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A shift of the frame

by DoDo Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 04:17:53 AM EST

Jérôme showed that even after the state stepped in to solve the financial market failure, the proponents of the neolib narrative in the flagships of the business media are certainly not willing to give up or concede anything.

However, other parts of the mainstream media started to talk -- and ask -- in quite different tones. they started to talk the same lines that were formerly shouted only from the left edge, or by the economist Cassandras of the Blogosphere (including on ET).

Monday evening, user Crazy Horse was watching German public television ARD, and couldn't believe his ears -- me too, when I watched the videos. Below the fold, brief context and some rushed transscripts.

I watched three video segments from two shows. I will only link to the videos, and am sparing photos too, then give some translated rushed transcripts/paraphrases (most of it lifted from my comments in Crazy Horse's thread). Some bits are from Crazy Horse (including the diary title) and Martin.

Grilling Steinbrück

Show: the nightly news analysis segment tagesthemen, led by talking head Caren Miosga

Interviewee: Peer Steinbrück, federal finance minister, known market economy advocate in the SPD (yet also advocate of international regulation)

Occasion: the new German bank bailout plan. This foresees €400 billion in credit guarantees to re-start interbank lending, €20 billion for actual call-downs of those guarantees, €80 billion for capital injection in the form of equity purchase at the price of banks accepting intrusion into management by the financial minister.

The video (29 min, interview until 10:10).

The whole interview is a bombardement of Steinbrück with accusations, who looks nonplussed (but does reply). At one point, he says: "We just want to put our plan into practice, and I'd be thankful if the media would help... we have to re-create trust, and that's not only the job of politics, but the media, too!" But Miosga simply ignores him and goes on. What's noteworthy is less the substance (Steinbrück gets to present his bailout package in a coherent way), more the harshness of these attacks.

Steinbrück already begins with a preemptive strike, emphasizing that the package is meant to save citizens' savings and keep small and big companies running.

Miosga asks who pays for it all, Steinbrück says no new taxes especially not in a downturn, and points out that the credit guarantees aren't payouts, while the capital injections come with hard terms that can and will include a limitation on manager renumerations.

Miosga bites hard: "Now that the stock price of worst-hit bank HypoRealEstate shot into the sky, those who drove it deep are now bargain hunting and make good money? You haven't changed anything on this system!" Steinbrück has to defend himself: "Would you rather have stock prices falling further?"

Miosga: "Plan A was guarantees for German savers. Plan B is now guarantees for credit institutes. What will be Plan C?" and refers to surfacing demands from the real economy for state help. Steinbrück again explains the desired effect of the plan in re-starting lending, says the new package will prevent a breakdown of the real economy.

Miosga then bites real hard: "Three weeks ago ... you said German banks are stable. A week ago, you said savings/deposits are stable. Now you say the economy is stable. Does that follow a logic that any time you promise that everything will be fine, then things will turn even worse?" [suppressed smile] Steinbrück blames external factors, e.g. Lehman Brothers for unexpected changes.

Steinbrück also admits that the total national budget [including the already balanced state budget] can now be balanced only after 2011.

Dare More (Attacks On) Capitalism

Show: nightly political interview/talkshow of journalist Reinhold Beckmann, who is (or imagines himself to be) hard-hitting

Interviewee: Friedrich Merz, former CDU heavyweight, privately working in a law firm. The self-styled tax and finance expert of the CDU represented the neoliberal line, a founding member of the infamous Andenpakt power alliance of younger CDU guys. After some close cooperation, Merkel tried and succeeded in blocking his career advance, and steered the party away from Merz's favoured policies, upon which he resigned his leadership positions in 2004. (Personal observation: in my impression, the always luckless Merz lacked the willingness and talent for manipulation of his Andenpakt colleagues or indeed Merkel -- also shown by abject failure when he tried. Thus, despite his line on the economy, I could never could see him as a threat like say Hessen's Roland Koch, or even much of a threat to Merkel. He's probably more honest in his views than most politicians.)

Occasion: Merz published a new book, with the (translated) title "Dare More Capitalism" (huh!)

Video (22:35)

Beckmann begins by mocking and pestering Merz regarding his book title ("Haven't you tried to change the title before publication?").

Merz starts with a preemptive description of the problems: he submits that the FED followed a policy of cheap money, which fed and led to the mortgage crisis, and states that there are systemic problems in the US financial system -- and claims he talked about the problems a year ago (Beckmann: "Why has no one listened to you?"), and points at the proposed updated international banking regulation agreement Basel-II ("you surely don't know what's that") as an on-going European project to address the problems.

Then Merz praises the Euro and claims the crisis would have been worse without -- I have to say, well said.

Then Merz defends German bank CEOs as good managers... but he already got nervous going into it: calls Beckmann Beckstein...

In response, Beckmann pushes him on greed ("they don't care about common good"), Merz recounts the dogma: 'core of market economy: manage greed to work for the common good'. Beckmann: "So if the finance system must be saved by the state, your world must be truly disturbed, where are the market's self-healing forces you believe in?" [BANG! have you read these lines outside blogs and the ramblings of some commies until recently?] Merz goes on by suggesting more/better regulation.

Beckmann wants to push him on the issue of the responsiblity of managers. Merz claims there is a full-range manager liability in Germany -- Beckmann: "But it failed." At this oner point Merz is helpless.

As successive measures to fight the financial crisis are discussed, Merz has to voice support to all of them --- to support a series of  measures by the state -- even on not letting banks collapse to save clients.

Merz goes on about economic cycles, Beckmann: "but what if profits are always privatised and losses socialised?", but Merz is allowed to wiggle free with non-sequiturs like that now even some of the financial firms are making losses.

Instead of nailing him on this, Beckmann chooses to put his fingers in Merz's wounds: "If you are such a big financial expert, why doesn't your party utilize your talent?" Merz: "You have to ask others about that" -- but Beckmann grills him about the relationship with Merkel for a few minutes more.

Later, Merz goes on about state spending, mentioning the healthcare and retirement funds as giant elephants, Beckmann: "Your solution: private, private, private?" (Merz is hurt, but says no; he did actually have a different concept -- but explaining the German social insurance reform plans would need a whole other diary.)

Beckmann: "Where have you invested your own money? Derivates? Have you been risk-loving?" Merz: "Nnno, I bought stocks, and sold them at the right time... eeeh... and even re-purchased some..." [big smile] Beckmann pushes him on about the losses of small investors.

Capitalism is not the system of the future

Show: the same, continuing, with two more guests joining for a discussion, which, in effect, meant that Merz was grilled 1:3 instead of 1:1

Guest 2: Heiner Geißler, elder statesman (CDU). He rose high in the eighties under Chancellor Helmut Kohl (he was also embroiled in Kohl's black accounts scandal), was famous for attacks on any suspected supporter of domestic far-left terrorism or the USSR, but also a support for a social market liberalism with social writ large -- by 1989, he broke with Kohl in a way paralleling Merz vs. Merkel. As his party moved neolib on the economy, not only did he become critical, but started to share platforms with leftists -- he even joined ATTAC.

Guest 3: Harald Schumann, journalist (formerly SPIEGEL, now Berliner Tagesspiegel), a critic of globalisation who predicted the crash.

Video (30:25)

Geißler starts with a sting: "Merz belongs to the brave people. He won't be spooked by facts." He declares that social market economy was always the CDU's economic policy rather than neoliberal market economy.

Schumacher: problem was less the regulated banks themselves, more that over 50% of banking happened beyond the regulated system (hedge fonds etc), which came because the regulators' independence was voided due to personal interrelation.

Schumacher: "Hank Paulson was boss of Goldman Sachs." Merz: "But the problems started before Paulson!" Schumacher: "Yes, but before Paulson, there was Bob Rubin, who also came from Goldman Sachs."

Schumacher quotes Walter Eucken, an ideological founder of German social market economy: "The problem is not the abuse of economic power, the problem is economic power." He follows that in the present case, the ballooning companies of the financial world gained too much power over politics.

Geißler begins a tirade against supply-sider ecomomics, Merz interrupts and tries to tell him that Germany's success in his own time in the eigthies was because of supply-side economics. Geißler counters (in the tone of an old teacher) that that was combined with an extension in the social systems, which wasn't done in Eastern Germany after Reunification, and one could see the results.

Schumann lists German examples of personal entwinement between regulation bodies and financial companies, Beckmann hits out at Merz by asking him whom does he work for now in the private economy. Merz rather answers Schumann, and tries to defend the practice of managers swapping jobs between regulating bodies and financial companies, but he really sweats and makes grimaces.

Schumann criticises the €20 billion earmarked for actual pay-outs for credit guarantees (e.g. for failed credits) -- who pays for it, why should every taxpayer pay instead of a special tax on those who created the mess?... and compares this sum to the annual payout under Harz-IV (the 'reform' law combinedining - and reducing social and long-term unemployment benefits): €22 billion. Merz counters: the state debt payments are a triple of that, "we leave this behind for our children" -- Schumann: "We also leave behind for our children the wealth created by investing the borrowed money!"

Geißler says it would have been nice if Merz et al would have talked two years ago like he does now.

Schumann returns to the point that financial CEOs have too much power already thanks to the size of their paychecks (saying that the top 20 hedge fond managers with their annual renumerations of €600 million[!] are far above even the boss of Deutsche Bank). He attacks Merz as part of the problem in his law firm serving the private equity companies. Merz sweats but says his voters know where he works, but then a long controversy follows about his earlier legal protest against parliament's demand to publish his clients.

Beckmann asks all: "With the current bailout packages in place, what do you except in one year?"

Geißler: it depends on whether new regulations stop banks from "re-starting the gambling". Emphasizes internationality, he is not against globalisation but wants "politics to get at eye level again" with economic players.

In a clip from an earlier show, former chancellor Helmut Schmidt criticises the G7, says it's too small now to deal with it and China, Brazil and others should be involved, Merz again feels forced to agree. Merz also denies he'd disagree with Geißler's socialistic thematisation of Harz-IV taking away a few euros more from poor people while HypoRealEstate's CEO will go into retirement with €34,000/month.

Big mess about whether warnings were heeded in Europe (Merz claims Basel-II was just about that, Schumann says it was late and not regulating hedge fonds et al.)

Schumann all Keynesian: throttling of investment should be stopped with big state investment programme, especially in energy sector [hey! is he reading ET?], and also prevent a jump of joblessness.

Geißler's closing declaration: "The capitalist system IS_NOT_the sytem of the future. That must be said to the people."

My commentary on the Beckmann show

From a purely rhetorical poit of view, I saw Merz clearly forced into a corner and outclassed (then again, it was 1:3). Beckmann, Geißler and Schumann brought up almost all the important points and talking points on the issue -- again, all stuff you oly read in blogs and heard from 'radicals' until a few weeks ago, with journalists and other Serious People dismissing them with a smile.

On the other hand, all three opponents ried to catch Merz on the issue of whether he spoke up about the structural problems earlier -- but couldn't really nail him. But IMO this could and should have been done, and would have been important: had Merz realised the gravity of the problem, he wouldn't have seen it as something for a book or for drawn-out Basel-II negotiations, but should have issued loud proclamations in the media that something must be done, now.

On a more general level, what lacked was a real confrontation: in the end, Merz's posture was "but I want those things, too, don't put things in my mouth!". (Now then why did he not thematise those as stongly as his criticism of state spending and over-regulation over the past few years, should have been asked.)

Part of this was the same old same old of MSM journalism. I had liked if at least Beckmann had actually read Merz's book and confronted him with a selection of his own theses from there: it was nice that Merz was used as whipping boy to burn a string of neolib talking points that were received wisdom util recently, but he ould have been cornered over more than minor points like Rubin being of Goldman Sachs too.

An added detail: in the first minutes of the third video, moderator Beckmann spares Geißler an embarrassment by cutting short a semantical debate.

After Geißler's lambasting of Neoliberalism and praise for German social market liberalism, Merz reminded people that half a century ago, just the inventors of social market liberalism called themselves "Neoliberal". Curiously, despite his age, Geißler countered in an obvious ignorance of this fact. (He should have known and said that "Neo"-anything descriptors are repeatedly re-used for the newest versions of -anything even if totally unrelated, and semantics won't give current market fundamentalists the right to claim the mantle of the social market liberals.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 06:19:05 PM EST
Again, Danke DoDo, for all the work at translation.  No way is mein Deutsch good enough to have given the detailed flavor of what took place.  Plus there's much political background which is beyond me, and you captured it.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 07:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, Dodo, for this diary and the expanded version of your exchange with Crazy Horse. Will be interesting to see. if, when and how things will change with this crisis.
by Fran on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 01:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the diary, I expressed my not too charitable view of moderator Beckstein, e.g. when saying he is (or imagines himself to be) hard-hitting. This was also coloured by his interview with Hessen state SPD leader Andrea Ypsilanti a week earlier. (From what I read of it; now I found the video.) You remember, she is the leftie intent on ending the rule of a CDU strongman by forming a minority government with outside support from the Left Party, breaking a West German taboo.

Beckmann grilled Ypsilanti for minutes about her supposed "lust for power". Even SPIEGEL was displeased with that: they would have liked Beckmann to make her nervous with more substantial questions like conflict issues with the future coalition partner Greens, and the Left Party (which, BTW, happens to be the current focus of her inner-party opposition, too). For, Ypsilanti could deal with the low-brow power-lust attacks by now. (SPIEGEL uses this for a double-edged praise of her professionality, which now makes her just another politician using empty phrases -- then again, methinks SPIEGEL presented real arguments as empty phrases.)

Now, what is going on in Hessen throughout October is that all three parties ask for approval on all levels of the party (factions, special party congress, all party members). Even the top conservative broadsheet, FAZ acknowledges how well she brought even her inner-party enemies under the fold. Amazingly (and this is what makes it topical in this diary), that article also notes and recognises the truth of a line Ypsilanti now uses:

Die Bevölkerung hat mittlerweile weniger Angst vor der Linkspartei als vor den Lehman Brothers oder den unfähigen Bankern.By now, the population is less afraid of the Left Party than of Lehman Brothers or incompetent bankers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 04:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
moderator Beckstein

!#@!!$!!! Merz has truly infected me... of course Beckmann.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 07:03:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always appreciate how you carefully separate the description of the facts, the more general context and your own opinions.

Well done.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:12:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks; I'm striving to -- except when I call Geißler Kohl's pit bull (©dvx), talk about Wolfgang "Stasi 2.0" Schäuble, or go on about Roland Koch :-) But I hope my biases are obvious enough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A comment of why these broadcasts are very relevant to a discussion of the economic frame shifting.

For the first segment, we're talking about one of the major prime-time news shows on one of Germany's two networks.  To see an anchor absolutely grill the Finance Minister has to be a rarity, usually reserved for much smaller and more private settings, with the Minister setting the Frame.  This was on the nightly news.

The second broadcast is one of the absolute staples of German evening television, usually reserved for actors and promis chit chat.  To see a discussion reaching opinions much as we discuss here was astounding, as one sees from DoDo's bold captions.  DoDo caught the important points, but imagine what it's like to hear an eminence grise (Geißler) mentioning investment in energy infrastructure, or calling capitalism dead.  He's from the frickin' CDU!  (The producers likely thought he would be more on Merz's side.)

When issues we discuss regularly appear on Beckmann, the frame is shifting fast.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 08:00:05 PM EST
(The producers likely thought he would be more on Merz's side.)

I disagree on this one: not only is Geißler's ATTAC activism well-known, but when Beckmann got him and Schumann seated, he began by referring to the strong words these two like to use (B, pointing at Geißler: "The man who invented the term Turbocapitalism..." Merz: "Neoliberal Turbocapitalism!" B: "Even worse! Even sharper!")

Then again, this serves to further underline just how out of the ordinary this show was: there was no attempt to 'balance' opinions by having two neolibs face off with two critics.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 02:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An incredibly revealing, exciting diary.
Thanks to Dodo and to you, Crazy horse.
Since I have no past experience with the tone and relative aggressiveness of the German press, -only the largely supine US and French press, this is incredible to me.

Sadly, the level of in-depth knowledge required for the viewer to understand such a discussion is just not there in the US. I fear such would just be written off as wonk-speak.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since I have no past experience with the tone and relative aggressiveness of the German press, -only the largely supine US and French press, this is incredible to me.

Indeed even the serious German media does allow itself some aggressiveness, and not just a little abrasiveness in tone. [In my opinion, it originated not in tabloid journalism but in SPIEGEL founder Rudolf Augstein's scathing style which was first emulated by his own journalists then others.] However, even by German media standards, on these subjects, you have to consider the two interviews a sea change: the German MSM, too, was mostly a guardian of established truths in recent years, more willing to use the sharp tone when someone veered off.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:58:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny, an NRO article on capitalism "non"-problems starts right with quoting Steinbrueck:

Exaggerated Demise of Anglo-Saxon Capitalism

The gloating didn't last long. A few weeks ago, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck proclaimed that "Anglo-Saxon capitalism" is "finished." Steinbrueck stuck it to the hated Anglo-Saxon capitalists just in time -- before he got too distracted by the exigencies of managing a $681 billion program to re-finance distressed German banks.

Capitalism is on welfare, for now.

by das monde on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 09:36:10 PM EST
While I am gratified to see this happening in Germany, I would like to see Paulson, Dodd and Frank undergo a similarly merciless grilling by Krugman and Stiglitz, perhaps moderated by Jim Leher.  Sounds like we need to borrow Caren Miosga for some work in the USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 12:19:28 AM EST
God, what a pleasure that would be.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Thanks Dodo for doing this.

Thanks to Crazy Horse for the catch.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 01:39:02 AM EST
In SPIEGEL's review, titled "Friedrich against the rest of the world", Merz is described as a bold swimmer against the stream and against the Zeitgeist -- and declared a winner of the exchange(!).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 04:20:57 AM EST
Precision: SPIEGEL only claimed in the article summary that Merz defended his position "with success". In the article itself however, they recount the blows he suffered.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 06:44:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just found this post on a German blog.

He mentions two other media shows from yesterday.

  1. "PlusMinus", a TV show dealing with economic topics. Showing how the government for 10 years had supported and praised de-regulation. Highly critical of the government. For example the finance ministry guy back in 2006 praising unregulated credit derivatives is now the guy responsible for organizing the rescue/regulation.
  2. "Frontal21", a political TV show. Attacking the German banking supervision office. As in for far too long "hiding" problems in banks. By not making them public it allowed the problems to grow much larger.
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 07:35:39 AM EST
Great title for the blog:  "Don't Know Nothin."  Danke.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 07:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the pointer! (1) is not just about rhetoric but seems quite important -- it doesn't bode well for my trust in the government's plans.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 08:04:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This older entry by weissgarnix is also a clincher: in 2005, based on a study by a think tank front of the German banking lobby, Merkel and a couple of other CDU MPs asked the Schröder government when and how it intends to remove obstacles to the creation of derivatives -- and the government answered by stating it is a priority...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 08:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a reason why I´m reading him daily by now. :)
Reading that was quite a surprise!

I don´t quite remember how I found him. I think it was on the "Die Zeit" economic blog "Herdentrieb". He comments there quite often.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 02:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I watched the video on their website I was really surprised. Quite hard hitting. Showing both the complicity of the Schroeder and the Merkel government with the "financial interests".
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 02:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding this to the mix —

Booklovers turn to Karl Marx as financial crisis bites in Germany
By Kate Connolly, The Guardian

Karl Marx is back. That, at least, is the verdict of publishers and bookshops in Germany who say that his works are flying off the shelves.

The rise in his popularity has of course, been put down to the current economic crisis. "Marx is in fashion again," said Jörn Schütrumpf, manager of the Berlin publishing house Karl- Dietz which publishes the works of Marx and Engels in German. "We're seeing a very distinct increase in demand for his books, a demand which we expect to rise even more steeply before the year's end."


Bookshops around the country are reporting similar findings, saying that sales are up by 300%. (Though the fact that they are not prepared to quote actual figures suggests the sales were never that high)...

Increasing numbers of Germans appear ready to out themselves as Marx fans in a time when it is fashionable to repeat the philosopher's belief that excessive capitalism with all its greed finally ends up destroying itself...

But for those not quite ready to immerse themselves in Marxist theory, Marx's correspondence to Friedrich Engels at the time of an earlier US economic crisis makes more entertaining reading. "The American Crash is a delight to behold and it's far from over," he wrote in 1857, confidently predicting the imminent and complete collapse of Wall Street.

by Magnifico on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 12:46:53 PM EST
Drunk pony rescued from swimming pool | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A drunk pony was rescued from a swimming pool after gorging on fermented apples and falling into the water.

The pony, called Fat Boy, broke in to Sarah Penhaligon's garden in Newquay, Cornwall, to get to the fruit, which had fallen from trees.

He ate so many apples that he became confused.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 12:59:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still trying to figure out what your comment is in response to, but can I add that today I saw a lion riding a pony in celebration of Communism?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 01:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I clicked through to the guardian article on Marx and stumbled upon the pony. So I thought I'd share.

Or? Drunken ponies and Marxism go together. Don't you see how?

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 01:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The pony, Fat Boy, is obviously capitalism. It got drunk eating fermented apples (easy credit) that had fallen from trees (Wall Street banks).

The pony fell (crashed) into a swimming pool and needed a rescue (bailout).

The pony will live, I'm not so sure about capitalism.

by Magnifico on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 02:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hoover promised "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage," while Marx promised "a pony in every pool."  I'm pretty sure.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 02:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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