So, we’re still less than eighty days into Barack Obama’s presidency and, just as promised, history is being made. For the first time, we saw a tax cheat hired to run the Treasury Department. For the first time, we’ve seen a TelePrompTer calling the shots and dictating public perception of a president. For the first time, we watched the president call for the termination of a private sector CEO.
It’s history all around!
As always, of course, I have the chance to travel around a bit and talk to people, and it is from that selection of chatter that I have found a few talking points for today’s installment of Notes From the Conservative Underground.
It’s a bit of a mish-mash of ideas, thoughts, and perspectives, but I hope you enjoy them and find them informative nonetheless.
Survival Mode vs. Doomsday Aftermath
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “U.S. President Barack Obama benefits from a broadly held perception that others bear the bulk of responsibility for state of the U.S. economy, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Tuesday.”
Well, that certainly explains a lot. And it sure doesn’t inspire confidence in true recovery as this country spirals out of control. If the American voting public is so willing to shift blame away from the nation’s chief executive after so much has been lost over the past 78 days, what will it take for everyone to wake up over the next three years?
Even as Iran continues its nuclear program and North Korea basks in the afterglow of an unimpeded missile launch which did little else other than to show the Barack Obama-led United States of America to be a toothless dog, the refrain continues at home: It’s the economy, stupid.
That being said, a short look at the current state of affairs in the finance sector from what I have read and heard over the past week or so reveals two versions of our present financial condition:
In the first version, the world is in a severe survival mode, much like a gangland turf war. In the end, the biggest and most powerful will win as they always do, but that does not mean the winners are the ones who deserve it. In our present situation, those most likely to come out on top may actually be the guiltiest parties in this whole banking and investment mess, as the top five banks in this whole quagmire are the ones Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wants to help the most.
Those five banks are JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo-Wachovia. According to Government reports, they hold over 90 percent of derivative positions in nominal value. Geithner will feed huge sums to them, and let the smaller banks get eaten up.
If Obama turns out to be a bad guy as this plays out, it is because he has too much of Abraham Lincoln’s “malice toward none” and refuses to arrest anybody. Either way, this scenario is one in which the nation survives, ends up nationalizing everything, and none of the culprits are arrested. So, even in survival mode, the idea of survival itself is subjective.
The second version is more doomsday-ish, since it is based on the problems of derivatives. There are some in my business who think the mortgage problem does have a chance of showing signs that it has hit bottom, but what looms on the horizon is a veritable derivative implosion. And the figures tossed around with regard to derivatives are staggering. Webster Tarpley, a regular inhabitant of the conspiratorial fringe who has nonetheless written on politics and the economy for years, says the dervative bubble is 1.5 quadrillion dollars. That’s right, a quadrillion, as in a thousand trillion dollars. Or, in this case, 1,500 trillion dollars.
This figure may seem ridiculous, and indeed when I asked an associate of mine on Wall Street about it, he posited that a quadrillion dollars might be “a little high.” Regardless, the point is not lost — we, the American public, simply do not have a strong sense of how much is out there. nor do we have a strong idea of whether we will ever know. The thing is, even if Tarpley’s figures are three times too high, that would still leave the total at 500 trillion dollars.
The answer? Let the whole mess blow up and cave in on itself, like a controlled demolition. In order to do this properly, a mechanism must be set up to catch all the rubble, that mechanism being the world regulatory agency being discussed at the G-20 meeting. Geithner’s job, in the meantime, is to hold everything together until the government structure is in place to cope with the end of dervatives as we know them.
Of course, the second scenario may seem more vicious than the first, but it will nonetheless prevent the American government from spending itself into oblivion. Obama might not be blamed for the cause, but he could be blamed for the poor end result, depending upon which of these he chooses.
God Save the Queen
As we all saw, President Obama and his wife had an audience with the Queen of England last week. He brought Her Royal Highness a Royal iPod, and she smiled understandingly as Michelle Obama broke well-established protocol and wrapped one of her sinewy arms around the Royal waist. It was lovely. Tea and hegemony all around.
In the meantime, perhaps we should keep in mind the ongoing speculation, for years, that the Crown is in fact the largest shareholder in the American Federal Reserve. Of course, the Crown hasn’t been the only entity considered, as the continued refusal by the Federal Reserve to reveal to the American people just who owns its equity only adds fuel to the fire and allows this kind of speculation to run rampant.
Not up for debate or speculation, though, is the vast number of hedge funds run by the Brits in the Cayman Islands, part of the unrestricted world of finance. Obama’s audience with the Queen of England is a public demonstration of the Anglo-American banking alliance currently doing combat with the rest of the world. The AIG/banking crises has been placed on the backs of this alliance because the Americans in particular were supposed to police AIG. This did not happen, and now trust in American business virtue must be re-established.
To do that, I don’t know how the White House can top the DVD collection given to the British PM or the iPod given to the Queen. Perhaps the Obama administration could consider bringing Japanese flat-screen televisions to the next meeting of foreign heads of state, or maybe the fancy cellphone du jour — that way Obama can text his peeps across the globe.
OMG hav u red Karl Marx?
Ya LOL Marx iz da bomb.
Federal funds from the so-called “stimulus” package is set to begin pouring into the American public school system any day now, bringing with it great excitement from all circles about how the federal government is saving the schools. And just in time, too — in times of economic crises, after all, it will be more an more difficult for parents to send their children to private schools.
As we’ve seen, Democrats much like Communists thrive on superficially defusing crisis with government interaction. This, therefore, could definitely be the time in the next year or so to put more and more power in to the public schools, especially if President Obama gets to sponsor his public works program through the schools as part of a child’s education.
Normal consequences? Possibly look for any tax exempt status enjoyed by private schools to be in danger, and be on the lookout for homeschooling to go under attack as well.
Many of my associates seem to think President Obama wants to base the car industry on the non-union model exhibited by Toyota and other foreign automakers in the United States. While I’m not so sure that’s true, think about it for a momemnt — what an irony it would be, in that case, for a Democrat to bust the autoworkers’ union, leaving the government employees’ unions as the most powerful in the American landscape.
Time will tell if the Democratic party can reconcile their treatment of the UAW with their liberal ideals. Read the American Communist Parrty platform some afternoon. (You really don’t have to — honest.) It wants to unionize every job in America.
The Life and Times of Sarah Palin
However great the love may be for Sarah Palin in the conservative arena, she is considered laughable by the American political left, and at this time they hold court, both in the halls of Capitol Hill and the cubicles in newsrooms from coast to coast. Is she a woman? Yes. Does it matter? No. What matters right now is that she has very little capacity under the current circumstances, economic and otherwise, to convince anyone who voted for Obama to change their minds and move toward the conservative side of the political aisle.
When I said she represents the religious right, that was not a judgment — that is a fact. When she was picked by Arizona Sen. John McCain as his running mate, the inside party Republicans I spoke with were positively glowing, arguing that she was by far the best representative of the religious right they could imagine. The problem, however, lay in McCain’s failure to woo the economic and defense conservatives. That failure was his own, from his refusal to hammer then-candidate Barack Obama on his tax plans to his horrible decision to vote in favor of the initial $700 billion bailout. And just as John McCain failed to woo fiscal conservatives so for many reasons, I do not believe she had much to offer in that regard.
Why? Because she is not perceived as a professional economist and, despite being the only candidate on either ticket with executive experience, was at least perceived to be lacking in that regard. Fiscal conservatives by their very nature want their candidates to be more than professional politicians (Ronald Reagan excluded), and Sarah Palin’s religious conservative beliefs would be with her even if she had not become a politician.
The best interview I heard her give during the campaign was on the show “Focus on the Family,” a conservative religious program. She was natural, comfortable, and on target. This would simply not be so if she had to explain the nature of the derivatives crises and what should be done. The truth is, most politicans would not either. (Reading on the derivatives crises has the same intellectual flavor as studying quantum mechanics. It is part science and part science fiction.) Regardless, the Republicans at this very moment, given the circumstances, need a national figure who is a combination of enonomics and religious morality, a figure who elicits confidence when it comes to dollars and sense. Sarah Palin is not that figure. Mitt Romney may be. Newt Gingrich may be. Either way, they’re going to be in for a fight.
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.