Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Anybody See the Bottom Yet?

Even though Congress finally passed the $700 billion bailout plan last week, the world's slide into financial chaos is continuing unabated.

Remember last Monday's record 778 point drop of the stock market? Well, at one point two days ago it had dropped by another 800 points, though a late rally cut the lose to 369. Stocks in Paris fell by 9%. London's market, on the other hand, only fell 8%. Russia had to halt trading entirely after its markets fell 19%.

Then yesterday Japan's markets fell over 9%, bringing its losses for the last two weeks to 24%. Japanese investors haven't been terrified since the last time a giant prehistoric creature emerged from the ocean to wreak havoc on Tokyo.

And now Iceland is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. It's one thing when a single company goes under. But when entire countries start going broke, we're all f*cked.

So why should the average Joe Schmoe like you and me care? Well, if you were planning to retire soon, you can probably forget it now. Analysts say that retirement plans have lost two trillion dollars (20% of their value) over the last few weeks.

Planning on buying a car? Good luck with that. The credit market has all but dried up. That means massive layoffs in the auto industry and related manufacturing are coming soon. And it's a safe bet those people are going to stop spending money, which will only further exacerbate the current situation.

Yesterday the former chairman of AIG--one of the principle firms involved in the financial meltdown--testified on Capitol Hill. And what did Robert Willumstad have to say for himself? "I was not aware of it, and if I had been, I would not have let it happen." Both he and his predecessor declined to take responsibility for the company's collapse.

WTF?!?!?! If they're that stupid, then why are they paid millions of dollars a year?

The people that got us into this must be held responsible for their actions. Even if there was no actual criminal wrongdoing, it is still their fault. They can not be allowed to simply walk away from the wreckage of our financial system.

That's why I'm repeating my call to start cutting off the balls of those responsible. Yes, balls. I hate to admit it, but most of the people who got us to where we are today are men--apparently women just aren't that stupid.

It's a safe bet that if Willumstad had emerged from the Capitol yesterday with a bag of ice where his nutsack used to be, all the bigwig executives on Wall Street would have taken immediate notice.

0 thoughtful ramblings: