Where’s My Dividend Check? —An Open Letter to the President, Congress, the SEC, and the Fed—
Where’s My Dividend Check?
—An Open Letter to the President, Congress, the SEC, and the Fed—
Hello my fellow Americans and Elected & Appointed Officials,
I wanted to make sure you had my correct mailing address so that the dividend checks to be paid out as part of my ownership in AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, etc., will be sure to get to me. And now that I own a portion of these poorly-run companies, please also send me balloting information so that I can promote the executives of these companies to new positions at my local 7-11 and Wal-Mart stores. I understand that “greed” and “stupidity” are under-appreciated character traits in these fine establishments. My county sheriff informs me Richard “the Dick” Syron (CEO of Freddie Mac) will make a wicked bail bondsman, one who knows how to get his money.
Your quick, well thought out, decisive action on the banning of short sales in the financial sector was superlative on so many levels. First and foremost, it has spared me from having to figure an exit point on my short positions within Citigroup, made months ago, mainly because everything has moved against me despite common wisdom and almost two decades of personal experience in the market. Thank you for the reprieve from this burden. I can rest much easier at night knowing that you have my financial future safely & wholly in your capable hands. Second, you have given an illuminating education to the world’s proponents of Communism, Socialism, and Fascism, that democracy will allow the American free market system to function unfettered. Even as you had failed to enforce the remaining laws which had not yet been gutted in 1999 & 2000 by a then-Republican-led Congress and sent to the Deregulation Bucket in the wake of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Commodity Futures Modernization Act, you are at least consistent in being on the opposite side of that free market system. It was savvy of you to recognize this to be an election year and not act hastily because of it. Third, you were kind enough to close the barn door after the horses have escaped. At least the decay of their lingering fecal waste will keep the barn warmer at night with the doors closed rather than open. More of us may soon be living in that barn, so thank you again for being so thoughtful.
Your ample generosity has been extended to a list of 800 (and growing by the day) financial companies which have been added to the “short list” (or “not-so-short list”, as the case may be). With $85B given to AIG alone, your generosity apparently knows no bounds. Yes, I realize this gift was a loan, but if AIG goes under or those loans are never repaid, I figure that my Mrs. Gar & I will be paying (along with the other 225 million American taxpayers) for this loan and the others like it (still to come) for a long time. At a starting price tag (and all good business auctions only increase in price) of $700B, that’s over $3100 owed by each taxpayer. Thirty-one hundred flavors of a Benjamin; Baskin-Robbins, eat your heart out. And there’s likely to be more. (BTW, can I write that $3100 off as a tax credit?) With President Bush’s budget-busting military & DHS spending, that $3100 we each owe will easily take ten years to pay back. Longer, if we head into a deep recession.
But you won’t let that happen. No! You’ve been vigilant in keeping waste and excess to a minimum. In late 1999, by removing those stupid banking regulations that have been in place since 1933, and in helping the Finance sector grow since then to be 28% of our GDP via loose money policies and lax oversight, you’ve gainfully put a lot of our eggs in one basket in a sort of Reverse Diversification Strategy. Excellent! I can’t wait for the benefits to be raped, er, reaped. (Hey, since 1933? Wasn’t that during the early stages of the First Great Depression? Why, what an odd coincidence…)
If a billion or more people who invest in the US market can’t figure out how to value such companies like AIG, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, WaMu, Wachovia, Capitol One, and Citigroup via the free market system, your collection of 100 or less experts must have quite some solution, which I’m sure includes job security for me & Mrs. Gar for the next ten years so that I can help you pay off these gifts. Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to remain employed so that I can help out these crazy company “wreckutives”. I’m sure if we’d swapped positions, they would be doing the same for me. Besides, early retirement was just a silly dream of mine anyway. It’s over-rated, or so I’ve heard from these same executives…
I’m just an average investor and more-than-average taxpayer, so I’ve never quite understood how the idea of "privatizing the profits and socializing the losses" was supposed to work on a grand scale, even though I’ve thought about it for several decades and even tried writing about it starting in April 2008. However, your actions this month have helped me grasp the point all too well. Wait till I tell the news to my socialist friends over their free lunch! Ha, they’ll choke on their ciabatta bread and have to be rushed to their subsidized health care units.
Furthermore, I’m very much impressed with your business acumen. Because of your astuteness in investor psychology, I’m positive the stock market will continue to gain ground over these next two weeks for one good reason: As often happens in any contest when the rules are suddenly & excitingly changed in the middle of the game, the players immediately regain confidence in that game and want to rush in to continue playing. Yee-haw, everyone is gonna make a killing!
Finally, thanks again for alleviating us of those pesky rules about short selling. Now that we all know the handcuffs come off on the morning of October 3rd, I’m sure the Great American Investors out there will oblige your policy sentiments and not all rush at once to short these propped-up stocks. “Irrational exuberance” will have seen no comparative!
TheGarcipian, Your Employer
P.S. In case you missed the real message here, repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and renounce those idiots who thought the banking/finance industry (nay, any industry) should be left unfettered to regulate itself. It didn’t happen in 1929, and it won’t happen today, as modern, experienced and intelligent as we all think of ourselves.
Repeal the GLBA!