Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing Poker with Our Economy

A friend of mine published this marvelous letter to the editor in yesterday's Athens News, the local free, independent paper. You have to imagine it read out loud in a rich Scottish brogue:
To the Editor:

I would like to share with you a letter I mailed to Treasury Secretary Henry, aka Hank, Paulson. I am sure that I will receive a reply in due course, reflecting the honest generosity of the man when it comes to doling out taxpayer dollars to the fiscally distressed.

“Dear Secretary Paulson: Or can I just call you Hank? You seem like a decent sort of chap. I see from the news that you are seeking to help your cronies after they made some bad bets. I am hoping you can help me out, too.

On Friday night, I had a straight to the five in a five-card poker game. I stoked the pot as best I could, but incredibly my opponent had a straight to the Queen (God bless her and all her heirs). I took a significant hit with this malinvestment. I assure you I was not at all at fault; it was just the way the cards were dealt.

I see that some of your old cronies have gotten into the same position with some unfortunate bets, and you’ve been funneling them some of Dr. Bernanke’s freshly inflated dollars. Luckily, I did not have time to leverage my bet prior to it going down, as I’d then have been in the hole for much more – like what happened with your chums. My tin of coins is, however, much lighter than it was, and for the next game I am facing a liquidity crunch. I was wondering if it could be arranged for my toxic investment to be sold as an illiquid asset to the taxpayer?

Your obedient servant, etc.”

I am awaiting the check in the mail once our gutless Congress again caves.

David Young
Yes. We're waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

As for David's poker losses: I can confirm they're not just a literary device. We talked about his Black Friday Night at the after-school pickup. Luckily for us taxpayers who'll bail him out, David's losses are still in the two-digit range.

The disheartening thing is that it's Hank and his cronies who are holding all the cards.

Photo by Flickr user Fabio, used under a Creative Commons license.

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