30 September 2008
So the proposed rescue plan that failed to pass yesterday but which will likely pass within the next 10 days will cost about $700,000,000,000 (11 zeros in seven hundred billion folks), and the Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. So we're looking at a total of about $1.3 trillion.
$1,300,000,000,000,000 ... among 200,000,000 American adults.
This ultimately comes from American's pockets including a chunk from businesses owned by Americans and in proportion to overall income (i.e., our proportionate tax system which asks the rich to pay more as a percentage of their income ... you make $50,000/year and pay 31%, your boss makes $150,000/year and pays 35% ... kinda).
So, on average, the rescue plan will cost each American:
$1,300,000,000,000,000 / 200,000,000 =
$13,000,000 / 2 =
But, what will the cost be to each of us if the rescue plan fails to pass? That's harder to guesstimate, but let's say American's have 10 - 30% of their assets in the market and another 10 - 40% of their assets are affected by the market (because lack of financial instruments to lend easily affects payrolls, housing values, etc). Let's just say 50% of assets could be negatively impacted for your Average Joe (more for those with more, less for those with less).
Say you have $200,000 in retirement savings and $200,000 coming to you from your pension. You have a house worth $350,000,000 that is mostly paid off. Your net worth is about $750,000,000 and we're guessing half of that could be negatively affected to varying degrees.
So $325,000,000 of your assets are put at risk by failure of a rescue package (assuming it would work which is something of a massive assumption given how poor the plan is as of today). Even if the markets tanked and lost another 2,000-3,000 points (or 20-30%), housing values continued to decline (say another 15-20% over 10 years), and you pension was not able to meet its obligations to you (maybe 10-20% of that $200,000,000) we're talking about a loss of about:
(1) 25% of the portion of your invested retirement savings, about $2,500.
(2) $40,000 from the value of your house.
(3) $15,000 from your failing pension.
Total ~ $57,500 lost from your $750,000,000 net worth.
$57,500 over the next 5-10 years from no rescue plan
$6,250 to pay for the rescue plan + maybe $25,000 from deflating home values and market revaluations
Do nothing, lose $57,500 vs. rescue plan that works okay still loses you $32,500
I'd call this setting up failure with an electoral system that has perverse incentives for serious change ... to do the right thing requires self-sacrafice from people who are elected because of their illusions of grandure, people who make calls for millions of dollars in donations nearly every day for years and years just to stay in office ...
In otherwords, a rescue bill will pass, it will likely be so bad that it may not be much better than passing nothing at all because each option will end up costing folks about the same ... but the thing to remember is that each approach will cost a dear amount and much of the rest is guesswork about minimizing a number most people are unaware of and perhaps anxious about as a result of that unknown value. That fear alone is a huge part of the problem pushing aside reasoned approaches for rhetoric and fense-sitting numbnuts like McCain who just want to come out ahead politically no matter which way the issue actually falls in the end ... this kind of ignorance driven fear is the worst position to ask for something from government and it's the worst kind of leadership from government.
28 September 2008
My co-workers' parting advice as I leave for a new office: "ah, so you have to suit up?!?"
"Man, you can find great deals on overstock.com - I [a svelt dude who recently ran a marithon] got this suit for $175 and it fit prefect off the rack."
"Well, I'm gonna tell you to spend too much money, but you know I like Baroni and Zegna, they have 75 or 80 percent off sales sometimes and you can get a $6,000 suit for less than $2,000. ... I got these leather soled shoes in 1981 and they still look great [actually, they look remarkable, hey I was born in 1981] but you have to get these verbatum soles put on after a while, but they feel and look great. Also, find a salesman who you can trust."
Co-worker #New York Times (circa 1993):
A summary of a together suit advice guy, Alan Flusser
Sounds like a question for the metafilter.
(2) Obama landslide
Finally starting to relax about telling everyone that we'd have an Obama landslide, his numbers after the debate are just great ... I thought he did poorly but then I only would have been satisfied if he ran from behind the podium and stuck his finger in McCain's face while glaring at him and ranting off the list of lies and mistakes that McCain was responsible for and continuing to make(up). Meh, I'm hard to satisfy that way. But it seems the low information voters liked the performance and figured that anyone who could understand what was being asked and give confident sounding answers was not a wacky "other" (i.e., Muslim, black, elite, liberal, Anti-Christ, etc) who, since they agreed with him that the Republicans were full of shit, they could feel better about voting for (and if it turned out badly they could always say that they should have trusted their "instincts" even if that was only another word for "subconscious racism").
(3) Fried a Malaysian chip of my Deathstar printed circuit board
Decided to format and reinstall windows on my laptop before starting above mentioned new gig. Easy as pie: back up files, burn and apply "Recovery Disks" to return laptop to original factory state, update Microsoft programs, reinstall programs, transfer files back to computer ... easy, right?
Smoke. White, thin, terrible smelling smoke lazily wafting up from the external hard drive. Quickly turned it off, removed power, opened up, and saw a burned pock on the inside of the enclosure, just above the .... whatever small, relatively unlabled black chip rests on the hard drive's (a Hitachi Deskstar a.k.a. Deathstar because of their high fail rate when previously owned and manufactured as IBM Deskstars) PCB.
Fortunately, eBay had a single auction for this PCB ($30 shipped) and I should be back in order within 4-6 days. We'll see ...
22 September 2008
18 September 2008
We'd like to take a moment and acknowledge the great career of Professor Charles H. Whitebread. Professor Whitebread passed away Tuesday, in Santa Monica, California.
Professor Whitebread was a legend at the USC Gould School of Law, but most attorneys will remember him for his BAR/BRI Criminal Law lectures. We fondly remember the bow-tied professor for adding a bit of levity at a time when we were stressed beyond belief.
He is survived by his life partner, John Golden, and his devoted friend Michael Kelly.
The USC Gould School of Law will hold a memorial for Professor Whitebread at a date still to be determined. Donations to the Charles H. Whitebread Memorial Scholarship may be sent to the law school.
16 September 2008
13 September 2008
Why is it that this is the clearest representation of what's wrong with their ticket?
Are the Dems Carl and The Texan who Homer challenged to a duel? Both smart and honorable, but it may break down at the Texas vs. Delaware comparison.
08 September 2008
Spider, he is our hero!
Waiting to hear about a job - anxious!
Weight loss going well (unrelated)
PT and meds - "Zee goggles, vey do nozzing!"