When the decision was finally made to cough up USD 700 billion to bailout the Greatest Financial Show on Earth, the American taxpayer's elected representatives decided to give the poor silly bankers another chance, thus ushering in the thing that no one wants to talk about:
"The Great Depression II: The Revenge"
Opening REALLY soon in theatres REALLY near you
In 1929, roughly the same thing started to happen in the US economy - mortgages began to fail, the stock market soared and dropped at random up to Black Tuesday, banks began to feel the strain, and the federal government started acting to prop them up. In 1930, the economy actually rebounded slightly but the consumers never got their groove back and spending continued to drop. The Great Depression did not happen in the flash of an eye - it happened over time owing to a lot of poor decisions on everyone's part that began years before and lasted until years later.
And then we had The Great Dust Bowl which ravaged US agriculture and led to the Great Migration wherein southerners moved away from the drought-stricken lands toward California. I think we would do well to send our congressmen a copy of the The Grapes of Wrath. Just as a reminder.
Now... before you accountant and economist types start shooting off your mouths about my armchair analysis of the Great Depression, Great Dust Bowl, Great Migration, Greatest Show on Earth, or any other of the impending Greats that will soon impugn your eyes, please note that I am NOT an economist. I am only a SCARED TO DEATH regular circus-goer.
What I want to talk about is a little closer to home. It is a subject of interest to any of us watching the news from Washington at the moment. That is, to be quite blunt, the recently passed economic meteor that will soon hit the progeny of Henry, Emanuel, and Mayer Lehman stirring up a flurry of dollar bills that could blacken the sun for a thousand years. I mean -
U S D $ 7 0 0, 0 0 0, 0 0 0, 0 0 0
Seven hundred billion dollars to be applied as a tourniquet to the investment banking house and thus, according to the US Congress, Save the World.
Just to put this in perspective for you, the same amount of money could provide Belgrade with 5,938 new bridges, the entire population of Serbia with ten cevapi a day for 101 years, the 2008 Serbian spending budget for 58 years, or a modest new vacation home for EVERYONE in the Balkans.
With an ensuite garage.
The signs are ominous, the word "Great" is about to be taken out of mothballs again and applied to the bold (and possibly condemned) moves that US and world financial institutions will be making. Beginning with the Great September Bailout (and I want credit for this name if it catches on), this fine example of history repeating itself could easily lead to a series of very frightening sequels.
In the meantime, all we can do is to sit back and watch the Lehman Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus begin to juggle these vast sums of money and hope that they do not drop too many.