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Downtime Archive

DOWNTIME Part 15 – Bailout Bonanza Gone Bananas

Posted March 15, 2009 By David Haggith

American International Group has received to date $170,000,000,000 of U.S. tax-payer’s money. The zeroes start swimming in my vision with numbers like that, as my eyes cannot focus on numbers so wide. If the numerals were letters, that’d be enough letters for three four-letter words. Don’t know why I think of four-letter words in the […]

DOWNTIME Part 14 – It’s Up, It’s Down for the Count

Posted March 9, 2009 By David Haggith

The fickleness of the stock market as a predictor of the economy versus just a responder to the economy played out clearly in the past week. On March 5th, CNN reported that the market had broken a five-day losing streak, bouncing off of twelve-year lows. “The markets opened higher and never looked back, following reports […]

DOWNTIME Part 13 – The Passing of Nations

Posted March 1, 2009 By David Haggith

On January 30th, Germany’s news publication Spiegel reported, “The bailout packages aimed at shoring up financial markets in Europe are getting increasingly expensive. A creeping depreciation of currency is inevitable and state bankruptcies can no longer be ruled out.” Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, “There is a rumor going around that nations cannot go bankrupt. This […]

DOWNTIME Part 12 – Talking Stock Versus Taking Stock

Posted February 22, 2009 By David Haggith

Some people keep talking stock, whether they’re right or wrong, and stay with their pollyanna beliefs. Others take stock of their own predictions, ignore what they want to believe, and look at reality square in the face. We’re now at a perfect time for taking stock of some recent predictions. Talking Stock Two weeks ago […]

DOWNTIME Part 11 – Banking on the Future

Posted February 16, 2009 By David Haggith

We’ve all heard the plan for saving the nation. Create a “Bad Bank.” Deposit all the bad loans in the nation into the bad bank, and flush them away. The bad bank will buy these loans with money that is minty fresh This magic money will come from the next generation. Our legacy to them […]

DOWNTIME Part 10 – False Prophet of False Profits

Posted February 9, 2009 By David Haggith

Sometimes you have to take off the gloves in order to knock the empty air out of someone. In his February 6th column, National Review Online’s Economics Editor, Larry Kudlow, pointed out that stocks were trading high that Friday, in spite of a massive plunge in jobs. As one of the gurus of the old economy, […]

DOWNTIME Part 9 – What Works for Economic Recovery?

Posted February 8, 2009 By David Haggith

The word “depression,” which I was using a year ago, is the only thing about the economy that is gaining currency. This dismal word has now flopped off the lips of General Electric’s CEO and Great Britain’s Prime Minister like a dead fish. Another D-word, “denial,” still holds the teeth clenched when it comes to […]

DOWNTIME Part 8 – Welcome to the Year of the Ox

Posted January 26, 2009 By David Haggith

Today begins the Chinese Year of the Ox. I wasn’t sure how much stock to put in the Chinese Year of the ___ stuff. (Right now I’m not buying stock in anything.) Then I had a brainstorm. I can easily see if there is anything to this Chinese New Year stuff by looking back at […]

DOWNTIME Part 7 – Things to Do With a Failed Bank

Posted January 25, 2009 By David Haggith

I was still feeling kind of swishy in my belly this week as I read about various CEOs who brought down fat bonuses by bringing down their banks. And I was thinking, what is it that a top-of-the-line CEO does to bring down one of the world’s largest banks that makes him or her worth […]

DOWNTIME Part 6 – Bailing Out the Biggest Bullies

Posted January 17, 2009 By David Haggith

When the present economic downfall was really getting under way last fall, Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, was lauded around the world for scooping up Merrill Lynch in a fire sale. What a brilliant man, the world thought, for picking up a Rolls Royce like Merrill Lynch for pennies on the dollar. […]

DOWNTIME Part 5 – The Great Snow Job

Posted January 14, 2009 By David Haggith

The Congressional Budget Office recently announced that the United States will be running its first trillion-dollar deficit this year — $1.2 Trillion if we count the pocket change. That’s about three times more than it’s been in any other year. Most Americans seem ready to agree with congress that this is necessary in order to […]

DOWNTIME Part 4 – Blunders of the Dunderheads

Posted January 13, 2009 By David Haggith

In June of 2008, U.S. President George Bush taught us that “one of the things important about history is to remember the true history.” With that as our guide, and this being the final days of a truly historic presidency, I’d like to reflect on the wisdom of the previous year that got us where […]

DOWNTIME Part 3 – Collapse of the Colossus

Posted January 11, 2009 By David Haggith

“It’s too big to fail, it’s too big to fail,” has been the mantra of the U.S. government bailout program. If crises occur because these organizations are such behemoths that a single institution falling can cripple the economy under it, why have the top gurus in the Bush administration insisted upon making each institution far […]

DOWNTIME Part 2 – Tsunami Warnings

Posted January 10, 2009 By David Haggith

During the winter of our discontent, which was January and February of 2008, the Bush administration fiddled as the U.S. was falling. While the Gurus of Government played happy music on their violins, singing that the economy was “fundamentally sound,” I was telling friends that we had entered a recession that had all the makings […]