It was quite a SHARP INTAKE of BREATH moment when the American Congress voted to reject the multi-billion dollar "Bankers' Unaccountable Rescue Plan" (or BURP) put to them by the Monkey-in-Chief and Secretary Hank "trust me I'm a banker" Paulson.
Now, the Senators of Americaland have accepted the Monkey-in-Chief's revised BURP (now with added slap-on-the-wrist and time-on-the-naughty step).
But will the Congressmen choose to follow their lead or are they going to remain focused on
To an extent they've got to, because a failed bailout is actually worse than no bailout at all.
You see, the PROBLEM with proposing a plan like the Monkey's BURP is this: once you've SAID it, the greedy fat-cat-monsters of the Stock Exchange and Wall Street start to EXPECT it as a RIGHT.
So think about this before you float the notion that you might add an extra digit to the national debt to buy up all the TOXIC WASTE that they've been pretending is lovely yummy goodness:
BEFORE you mention it, they will be grumbling and griping and worrying. And maybe one or two are actually in danger of failing.
But AFTER you make the suggestion… and then threaten to take it away again, even though they never had it, they throw a tsunami-class tantrum, fling their toys out of the pram – and more importantly, fling their shares out of the window – and before you know it they've trolleyed the entire American economy.
And the Asian economy.
And the European economy (well… not so much, actually).
But here is a THOUGHT: just looking at London, rather than Americaland, in the last two or three years (2005, 2006, 2007), thousands (in fact reports say at least THREE thousands) of people working in the City got BONUSES of over a MILLION POUNDS.
This year, it turns out that they did NOT REALLY deserve them!
So, if they all gave the money back… that could be (3 x >3,000 x >£1,000,000 = ) nearly ten thousand-million pounds to help out the banks that they have caused to collapse.
You can see why people are QUITE CROSS with the City banking types. That may not be QUITE as much as the Monkey-in-Chief's three-hundred-and-eighty thousand-million pound bailout bonanza… in fact it's not even enough to buy the twenty-five thousand-million pound Busted and Bungling Building Society… but it's a sizeable step on the way!
And as you can imagine the same is true on Wall Street. Which is why the American Congresspersons are getting bombarded by e-mails from ordinary Joes and Jos saying "oi!"
(And when (millionaire) Mr Balloon makes silly statements saying "we're all in it together" that is why some people might think "well, mate, some of you are more it together than others".)
In a lot of ways it is the INJUSTICE that most sticks in your fluffy throat. After all, these losers were gambling with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.
That is why Mr Clogg is quite right to call for a guarantee for all savers that their deposits will be safe.
And that is why Mr Frown is – typically – rubbish for refusing to agree.
"I'll do anything to save the economy…" says Mr Frown "…but I won't do THAT!"
Does he think he's MEATLOAF?
Greater protection for savers is also one of the changes that were added to the BURP to make it more acceptable to Senators, along with a larger public stake in the banks that their money is used to rescue, and stricter regulations… along with some pork-barrelling stuff like tax cuts for small businesses.
House Dumbocrats would apparently also like to add some measures to protect people against losing their homes. Homelessness is terribly destructive of lives and families, and the whole community suffers when you turn potentially productive contributors into welfare claimants, so this is obviously a GOOD IDEA. The Replutocrats are against it such measures on principle.
Who knows what is going to happen?
When TWO-THIRDS of Replutocratic Congresspersons are willing, eager even, to vote against their own Monkey-in-Chief, when the contribution of the Replutocratic Candidate for the White House is thought to have made matters worse even by his own side, and with the markets reacting badly to pretty much EVERYTHING that Washington says, then ANYTHING might happen!
And frankly, it probably will!