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Works and Days

Perverse Thoughts about this Perverse Recession

February 25th, 2009 - 6:20 am

I do not understand at all this going into debt for almost another trillion dollars, and then immediately promising to balance the budget soon (like blowing off your foot near an emergency room), or how “stimulate” differs from “borrow”, or why the more noble victim is the one who sought to borrow too much for too much house and then defaulted, rather than he who chose to borrow less for less house and paid his mortgage on time each month and now subsidizes the less responsible. (The former apparently will still have the larger house, the latter the smaller.)

Some other perverse thoughts.

1) If one were, say, to have $400,000 in cash in a passbook account at either Citibank or Bank of America (both about broke), and also separately owed them $150,000 on a home mortgage; and if they went under, or had to recapitalize and then informed one that only the first $250,000 of the passbook was covered under FDIC (you laugh? But why have such deposit insurance limits, if all money in all savings accounts were really to be covered?), and thus admitted that they had lost one’s balance of $150,000 that exceeded federal insurance, could one then just say, “No problem, you canceled what you owed me, so likewise I just cancelled what I owe you on the house and we will call it even?”

2) If we put salary caps on CEOs whose companies beg for federal hand-outs (I have no objection to this), why not do the same for those who want mortgage bail-outs? If the government rescues their loans (through reduced principle or interest or both), then why can it not say that if the house is ever sold at a profit over the renegotiated and readjusted debt, the government is entitled to at least half the ensuing profits?

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