Jon Stewart on the economic collapse

There’s a video clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that I’ve been meaning to link to.  The topics discussed aren’t “breaking news” anymore, but they’re still relevant — such as America’s financial troubles caused by Wall Street firms.   If you haven’t seen this episode before, it’s worth watching.  This clip is only 10 1/2 minutes long.  (I will warn you that there’s a little bit of crude language, although most is beeped out.)

The first part is about a bipartisan financial reform bill that was in the works for 2 years, led by Chris Dodd and Bob Corker.  Eventually, Dodd decided to put out his own bill, which contained regulation that should’ve been implemented the day after the financial crisis began.   If you’re short on time, you can skip to around 4:20 of the video to get to the better part.

Jon Stewart explains why Lehman Brothers imploded, according to a bankruptcy examiner’s report, and he shows how Lehman Brothers hid their worthless junk holdings — some $50 billion.  And Citicorp did the same thing, and Goldman Sachs fueled AIG’s gambles.   And supposedly no one at Lehman Brothers is going to jail for what they did, even though they intentionally deceived everyone watching them by hiding $50 billion of worthless securities (which in some circles is considered fraud).

The best part of the video begins at 6:20, where Jon Stewart discusses the Supreme Court case that says corporations have the same rights as individuals.   So what if individuals had the same rights as corporations?  Jon Stewart puts it in perspective in a way only he can, and it’s classic.  Here’s the link:

The Daily Show: In Dodd We Trust

I don’t always watch The Daily Show, but sometimes it reports more on the important and controversial news than the full-time news networks, and Stewart makes it funny.  Humor is important at a time like this.  It can be very disheartening to see our country’s economy (and our freedoms) being destroyed from the inside out by large corporations, Congress, and the Obama administration.  Receiving that distressing news with some injected humor makes it a little easier to swallow.  (What’s the old song say — “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”)

spending more to reduce the debt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the U.S. economy is having some problems.  There’s a LOT of debt (both private and public, corporate and personal), and there’s not enough money to cover those debts.  It’s way past time to do something about it.  Fortunately, President Barack Obama has a plan.

They say knowing is half the battle, but I’m not sure if Obama really knows what he’s doing (thus I’m not sure he’s even halfway right).  Obama apparently thinks quadrupling the deficit will fix the deficit.  I cannot begin to explain how backwards that sounds.  But if spending more money than we have and sending us deeper into debt 4 times faster helps the economy, then why don’t we do even more?  (I’m afraid he is planning to do more, particularly with the nationalized health care.)

I realize this may all sound foolish.  I mean, how can going further into debt get us out of debt?  The key here is that it has to be called “investing” instead of just “spending”.  Calling it by another name makes all the difference.   That must be it…

And if it will work for our government, maybe it’ll work for us.  Suppose you can decrease your credit card debt by spending 4X as much and putting it on your credit card…*

* Don’t blame us if you try this and your budget blows up and you can’t get credit anymore and the lenders start foreclosing on your properties that you can’t afford.  But be sure to blame Obama if that happens to our country…

Obama's economic plan

Why is the economy still a debacle?

As you know, the U.S. economy has been in bad shape for a while now, and the government just issued a $700 billion bailout to fix the mess.  But I’m hearing in the news that things are still bad on the economic front.  I don’t understand…

I realize these corporations are huge and complicated, but how long should it take to feel the effects of billions of dollars?  I can envision it helping really quick.  (Just imagine if you were given a billion dollars, how long it would take to fix your economic problems.)

The government gave these billions of dollars to the financial experts, the people who have been in the industry for years, the people who run the critical companies — the mortgage lenders, the big banks, the insurers, the credit card issuers, etc.  These are the people who have the authority in their companies to make the difficult decisions, to make a difference.  These people are paid big bucks to know what they’re doing.  These people are… um… the people who… uhh… got us into this mess in the first place…  OH, NO!  WHAT HAVE WE DONE???

buying a car as an investment

With today’s financial climate — that is, the economic crisis and the crashing of the Dow Jones Industrial Average — buying a car is now a good investment: you still lose 40% of the value when you drive it off the lot, but that’s better than most mutual funds these days…