Economics

The Fearsome Fear of a Looming Recession

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In an interview with The Los Angeles Times editorial board last December, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made clear that he defined "market failure" as any instance in which investors, including home owners, lost money. In discussing various grand plans to buoy the economy, Paulson said, "What we're doing is avoiding a market failure that would have forced housing values down in a way that was not in the investors' interest, and in a way that the market wasn't intended to work."

You can read more of that exchange here, where it's reprinted in a recent reason column by Tim Cavanaugh. It's a pretty stunning and open admission of how Paulson conceives his job. Basically, his job is to maintain or increase prices, period. He doesn't want to oversee a market that acts as a discovery process because, as Dr. Zaius, the patron saint of all great Platonic experts, could tell you, "You may not like what you find." Indeed, you might find that you misunderestimated what people think your crap is worth (has Paulson, one wonders, ever gone to a garage sale, that ultimate testing ground of the subjective theory of value?).

So Paulson wants to socialize losses by the investing class with his economic PATRIOT Act, a hasty, hurried, and not-clearly-warranted piece of legislation that will somehow manage to change everything without addressing basic incentives in the financial sector (other than underscoring the idea that the American economy is too big to fail, so the feds will oddly bail it out in the name of capitalism).

Given the stunning and uplifting failure of the House to pass the bailout, the Senate will be taking a whack at the pinata tonight, and the bill is likely to pass (so we've been told). Why? Partly because our dear and great leaders have gone out and "sold" the legislation to the American people by now telling us we need to avoid a recession at all costs. As Hillary Clinton has explained (surely in a voice that even Sarah Palin could understand), voters "have to recognize that we are facing a very serious economic slowdown, a recession that could be of long-lasting and deep impact."

So we're doing massive restructuring (read: giving lots of money but not really restructuing basic structures) of the financial markets to avoid a potential recession? Recessions are not easy, but they are periodic events that don't generally call for a bailout plan of this magnitude currently being discussed in Washington. And the old definition of a recession seems up for grabs these days. It used to be that a recession was two or more consecutive quarters of "negative growth" of GDP. These days, it seems to be whenever somebody anywhere is bothered by current conditions.

Look for the price tag of the bailout to keep going up from the admittedly arbitrary $700 billion originally attached to the plan. That's because our leaders are now trying to sell us the plan by offering "sweeteners" that jack up the price and extend the action to all sorts of tangentially related issues (such as alternative energy).

So, a couple of weeks into the worst global crisis since the Japanese bombed Wall Street in 1929, what have we learned?

1. That the secretary of the Treasury has a very weak grasp of the market mechanisms he's messing with.

2. That the fear of a recession, however you want to define it, is enough to throw a heaping load of money at Wall Street.

3. That Congress won't stop believing that the time for a bailout is always yesterday and that the bailout should include more stimulation than a vibrating bed at a hourly-rate motel, all the better to sell it to the American people.

Virtually every member of the New York-Washington axis of power has been pushing the need for a bailout. Which is only one more reason to question it (just watch cable TV, read the Wash Post and New York Times, or watch C-SPAN's surveillance cameras of Congress).

Here's hoping that the Senate finds a spine and votes down the bailout. Or if they pass it, that the House keeps pushing back until the reasons to act in such a decisive manner are clear not just to Hank Paulson, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain.

NEXT: The Cunning Linguist

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  1. Virtually every member of the New York-Washington axis of power has been pushing the need for a bailout. Which is only one more reason to question it (just watch cable TV, read the Wash Post and New York Times, or watch C-SPAN’s surveillance cameras of Congress).

    I was astonished to read George Will’s column in this morning’s Post saying that the bailout was a bad idea. Don’t they take away your MSM pundit license for that?

  2. In the past, the current Treasury Secretary has sounded like an inflation nut, as if he thinks true inflation is just as good as price appreciation. At least he has sounded that way to me.

    Am I mistaken in that perception?

  3. I was astonished to read George Will’s column in this morning’s Post saying that the bailout was a bad idea. Don’t they take away your MSM pundit license for that?

    Professor Will is one of the MSMs token voices of sanity that they keep around.

  4. “””Here’s hoping that the Senate finds a spine “””

    They couldn’t find a spine if it was hanging from a hookers snatch.

  5. “What we’re doing is avoiding a market failure that would have forced housing values down in a way that was not in the investors’ interest, and in a way that the market wasn’t intended to work.”

    Because we all know that lower housing prices would be, like, y’know, really bad.

  6. Since when did the business cycle disqualify capitalism? If the lack of a bailout will produce a depression, you have my attention. If all you can muster is a recession, I couldn’t care less. It has been 27 years since the US had a deep recession and the upside of that was that it ended staglfation and gave us 27 years of growth. Perhaps a good, deep recession would have a similiar clensing effect on our economy today.

  7. “Because we all know that lower housing prices would be, like, y’know, really bad.”

    OUr economy is not built on hard work and production. It is built on insane housing prices and nothing else.

  8. Nick,

    You are wrong, my Fonzi jacket wearing friend. I have a device that helps me to accurately assess prices in the market. With this device I will bring prosperity to the masses. Behold!

    Is a bailout needed?

    *shakes magic eight ball*

  9. BTW, I shall ask again, is the recession here yet? I have been reading about it by commentors here all year but it never shows up, it is always in the “not yet reported” numbers.

    Perhaps if they toss in some wage and price controls we can get this long-promised recession so many are waiting for?

  10. Silly me. I bought a house in 2002 and sold it in 2006, and made 25%. I should have held on to it so the government could artificially support its rising price.

  11. Because we all know that lower housing prices would be, like, y’know, really bad.

    Yes, because then poor(er) people could better afford houses. Dontcha know you need a guvmint program for that?

    Has anyone managed to out Paulson as a Sith Lord yet? This whole thing seems like such a cunning plan to plunge the empire into turmoil.

  12. I love the new spin out of the Washington media. The markets didn’t crash yesterday and in fact rose after the deal died in the House on Monday because everyone on Wall Street assumes there will be a bailout and are acting accordingly.

    So the market has so much faith that this Congress a month before the election in concert with a lame duck President are going to pass a hugely unpopular $700 Billion bailout for a bunch of Wall-Street billionairs that they are willing to bet their money on it. Yeah, that makes sense.

  13. Has anyone managed to out Paulson as a Sith Lord yet?

    I would think that would be Naga’s department.

  14. Falling housing prices are a feature, not a bug.

    I’m planning to hold my present home until death, then I want my ashes spread in the orchard, dammit.

    Best-case scenerio – my property taxes fall a bunch and I can buy my neighbor’s sweet acreage on the cheap.

  15. “I’m planning to hold my present home until death, then I want my ashes spread in the orchard, dammit.”

    You mean you bought a house that you could afford for the purpose of living in it as opposed to one you had no way to afford for the purpose of flipping it to the next sucker? You pinko, un-American, communist rat bastard. How dare you!!

  16. Not my people. We are still scrambling to get funding for the Death Sta . . . I mean, life saving medical devices.

  17. “Not my people. We are still scrambling to get funding for the Death Sta . . . I mean, life saving medical devices.”

    You will never get it. The last one wasn’t paid for when those teenagers blew it up.

  18. Given the “ZOMGITSAGR8DEPRESS10N!1!!!1” rhetoric already coming from the MSMDNC, I shudder to think what will happen if we have an actual recession.

  19. I would think that would be Naga’s department.

    Well, he better get out his bad ass-motherfucker purple lightsaber and get to work! The dark lord’s plan is almost at fruition!

  20. Have any real people who are creditworthy seen any kind of credit crunch?

    My little business has $100K+ in untapped credit lines and I’m not hearing a peep.

    As best as I can tell, the only people affected are those that shouldn’t have been given loans anyway, and the people who have been loaning them the money.

  21. John,

    “First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price? Only, this one can be kept secret. Controlled by Americans, built by the Japanese subcontractors. Who, also, happen to be, recently acquired, wholly-owned subsidiaries…”

  22. Will’s column today concluded: “The public wanted catharsis, and respect for its center-right principles, and got both with Monday’s House vote. It still needs protection against obliteration of the financial system.” Seems to me that libertarians and free market types have been warning of financial catastrophe for many years and now, suddenly, when it is presented, we pooh-pooh those who have grasped the seriousness of the situtation. A severe recessionary crisis will only bring on more and more calls for government intervention
    (see New Deal) that are likely to be much more costly than this proposed “bailout.” Or do you really think the next president is going to turn to Ron Paul for advice?

  23. NS,

    In your world it is the contractors who get screwed.

  24. The dark lord’s plan is almost at fruition!

    This station is now the ultimate power in the universe.

  25. Guy,

    Well they should have built it better. An access shaft that allows photon torpedoes to enter straight to the core? Damn union labor!

  26. Your honor, I have $2.2 trillion in unpaid invoices and a mechanic’s lien on the property which the defendant claims was destroyed.

    I move to have all the defendant’s assets, including all midichlorians and droids, placed in receivership until such time as he is able to make restitution.

  27. But, but, it was ray shielded!

  28. “Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!”

  29. Ed,

    Ed we went through this last year when you tried to sue for your lien on Joey The Chicken Man Buffalito’s home after it was blown up in a dispute over that casino deal in Atlantic City. You assumed the risks of rebels blowing it up before you were paid when you took the job. Case dismissed.

  30. NS,

    For crying out loud, for that money you could have specified indestructium, but you tried to shave a few trillion off the price. Don’t blame your help for flaws in your bad management.

  31. *To Ed’s Galactic Plumbing and Electric, LLC*

    You were paid in full.

    (Waves hand in front of plaintiffs face)

  32. Naga,

    True story: I own a Magic 8-Ball that I got as an employee of Washington Mutual in the Before Time (2003 AD). It’s a “Power of Yes” ball, which gives you different words and phrases that all mean yes. Nothing explains why Washington Mutual is vanquished more than this artifact.

    In any case, I do find this Power of Yes Ball to be very useful in getting the answers I want. I just have to be sure to phrase my questions correctly.

  33. And Naga,

    Photon torpedoes are Star Trek, you fool!

  34. You WILL agree with me.

    (waves hand in front of Guy’s face)

  35. Pro,

    Wasn’t the death star blown up with some kind of swamp rat laser varmit gun?

  36. ProL–I cought that, but didn’t want to point that out, because, you know, that would reveal us to be such dork geeks.

  37. “””As best as I can tell, the only people affected are those that shouldn’t have been given loans anyway, and the people who have been loaning them the money.”””

    Until the bailout, then it’s buisness as usual. They’ve said the reason we need the bailout is to keep the credit flowing.

    I have heard on the radio that some lending companies are having a problem getting money to lend. But why would someone what to lend you money if you are bad at loaning money? Also I’ve heard that community banks are still lending.

  38. FUCK!!!! PHOTON TORPEDOES!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

    My fault. I meant proton torpedoes.

  39. Swamp rat laser varmit gun? I like it.

  40. I’m geeky when it suits me to be so. Besides, I only remember those kinds of details when they’re associated with shows I watched (or books I read) when I was a kid. Everything else fades.

    However, I predict that Hit & Run’s truest geeks will now engage in a discussion of who would win a battle between the Star Wars Empire and the Federation. I will not partake, finding such cross-genre discussions fruitless. Naga will engage, but he will make an ill-advised reference to Ghostbusters and will endure great abuse for his moral failings.

  41. The fundamentals of our economy are good and strong!

  42. However, I predict that Hit & Run’s truest geeks will now engage in a discussion of who would win a battle between the Star Wars Empire and the Federation

    That’s stupid, we all know the Berzerkers and the Reavers will fight it out in the end.

  43. Naga Sadow,

    You WILL agree with me.

    (waves hand in front of Guy’s face)

    (Cuts off NS arm and head with Highlander sword)

    Yea, won’t be mixing genre with me again, will ya? BAHAHAHAHA!

  44. Pro,

    The debate you describe would probably be better fought and on a higher intellectual plain than nearly anything I have seen on the bailout.

  45. Wasn’t the death star blown up with some kind of swamp rat laser varmit gun?

    Swamp? There are no swamps on Tatooine!

  46. Well, yes, John, that goes without saying.

    Episiarch,

    If you’re referring to Saberhagen’s Berserkers, you’re full of it. They’d kick ass. The Reavers can’t even go faster than light!

  47. Pro Liberate,

    You overestimate my ability to do battle on those terms. Most likely I will make a clever turn of phrase and before I know it, I will be in over my head.

  48. Guy,

    Indeed. For there can only be one.

  49. Pro,

    At least the people doing the debating would know their subject. If the average journalist or politician knew 1/100th as much about economic policy as your typical star wars or star trek geek knows about his subject, we would be much better off.

  50. Expanding on John’s point, in Libertopia, Congress would be debating the official science fiction movie of the United States right now. For days.

    Naga,

    What’s the point of being a Sith lord if you can’t overwhelm the minds of geeks?

  51. Pro Lib,

    I submit that Luke was the biggest dork in all of the galaxy. Take from that what you will.

  52. John,

    In Libertopia the Congress would be contemplating which of two remaining taxes to eliminate because both together are pulling in way too much money.

  53. “Expanding on John’s point, in Libertopia, Congress would be debating the official science fiction movie of the United States right now. For days.”

    It would be a clash between the large Star Wars and Star Trek factions with both sides trying to buy off the 2001 A Space Odyssy and Close Encounters of the Third Kind micro parties to form a coalition government.

  54. The Reavers can’t even go faster than light!

    AND, they all cluster together in space, making them too easy a target for a Mark IX naqahda-enhanced warhead to take them all out at once.

  55. I submit that Luke was the biggest dork in all of the galaxy.

    All he wanted to do was go into Toshi Station to pick up some power converters. But, alas, there never was time for fooling around with his friends.

  56. I submit that Luke was the biggest dork in all of the galaxy.

    Bullshit! What about that hottie he macked all through New Hope? What’s her name… [wikipedia] Leia, his sist… [blrogarcht]

  57. a Mark IX naqahda-enhanced warhead

    When Carter talks like that, I feel all tingly. When you talk like that, not so much. Sorry.

  58. Bullshit! What about that hottie he macked all through New Hope? What’s her name… [wikipedia] Leia, his sist… [blrogarcht]

    Luke Skywalker: He only wishes he had died a virgin.

  59. When you talk like that, not so much. Sorry.

    I got yer wormhole right here, Harris!

  60. “Luke Skywalker: He only wishes he had died a virgin.”

    If only Frank Herbert had been writing Star Wars. Lea would have gotten pregnant via her brother and produced some kind of funky super being.

  61. Macking on his sister . . . ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!

    Like an episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

  62. Luke Skywalker was the Jeff Gordon of his universe.

  63. “Luke Skywalker was the Jeff Gordon of his universe.”

    Wow that reference was aimed at a small population. Could there really be such a thing as a Star Wars/NASCAR geek?

  64. Lea would have gotten pregnant via her brother and produced some kind of funky super being.

    Don’t blow the plot of 7, 8, and 9, dude.

    At least you didn’t spoil Lucas’ surprise CGI addition, everyone’s new favorite racist super-caricature: Juangook Nergoberg.

  65. Luke kissed his sister. On the mouth. With tongue.

    Check and mate.

  66. “Luke Skywalker was the Jeff Gordon of his universe.”

    Wow that reference was aimed at a small population.

    I think Kirk once used that reference as a paradox to destroy a giant IBM mainframe with delusions of grandeur.

  67. Hey, now! Herbert never actually mated Paul and Alia. Or any other brother-sister combos. Lucas did, only off screen. And he chopped off their hands afterward, having some serious psychological issues about hands.

  68. All this talk of macking on sisters is making me want to watch some Nascar.

  69. Stupid spellcheck can’t spell “Negroberg” apparently. Fuck you, Google Chrome.

  70. “Aaaaand now, put you hands together for these lovely ladies… the Power Converters!!”

  71. The Reavers can’t even go faster than light!

    I didn’t say they’d win. They lack the necessary C+ cannons.

  72. Good, Episiarch, let the power of the Geek Side flow through you.

    Saberhagen wrote a few books that might make good films–the original Berserker stories, The Dracula Tape (retold Dracula, with him as a mostly not-evil guy), and the various sword books.

  73. Hey, now! Herbert never actually mated Paul and Alia. Or any other brother-sister combos. Lucas did, only off screen. And he chopped off their hands afterward, having some serious psychological issues about hands.

    The better question is WWHD? (What Would Harlan Do?)

  74. The better question is WWHD? (What Would Harlan Do?)

    I have is phone number. Should I call and ask?

  75. SugarFree,

    Clearly, she’s in cahoots with George Lucas.

  76. Taking $5,000 per taxpayer will not help the economy. Those funds are going to come from our household budgets come April (either next year or in a future year with intrest added). Think of all the purchases families will have to skip to pay that bill.

  77. PL,

    If so she’d have some goofy non-name like “Credulous Sculch.” Lucas’ character names get fucking dumber and dumber.

  78. The better question is WWHD? (What Would Harlan Do?)

    Well, there would be more screaming, evil machines, demons with glass hands, you know.

  79. Did you ever notice An Inconvenient Truth and Highlander II are basically the same movie?

  80. Lucas’ character names get fucking dumber and dumber.

    Lucas is a godawful writer. How he managed to make 4, 5, and 6 work is beyond me. Mostly it was by ripping off everything under the sun, but he can’t even do that right any more.

  81. In related news, Vladimir Putin urges the US congress to be the world leader and pass the bailout. That’s right, Putin wants the US to lead the world and favors forcibly transfering cash from the people in general to a small portion of investors.

  82. “Hey, now! Herbert never actually mated Paul and Alia. Or any other brother-sister combos. Lucas did, only off screen. And he chopped off their hands afterward, having some serious psychological issues about hands.”

    I know he never did, but what if he had? Paul and alia child would have been one bad dude.

  83. But I have 2 arms!

  84. “In related news, Vladimir Putin urges the US congress to be the world leader and pass the bailout. That’s right, Putin wants the US to lead the world and favors forcibly transfering cash from the people in general to a small portion of investors.”

    Putin supports stealing billions of dollars and giving it to the mega elite? Wow I am shocked.

  85. However, I predict that Hit & Run’s truest geeks will now engage in a discussion of who would win a battle between the Star Wars Empire and the Federation.

    The Federation, with it’s moneyless and recession-proof society, would prevail over the Empire, with its terror-induced fiat currency and runaway hyper-inflation.

    Back on point. Yeah, baby!

  86. TallDave,

    True, Al Gore thinks he’s from the planet Zeist.

    Episiarch,

    Star Wars worked because it ripped off good themes and plot points from very good works. Empire Strikes Back worked because of Lawrence Kasdan. Return of the Jedi half worked because of Kasdan, I’m sure, and half failed because of Lucas. Only Lucas could come up with Ewoks.

  87. The Federation is already fighting a war with the Borg and a cold war with the Romulans. Adding another front would kill them. The Empire has only that pesky rebellion to deal with internally.

    “Your friends, up there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your rebel fleet. It was I who allowed the alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band.”

  88. “That Congress won’t stop believing that the time for a bailout is always yesterday and that the bailout should include more stimulation than a vibrating bed at a hourly-rate motel, all the better to sell it to the American people.”

    awesome line. does that include the prostate tickler?

  89. True, Al Gore thinks he’s from the planet Zeist.

    And he has lost his head.

  90. Al Gore thinks he’s from the planet Zeist.

    Al Gore is Emperor of the Moon.

  91. “In related news, Vladimir Putin urges the US congress to be the world leader and pass the bailout. That’s right, Putin wants the US to lead the world and favors forcibly transfering cash from the people in general to a small portion of investors.”

    If Putin’s for it, does that mean McCain will change his mind and oppose it?

  92. “awesome line. does that include the prostate tickler?”

    Only if you are Larry Craig.

  93. He doesn’t want to oversee a market that acts as a discovery process because, as Dr. Zaius, the patron saint of all great Platonic experts, could tell you, “You may not like what you find.”

    Paulson is the modern face of corporatism. Neither a capitalist, nor a market fundamentalist. He merely roots out money wherever it exists, damn the means to hell.

  94. I’m a little slow, but isn’t the real question (according to Paulson) the flow of money for loans and not the bad housing loans and inflated prices that initially caused the “credit crunch”?

  95. “In related news, Vladimir Putin urges the US congress to be the world leader and pass the bailout. That’s right, Putin wants the US to lead the world and favors forcibly transfering cash from the people in general to a small portion of investors.”

    ‘Cause he knows we’re toast if we do it.

  96. FWIW, I hate universes with noisey light, sound transmitting vacumes of space and banking spacecraft. That is why I used a Highlander sword in my duel with NS.

  97. This sums up the bailout nicely.

  98. Hey, if Putin says we must do something, that as much as anything else, is a good reason to not do it.

  99. I have one of those Highlander replica swords. The previous occupants of my house left it behind when they moved out. My brother-in-law thinks it’s the coolest thing ever and wants to buy it off me. I would just give it to him, but I’m afraid my sister-in-law would kill me in my sleep.

  100. Guy,

    There’s always 2001.

  101. SF,

    Your Spidey senses will protect you.

  102. PL,

    Yes, that was a great era for SciFi. 2001 and Colossis: The Forbin Project came out within months of each other, IIRC.

  103. Al Gore is Emperor of the Moon.

    That must suck for him, because they spank nerds on the moon.

  104. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!1!1!!1

  105. Wow! Are all you the illegitimate love children of L. Ron Hubbard and Ayn Rand? Ahnnn…who cares its just a matter of time before the Brown Coats and Evil League of Evil come along and kick all of your asses.

  106. jackscrow:

    The only ‘credit crunch’ that exists- and even that is being generous to the ‘credit crunchers’ is interbank lending. Anyone with decent credit can still get a loan, just like you could yesterday, a month ago, two years ago. Banks are still lending– and some bank managers have gone to the media saying as much. However, they have been drowned out by the din of “credit crunch!”. In fact, I’m thinking that the words “Credit Crunch!” can now finally replace “9-11!”.

    There has been a slow-down in interbank lending– tightening of terms, shortening of timelines etc. This, however is probably a necessary correction, and allows the market to adjust to new lending mechanisms. The fact that the market is acting cautiously is precisely why the market is working like a well-oiled clock.

  107. I have one of those Highlander replica swords

    When the LOTR films came out, my uncle bought my cousin not one but two super-high-quality replica swords; I think it was And?ril and Glamdring. They were fucking cool.

  108. The Federation, with it’s moneyless and recession-proof society, would prevail over the Empire, with its terror-induced fiat currency and runaway hyper-inflation.

    Romulan Paul advocates a return to the gold-pressed latinum standard.

  109. I will stick with my Kong Bucks that YT earns for me in her new job on the street in front of my condo.

  110. Ahnnn…who cares its just a matter of time before the Brown Coats and Evil League of Evil come along and kick all of your asses.

    Anyone tries to kick my ass, and I’ll launch them into space and make them watch cheesy movies.

  111. Has anyone managed to out Paulson as a Sith Lord yet? This whole thing seems like such a cunning plan to plunge the empire into turmoil.

    Bloomberg is the sith lord, Paulson is the apprentice.

    I saw Bloomberg statement on NY1 this morning asking for a third term, even though term limits were passed by voters twice. I used his statement as a civics lesson for my kids on how tyrants ALWAYS want to keep power and use whatever fear is handy to try and keep it.

  112. SugarFree’s Sister-In-Law

    I’m keeping my eye on you, you venomous midget!

  113. TV’s Franklin Harris,

    I just rewatched Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. Amusing stuff.

  114. DJIA 10849.39 -1.27 (-0.01%) Oct 1 2:54pm ET

    OMG! MELTDOWN!

  115. Ahnnn…who cares its just a matter of time before the Brown Coats and Evil League of Evil come along and kick all of your asses.

    You’re not fooling anyone with these sly references. You’ll be right along side getting your ass kicked too.

  116. In related news, Vladimir Putin urges the US congress to be the world leader and pass the bailout.

    Yeah, like the Russian economy was cruising along so nicely until the US housing bubble and subprime crisis fucked it all up.

  117. Sure, Vlad. Just give us free oil for the next year, and we’ll save your economy. Not so cocky now, are you?

  118. IB,

    Don’t forget, Karl Rove made them attack Georgia in an expensive war too.

  119. “I predict that Hit & Run’s truest geeks will now engage in a discussion of who would win a battle between the Star Wars Empire and the Federation.”

    What about the Star Wars empire and the Terran Empire from the Star Trek Mirrorverse? I’m pretty sure pointy-beard Spock could kick some Sith ass.

  120. my uncle bought my cousin not one but two super-high-quality replica swords; I think it was And?ril and Glamdring. They were fucking cool.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  121. Your lack of irrational exuberance is disturbing.

  122. Oh, when did Democrats re-embrace trickle-down economics?

    Oh, wait, when the rich get richer, only the rich benefit. When the rich get poorer, it hurts everyone.

  123. The Long Johns had Paulson pegged a year ago

    Caught this the other day and didn’t know whether to laugh at the funny or cry at the fact that it’s all true.

  124. Well, the Dow Jones Industrials fell today — a whopping 19 points. That makes two days in a row now that dire warnings of the Second Great Depression haven’t come to fruition.

  125. That makes two days in a row now that dire warnings of the Second Great Depression haven’t come to fruition.

    The recession will begin only if Congress fails to act. See how that works?

    If we get a recession anyway, we will be told of how bad it could have been, had Congress not acted.

  126. “What we’re doing is avoiding a market failure that would have forced housing values down in a way that was not in the investors’ interest, and in a way that the market wasn’t intended to work.”

    Under his operative definition, there is not a single era in American history that he would not have turned into a crises if he was at the helm. The man is truly a bad seed.

  127. Voros

    I just watched that. It wasn’t really funny because it is all true.

  128. “True, Al Gore thinks he’s from the planet Zeist.”

    No, Al Gore does not think he’s from Zeist. The planet Zeist does not exist. It never existed. Anyone who says it did or that “Highlander” ever had a motion picture sequel is a vicious excuse for a human being spreading lies and untruths!

  129. “The Federation, with it’s moneyless and recession-proof society, would prevail over the Empire, with its terror-induced fiat currency and runaway hyper-inflation.”

    Well, at least until the Federation citizens building starships and phasers realize they are working their asses off for no pay when they could be playing “Vulcan Pleasure Slave” in some Ferengi’s holosuite and then down tools
    and walk.

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