It took me a while to figure out in actual digits, how to write 700 billion dollars. No Kidding. Here's how it looks - 700,000,000,000 - after adding zeros one by one to 700,000 which is a figure I can relate to as within my realm of existence. And that, if I really look too far from me.
So, Senate today passed the bill to bail out the fat cats of Wall Street and hand over to them 700 Billion US Dollars. We are being told by all the wise men, including journalists and politicians, that this is the right thing to do. And if we don't do that heavens will fall (or something of that order will happen. Doomsday theories you know!)
The idea is, that if the falling banks and their big fat wild cats are flushed with this kind of cash, they in turn will be free to give credit to people, which in turn will roll the economy back on the track over the period of time. On the other hand if Banks keep tumbling for lack of cash, no one will be getting credit which means, no money rolling back and forth into economy and which means "depression".
Now let me tell you quite frankly, I do not like the word depression. It is too fking depressing. And so I am like.. "yeah, do whatever..give those fat cats what they want.. but don't talk of depression please.."
Or is it? Should I as a tax paying resident of this country, who pays his bills regularly, without fail, and who lives within his limits as an honest salaried person not question this bail out?
I am sure, that the 700 Billion figure has my name in it, a small one I agree, somewhere in there. Me and my wife are contributing to bailing out a bunch of greedy CEOs and their Bull Shitting Management gurus and we are being told right now, that do not question this. If you are against bail out, you are a moron.
Ok, fair enough. I am a moron. An honest tax paying moron. But I need to know, the idea behind this RUSH to bail out. Nancy Pelosi's Congress and Bush's managers were sleeping for 1.5 years and all of a sudden they want to apply bandage to a nagging pain and think all is taken care of!!!
I am thinking NO. If you could wait for almost 2 years and sleep over this issue thinking everything is fine, you should wait for another couple of weeks at least. Tell me and my wife, why those greedy cats are not being penalized. Why they are not expected to pay their dues. How do me and my wife not know that these 700 Billion will not vanish in thin air again? Whooooooosh!!!
In a plain, simple, well written op-ed today in New York Time, Nicholas Kristof argues that America should "save the fat cat"
Who am I to question an Harvard educated guy like Nicholas Kristof, who's columns I have been following with great delight?
I am not arguing against the bail out Mr. Kristof. I am arguing against the mad rush to do that without communicating and addressing my fear that the cat is really dependable. I am worried, they are being let off too easily. I am worried that the right lessons are not being learnt here. I am worried that we are not giving ourselves even time to sink in and learn. Quick fixes have a flip side. And you probably have a greater visibility than me to world crisis to know that.
And please do not compare Japan to USA. Japan's economy sunk coz of the financial culture (of obsessive savings by the way) and not because their government did not bail out. I have not been to Harvard or have an MBA degree. But life's own management school of common sense taught me to take each problem on it's merit. If you try to apply Japanese template to USA, you are not going too far.