Sunday, September 28, 2008
If anyone else has expressed a similar thought after having spied this week's cover of The Economist, I've not heard of it.
Therefore, full credit is being taken for being the first to notice the disturbing resemblance of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to Count Dracula, rather than to Uncle Sam, as the magazine obviously intended.
But, the Dracula connection makes a lot of sense when you think about it - the Paulson-crafted, soon-to-be-passed financial market bailout may well suck the life out of the American taxpaper as Vampires have sucked blood from their victims for thousands of years.
On a related note, is anyone warming up to the new HBO series, "True Blood". It's from Alan Ball of "Six Feet Under" fame and, after having seen just a couple episodes, it seems quite good, despite the occasional gore that requires squeamish viewers to avert their gaze from time to time.
Anyway, here's what The Economist has to say about the latest U.S. bailout:
Spending a sum of money that could buy you a war in Iraq should not come easily; and the notion of any bail-out is deeply troubling to any self-respecting capitalist. Against that stand two overriding arguments. First this is a plan that could work (see article). And, second, the potential costs of producing nothing, or too little too slowly, include a financial collapse and a deep recession spilling across the world: those far outweigh any plausible estimate of the bail-out’s cost.Clearly, in the image provided by The Economist, the removal of the distinguishing Uncle Sam hat had the unintended side-effect of drawing attention down to the high black collar rather than to either the red bow-tie or the finger pointed menacingly at the viewer.
The economics behind this is sound. Government support to the banking system can break the cycle of panic and pessimism that threatens to suck the economy into deep recession.
Mr Paulson’s plan is not perfect. But it is good enough and it is the plan on offer. The prospect of its failure sent credit markets once again veering towards the abyss. Congress should pass it—and soon.
Perhaps a more menacing photo of the Treasury Secretary would have helped avoid this confusion.
It took me a more than a few seconds to figure out that it was indeed Uncle Sam's clothes he was wearing and not those of some silly vampire.
Then again, my view of things could have been unduly affected by the new HBO series.
This week's cartoon: