All I can say is "wow."
President Barack Obama has an absolute lock on the stock market. The Dow plummeted last week, with nearly a trillion dollars lost in two days. Staggering for our economy and for those of us calling ourselves "retired."
I told my wife and a few friends starting about six weeks ago that every time the president opens his mouth about the economy, the market tanks two to three hundred points. If he stands mute the market recovers slightly and then he bumps his gums again. It is like he cannot contain himself.
I hate to say this or even suggest it but it seems like the president and his administration want the country to experience these hard times. Every time a new regulation is adopted by his czar's, and there have been about 500 of them, the business community ducks and pulls further into its shell. Words of a pending sale or buyback of treasury notes puts fear in investors.
The president suggested that if we supported his "stimulus plan" the hard hit banks would begin lending and we would be back on the road to prosperity. Think again. The banks took the money but instead of lending it to the businessman or woman down the street they sat on it or bought short term treasury notes. Why might you ask? Well, as Sherlock might say, "Elementary, my dear Watson." It is elementary because the banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve at 0 percent or close to it and loan the money back to the Fed at 2 percent or so without risk. Why lend money to a business or prospective venture and assume any risk when the only way they can lose money is if the government fails. By the way, the 2 percent the bank makes is right out of your pocket or added to the deficit. The money you loan the bank from your paycheck at "fractional" interest can be loaned back to the government the same way.
It seems that this administrations "green energy program" might be on the skids. Does anyone in this administration feel any financial responsibility to the public? Solyndra is but one example of bad judgment. I would not loan $50 dollars to a friend on a speculative venture without enjoying the knowledge of how my money would be used, my financial safety, when the money would be paid back and at what profit. I think it is called a business plan. None of those issues seem to have been a consideration in loaning a mere half billion dollars without any safeguards. A bankruptcy filing several months later and you and I and every other man, woman and child in this country have been had again. You must have told them they could throw your money away but I certainly did not. Where did this money go? I'll take a "SWAG." That is a scientific wild-assed guess and my guess is China.
Add to these financial problems the fact that over 400,000 new filings for unemployment benefits this past week and you have an economy on the verge of collapse. Gosh, I wish I had no real world experiences and looked at the economy from an academia perspective like this administration does. I would see a "rose-colored horizon" too but from my perspective I'm smelling something a little closer to brown. I think it is time to flush and see how many disappear. My mistake, it is a water saver toilet, they won't disappear in one flush.
• Jim Bagwell of Carson City is a Vietnam veteran and graduate of the FBI National Academy who worked 31 years in law enforcement. He and his wife Lori own Charley's Grilled Subs.