nothing! Cheers, chaps.
posted by bonaldi at 10:36 AM on September 25, 2008


Hey - isn't this the standard "exit strategy" for Republicans? Started by Reagan?

You saddle the incoming administration with a mass of debt (crisis, war, etc.) and therefore they cannot enact any decent social programs and spend their entire term trying to dig their way out of the mess.
posted by jkaczor at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy crap they approved it. This is fucking nuts.

What? You expected them not to? Handing over the 700B was never in doubt, as far as I could tell. The debate was going to be over how many controls or penalties Congress was going to be able to impose.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:42 AM on September 25, 2008


Seven hundred billion dolllars is 100 billion dollars more than NASAs entire combined 50 year budget

and approximately seven times the cumulative life-time (58 year) budget of the National Science Foundation.
posted by gruchall at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


CNBC is reporting that Nancy Pelosi is going to introduce a new stimulus package tomorrow separately from the $700B bailout. There's no details on what this stimulus package will have in it.
posted by birdherder at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2008


What? You expected them not to? Handing over the 700B was never in doubt, as far as I could tell.
Yes, but it should have been in doubt. Shit, is that how things are going to work? Hell, I can concoct an emergency and slap together three pages saying "hey, I need, uh, like a hojillion pounds", but somebody should stop me, not tinker at the edges of the thing.
posted by bonaldi at 10:45 AM on September 25, 2008


How much would free healthcare for everybody in the US cost?
posted by bonaldi at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Great, my Death and Taxes poster is already out of date.
posted by swift at 10:47 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


How much would free healthcare for everybody in the US cost?

Nothing.
posted by swift at 10:54 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: Frankly I'm more surprised that the "wereallfucked" tag has only two posts.

That's because MeFites don't do a lot of real l fucking, and if they do, they're usually tactful enough not to make front page posts about it.
posted by heeeraldo at 10:54 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I really don't get this. Could someone explain to me which important part I'm missing?

The big problem are lots of loans that can not be paid back, right? Now your government wants to spend a "really large number" of dollars to try to solve this problem. And instead of using it to help people to pay back those loans, they want to use it to buy the loans? I mean, what?

I know that what they really want to save is Wall Street, and that everyone with power has a different agenda than the rest of the people, but is the public discourse in your country really so rotten that it's impossible to communicate such a simple complete fuck-up of logic?
posted by dnial at 10:55 AM on September 25, 2008


I know that what they really want to save is Wall Street, and that everyone with power has a different agenda than the rest of the people, but is the public discourse in your country really so rotten that it's impossible to communicate such a simple complete fuck-up of logic?

Gay liberal illegal immigrant abortionists.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:59 AM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


All I wanted was some levees.
posted by gordie at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


And instead of using it to help people to pay back those loans, they want to use it to buy the loans? I mean, what?
dude, wtf? You can't go bailing out poor people; that only causes moral hazard. What would be to stop them acting recklessly next time? No, no, you need to put them out in the street so they don't do it again.
posted by bonaldi at 11:02 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think there's only one good thing that can come from this bailout. Hopefully, a groundswell will form big enough to vote out of office any running incumbent who votes for this.

As for president, we should all write in Marcy Kaptor
posted by Rafaelloello at 11:17 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


We can get the money to pay this off from outer space. Gold asteroids!
posted by nickyskye at 11:55 AM on September 25, 2008


1. Loan $
2. Go deep in the red
3. Bailout
4. PROFIT !!!!
posted by a3matrix at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2008


This is not helping me to not panic.
posted by lunit at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2008


lunit: To properly not panic, you need this. And a towel.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2008


Now your government wants to spend a "really large number" of dollars to try to solve this problem. And instead of using it to help people to pay back those loans, they want to use it to buy the loans? I mean, what?

But that's exactly what they are doing - buying the loans is exactly the same as paying the banks the money the would have got (or not got) from the mortgage holders. The difference is the mortgage holders will essentially now owe the government the difference.
posted by cillit bang at 1:27 PM on September 25, 2008


Check out Mephiskapheles' "God Bless Satan". Besides the fact that it's a great record, the whole Satanic theme ties in well with the fact that the economy is going straight to hell.

May I in that case suggest a slightly different soundtrack?

You fought hard and you saved and earned
But all of it's going to burn
And your mind, your tiny mind
You know you've really been so blind
Now's your time, burn your mind
You're falling far too far behind
Oh no, oh no, oh no, you're gonna burn

Fire, to destroy all you've done
Fire, to end all you've become
I'll feel you burn

You've been living like a little girl
In the middle of your little world
And your mind, your tiny mind
You know you've really been so blind
Now 's your time, burn your mind
You're falling far too far behind
Ooooo ooo-ooo-ooooh

Fire, I'll take you to burn
Fire, I'll take you to learn
You're gonna burn, you're gonna burn
You're gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn
Whaaaa aaaaaaahhhh!

Someone needs to animate this with a mocking W, McCain, and Gramm singing the chorus.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:27 PM on September 25, 2008


Holy crap they approved it. This is fucking nuts.

THEY APPROVED IT?! What is WRONG with Congress?!

You know, I can't help but think all this is really just to bankrupt the country so much that there's no way to maintain Social Security.
posted by JHarris at 1:38 PM on September 25, 2008


So now the whole rationale for the plan is “price discovery”: we’re going to throw lots of taxpayer funds into the pot because that will let us find the true values of troubled assets, which are higher than the fire sale prices out there, and so balance sheet will improve, confidence will return, etc, etc..
posted by ornate insect at 2:00 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


A Bailout We Don't Need
posted by ornate insect at 2:06 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's over 700 times bigger than the annual budget for clean air and global climate change.

Almost 1500 times larger than the annual budget for public school improvements.

Over 100 times larger than the annual budget for the NSF.

It's bigger, even, than the annual budget for the Department of Defense.

Fucked, fucked, fuckety fuck fucked.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:13 PM on September 25, 2008


Well then. Guess I'd better sell all of my U.S. Dollars RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

I bid you all welcome to the Days of the American Peso.
posted by illiad at 3:17 PM on September 25, 2008


Next on his resume
Arbusto, Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. , Harken Energy ... The United States of America.
Mission Accomplished
posted by ElvisJesus at 3:48 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


How much are sub-prime mortgages worth? A lot more the last few days

Click on the ABX links on the bottom of this page to see a graph of how they're doing. Looks like there is quite a rise in demand in anticipation of selling this crap to us.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2008


Could someone explain to me why Democrats are engaging in all this talk about the importance of a "bipartisan" effort on this? And why the alleged deal broke down at all (which Democrats are blaming on Republicans)?

Last time I checked, Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate. So why aren't they pushing their plan through regardless of what Republicans want? AFAIK, the only way Republicans could stop them would be 1) a filibuster in the Senate, or 2) a Bush veto, either of which seems unlikely because they would be very public statements against the plan (which seems to include provisions that most people like) and draw the ire of much of the citizenry.

So why aren't Democrats doing this? It seems to me either they don't have the support of all Democrats for their plan (if so, who?), or else they're deliberately delaying to try to make Republicans look bad by blaming them.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:31 AM on September 26, 2008


Last time I checked, Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate. So why aren't they pushing their plan through regardless of what Republicans want
Because later, when everybody sobers up, somebody has to answer for $700bn going astray and the Democrats certainly don't want to be the ones that ramrodded it through.
posted by bonaldi at 10:56 AM on September 26, 2008


Last time I checked, Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate. So why aren't they pushing their plan through regardless of what Republicans want

Because later, when everybody sobers up, somebody has to answer for $700bn going astray and the Democrats certainly don't want to be the ones that ramrodded it through.


It worked pretty well last time. Of course that came with strings attached for the banks, not that there's anything wrong with strings...
posted by Pollomacho at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2008


Last time I checked, Democrats have a majority in both the House and the Senate. So why aren't they pushing their plan through regardless of what Republicans want?

What you think of as a "majority" in the Senate isn't 51. It's 60, because that's how many senators it takes to invoke cloture and get a vote.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2008


What you think of as a "majority" in the Senate isn't 51. It's 60, because that's how many senators it takes to invoke cloture and get a vote.

Hence my caveat that Republicans could prevent it with a filibuster. And the reasoning I gave for why I didn't think they would.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:36 AM on September 26, 2008


Rebuplicans are thought to have the potential to lose many house seats in this election. The House Republicans are using this to

1. Portray a giant chasm between them and the Bush administration.
2. Court middle-American voters who may just get riled up enough to vote against every congressman who votes for it. Even if every Republican congressman thinks the bailout is necessary, they would still rather have it branded a Democrat bailout of Wall Street as it will help their cause greatly, perhaps even get McCain elected.
posted by Rafaelloello at 12:33 PM on September 26, 2008


Beavis voice: "Heh, heh. He said Rebuplicans
posted by Rafaelloello at 12:35 PM on September 26, 2008


CEOs who got out before crisis left with millions
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on September 26, 2008


« Older FineArtFilter: Taco Photography. Plus Hatemail and...  |  So, as a fashionista or due to... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments