Speech by Mr. B.S. Baloney, CEO of Financiers Unlimited
Many of the experts of the financial world are assembled to hear one of their own speak. The speech begins.
“I am very pleased to appear before you today to update you on the financial crisis affecting us all. Let me say this, it is not, and I stress the word not, a time for gloom and doom. This is a time to renew ourselves and take advantage of the system we call the free market. The market is wallowing in cash, thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars supplied by governments. Whoever said, ‘Get the government out of the marketplace,’ was perhaps a little unkind. Our kind of people are only to happy to accept government welfare, oops I mean help when the need arises. And boy are we ever in need.( much nervous laughter ensues and some mild applause takes place.)
"We are in need because of our global greed, oops I mean need. We tried to help people. ( some cynical people might question that statement.) We gave them mortgages they could not afford. Then we sold this mortgage debt to each other through our financial institutions. Of course there were the usual inducements, finders fees, sellers fees, promotional fees, fees for fees and whatever fees one could incorporate into the deals. Some of us made huge profits and others say they took huge losses. The losers were those suckers, oops I mean the financial wizards who got to greedy and held on to the useless paper, oops I mean the debt packages for to long. But, I digress. Anyway, some financial ships started taking on water and were in danger of sinking until some governments bailed them out. And the good news is, some of the captains of these sinking financial ships got multi-million dollar severance packages. They profited from a massive loss, and of course that kind of “expertise” must be paid for. Now if that isn’t a plus for the system out of so many minuses, I don’t know what is!
"What is so encouraging is how our free enterprise system adapts to this kind of financial crisis. With the steady hands of some of our financial alumni working for the central banks of some governments, help was available from their taxpayers monies. Billions were lost ( notice no mention of billions in profits made) and taxpayers are paying the cost. This is how it should be. Every few years the system has to be milked and boy did we milk it good. The taxpayers came to the rescue. So, let’s hear it for the taxpayers. (A huge thunder of applause fills the room and a standing ovation ensues)
“Anyway, as I said earlier the free market is a wonderful system. Mind you, there are some big losers in this situation. They are the people who have lost the equity in their homes and are now being evicted because they cannot afford the mortgages. But, there is a bright side to this. We should be able to pick up this depressed real estate at bargain basement prices. Then we can start all over again to finance and sell these assets as a good buy. There are some people who want the government to subsidize or finance this real estate for the people being evicted. (Cries of shame and let the marketplace decide are heard from the assembled) This, I believe is a dangerous precedent. You cannot have governments interfering in the free markets because there is no free lunch.
"Thank you and don’t forget to pick up your income tax break receipt for attending my luncheon speech on the wonder of the free market”
Stephen J. Gray
March 15, 2007.