If you can balance your checkbook, you know more about Ordinary Finances than I do. If you have a viable Retirement Plan, I’m impressed; if you understand the details of the plan, I’m overwhelmed.
Even Tex Lameduck has taken notice, and reports that his administration “is on top of the problem.” You may find Balm for the Soul in that news.
What I have been able to figure out is that Bear Stearns, which is (or was) a Pretty Big Deal in Financial Markets and not a running back in the NFL, developed what Experts call a Cash Flow Problem on a Global Scale.
This CFP/GS syndrome is not only Toxic, but also Contagious. To prevent it from spreading to other Pretty Big Deals — and thence to Monumentally Big Deals on a Cosmic Scale — the US government and the Charitable Wing of JPMorgan Bank have bailed Bear Stearns out of its troubles.
On the surface, that would seem like a Really Nice Thing to do. It was accomplished by having JPM buy BS (I just love their monogram) for something in the area of 325 million dollars. That’s a Whole Shipload of Money more than I can wrap my head around.
Still, one feature of the deal baffles me. By Latest Accounts, the BS headquarters building itself is worth about five times the Bail-Out Price. And the BS Assettery (the secret room where they keep mortgages and such-like items) is Stuffed To The Gunnels with papers reported to be worth maybe eighty or ninety times that much.
Which means that JPM bought out BS at a penny on the dollar. As much as the BS people must be Rapturously Overjoyed by the deal, the Wise Old Men at JPM may also be cheered by this Stearn of events. Perhaps JPM was in dire straits its own self, and glad to be invited to this old-fashioned Penny Sale.
What I’m getting at is this. I was sort of hoping maybe Mr. Bernanke at the Fed, or Mr. Paulsen at the Treasury, could do Something Along Those Lines on my behalf. With just a one-time wink and nudge, my next social security check would pay off the Mortgage and leave enough for a Pretty Nice New Car.
Is that Too Much To Ask?