Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's September 30th, Do You Know Where Your Paycheck Is?

The $700 billion bailout failed yesterday. As of last Friday, Utah's congressmen were officially unsure of how they would vote. Here's the roll call from yesterday morning:

Rob Bishop: Nay
Jim Matheson: Nay
Chris Cannon: Yea

Two of these congressmen are up for reelection this year, and one is not. I'm not sure what, if anything, that says about Rep. Cannon's vote.

Last week I posted a link to Harvard economist Greg Mankiw's blog, wherein he posted a note he received from a colleague asking for his view on the bailout. Mankiw was a bit wishy washy, but ultimately decided that if Ben Bernanke thought it was wise, then it must be wise.

But I want to highlight something in the letter Mankiw received:
"A LOT of payrolls get paid at the end of the month. The next for many companies is September 30. Three different people with hugely relevant knowledge said to me today words to the effect of: "Why don't your economist buddies want [insert fortune 100 company/companies here] to be able to pay their employees on Tuesday. If Washington doesn't do something now, they won't be able to". That just scared the hell out of me. I can go into more details if you like, but all of them involve the four horsemen of the apocalypse."
That was written last week, in the midst of the "give me $700 Billion or the economy gets it" rhetoric. Are there payrolls not being met today?


Eric the Half-bee said...

Have you seen the Cartoonista's latest Clipper cartoon? It links to a very astute Des News article that points to the real culprits.

Guatemalan songwriter Ricardo Arjona summed it up best in his 1995 critique, "Si el Norte Fuere el Sur:"

Lo tienen todo, pero nada lo han pagado.

[Americans] have everything, but they don't own any of it.

Jamie said...

Sad but true!!

Cameron said...

I remember a conversation I had with a couple in Uruguay. They had heard that if something got a little dirty, or slightly broken, Americans would just throw it away and get a new one. That's the perception we have in many parts of the world. And while that's not true for most of us, it has just enough truth to it to give me some shame.