Okay, much of this is tongue-in-cheek, but not completely.
When talk of this $700 billion bailout was being bandied about, and if it would work or not, a scene from “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines” popped into my head. I’m sure Arnold won’t mind me using his kisser on this story as we met on the set of an old movie of his (“Commando”) and chatted between scenes about airplanes as he flirted with my girlfiend (now wife). Of course, the first and obvious question “Are you ever going to make Terminator 2?” But I digress.
As the GooGoo Dolls once wrote in a song “reruns have become our history”, I figured it would be easier to paint a mental picture using popular culture for some of our friends who live through fiction and get their news from comedy sources, or former sportscasters who think they’re comedy sources. Yes, I had to suffer through The Olberfuhror (aka Keith Olbermann) in his early sportscasting days pre-ESPN. Again, digression.
Remember the scene in T3 when the military leaders and their civilian contractors thought they had the answer to a growing virus problem with their systems? Think of the players in this bailout situation as those characters. So, with hesitation from some, but not all, they take the action they think will solve it – put SkyNet in control to eradicate the problem, in this case a virus. But why was there hesitation? Why is there still hesitation and trepidation over this bailout? Just like in the movie, people felt rushed into judgment, and most went along.
In the last couple of days since the bailout, I’ve heard financial talking heads say things that are not all that comforting: hoard your money and don’t spend it! I don’t think that’s what will bring us back from this supposed brink. May have the opposite effect and cause a panic and a run on banks, not good.
But back to fiction, it’s easier. In the movie, the humans, including some who had the best of intentions, fell for the trick and sealed humankind’s demise. In this bailout, I don’t think those passing it are evil, just scared. Granted, some are opportunist no doubt, with all this ridiculous pork that has nothing to do with the point of the bill. But I hear much fear and doubt coming from these people, not grandstanding.
It doesn’t calm people or markets fears when it appears our leaders are collectively holding their breath, now does it?
My concern is that not only will this not work, but not far down the line it’ll be required again, and again. We’re already seeing our largest state, California (the Arnold thing is all starting to make sense, no?), putting its hand out for a, well, handout. Somehow I doubt it will stop there.
Can I just skip through this chapter on the DVD?