Magical Piggy Bank Picture Contest

I saw this quote from Alan Greenspan and it made me smirk:

Don’t use Fed as a ‘magical piggy bank’

He’s referring to the recent Federal spending splurge, bailouts, tax payer refunds, the housing bill… the list goes on. That giant sucking sound Ross Perot used to talk about is actually a giant crane sound lifting dollar bills off the money printing machine.

So, I looked for a suitable picture to represent the magical piggy bank – what would it look like? How fast does it spit out $100 bills I wonder. Do you have to press a button or is it running non stop? I wonder if there is a warranty on the motors. At the rate they’re spending money, you’d think you’d have to change the oil fast and what if they miss what happens. So… anyways, I wasn’t able to find a lot of pictures of piggy banks but here are some pictures of pigs I found. Suits the whole premise if you ask me.

This one can deliver cash to any government agency needing a quick ten billion:

Creative Commons License photo credit: zappowbang

This one is a bit slow. However it can deliver up to $400 billion to the Presidents desk at a moments notice:

Creative Commons License photo credit: zappowbang

This one is the stealth fighter version. It travels to the problem and regardless of the optimal solution spits out dollar bills (in $500 billion increments) until the problem is completely buried in cash. Then moves on to the next one. It also has the ability to come back to the original problem should it resurface. It then throws more money at it and re-buries it. The Chinese love this one – it keeps their reserves high.

Creative Commons License photo credit: zappowbang

What’s this doing here? This is my piggy bank after paying taxes:

Creative Commons License photo credit: ken +

Finally, this is the magical piggy bank Greenspan is talking about. It doesn’t listen to any taxpayer, only responds to signals by the President or Congress – both need not be present. It does special missions like bailing out companies, keeping social security solvent and stands ready to spill its guts out if Fannie and Freddie need cash.

yar, thar be a butcher off the starboard side
Creative Commons License photo credit: zappowbang

If you see any other suitable pictures of the magical piggy bank – do send them my way. I’d be curious to see what it looks like.

One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt

If you’re looking for a movie this summer, here is one that you may want to see: I.O.U.S.A “One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt.”  I’ve only seen the trailer, so I can’t say how the movie is, but it certainly looks very interesting:

Movie site: IOUSA

Systematic Crisis?

From Bloomberg this morning as stocks tumble:

“This is a systemic financial crisis, there is no end to it,” Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics and international business at New York University, told Bloomberg Television. “It’s a vicious circle between a contracting economy and greater credit and financial losses feeding on the economy.”

President Bush reminds us that the system is “basically sound”:

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush urged lawmakers on Tuesday to move quickly in putting into force legislation designed to help prop up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while declaring the nation’s financial system to be “basically sound.”

My thoughts?

Well – I don’t think the government should move too quickly on the Fannie and Freddie bailouts. I don’t trust them to get it right this quickly. Too many variables, too many unknowns. Take a deep breath, try to really understand what the best solution is to this problem. The last thing you want to do is panic. At the end of the day it’s investors who are losing money right now – and that’s the game they play, and the government can come in at anytime in the future with a more sensible plan and rescue the market. I just want to caution against hastily put together plans.

Late afternoon update (4:12PM):

Fed Chairman testifies on the Hill (Marketwatch):

Fed uneasy about inflation, growth, Bernanke says

But he also spoke candidly about the weak economy and fragile financial markets. “The possibility of higher energy prices, tighter credit conditions, and a still-deeper contraction in housing markets all represent significant downside risks to the outlook for growth,” Bernanke said.

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