Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So, the World Almost Ended a Few Months Ago...

I completely missed this bit of video, which appears to be a few weeks old, but is still riveting:

First of all, this is the single most lucid explanation of the banking crisis I've heard to date ... and it's still a lot for most people to comprehend. The next step should be to find a quick way to explain why "without a banking system we don't have an economy." That lady at the beginning is pissed and there are plenty more like her across the country. Someone has to get out there and explain why banks are getting money and why the government is just cutting checks out to everyone like they did earlier last year.

Secondly, I think this tape goes a long way -- but definitely not all the way -- toward explaining why were dealing with numbers in the $600-900 billion range when folks talk about the TARP. I don't think anyone knows exactly what kind of money is going to be thrown at the banks to shore up their assets, but it certainly seems as if the initial $700+ billion used in the TARP was to some how accommodate the $550 billion that the banks absconded with on September 18th, plus a few extra billion for the banks that didn't get their cash out in time.

Now if there can only be some accountability to go along with the program ...

Lastly -- did that dude just say there was almost a $5.5 trillion bank run in September?!?

This is almost like an economic Cuban Missile Crisis. If that would have happened, the entire country would have gone about their typical days like any other on September 18th and woken up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland a la the Road Warrior the next morning ... if not actually, than certainly in a metaphorical sense.

[Only semi-related tangent: Congressman Kanjorski's remarks make the senseless garbage that State Senator Glen Grothman was spewing this morning look even more ridiculous.]

No wonder Hank Paulson looked like such a train wreck during the final months of the Bush Administration: he had literally stared into the abyss and the abyss stared back at him.

[via Teagan Goddard]

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