Did we call it a bailout when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?*


I don’t know much about global finance, but I know something about branding. So I know this: When you lose control of a message so much that within moments of its introduction, everyone is calling your idea a $700 billion Wall Street Bailout, you’ve lost.

Which part of that “brand” can win the approval of anyone? It’s $700 billion of tax payer money. It’s Wall Street, as in Gordon Geeko, greed is good, bastard. And it’s bailout, as in, my crazy drunk cousin has just called me yet again to come bail him out.

So I’m not surprised that, in perhaps the most dramatic display of bipartisanship I’ve seen in my life, everybody hates the $700 billion Wall Street Bailout.

So, here’s my prediction:

The legislation will fail and the market will take a major hit. During the run-up to the election, there will be much shouting and gnashing of teeth and yelling of I told you sos and pointing of fingers and talking heads who can’t balance their checkbooks will spend hours trying to explain the way markets work.

Everyone running for office will say, “I was against the $700 billion Wall Street Bailout.”

Right after the election, Congress will be called into a special session where they will consider an emergency plan to provide liquidity to banks that need to lend money for mortgages and car loans and small business loans and loans for companies that employ, well, everyone.

It will be called a Main Street liquidity protection plan.

See, by November, we’ll all know what the word liquidity means and the role it plays in the life of Main Street.

Liquidity will be a killer brand. Liquidity will be the word of the year.

And no, I’m not for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

But I’m not for the people who are against it, either.

*As I’ve discovered sarcasm isn’t scalable, the subject line is a reference to lack of knowledge about history displayed by one of the greatest movie characters of all time. Google the term “John Blutarsky” if you don’t know about whom I’m referring.

  • You’re missing the entire point, Rex. If the bailout doesn’t happen, it’s The End. It’s The End anyway, but it buys time. And time is always good to come up with a true solution.

  • Two million points for the Blutarsky reference!

  • “Germans?”

    “Forget it. He’s rolling.”

    Make that two million and one points.

    A talking head the other night made a good point. This sets a precedence that this will not be the last “bailout” or “liquid infusion” or whatever you want to call it. Every industry could declare an emergency and say “The End” will happen if they do not get help. Where do you draw the line?

  • That’s Senator John Blutarsky… wonder if he’s going to vote for the Bailout.

  • Hudge

    My friend and author Mike Perry would note that to most of his Wisconsin dairy farmer friends, liquidity is what happens after a stream of water washes the manure out of the milking barn. A brand must stand for something, and I suspect in many minds, that is what it will stand for.
    But I think Rex is right, the level of discourse will rise (sorry, bad liquidity pun there). There are already signs of that: