Okay, since we’ve been talking about it, I have a question for those of you out there who think that the whole “economic stimulus” issue is too complicated to understand, or that only real experts are qualified to have an opinion. 

Let’s say you are a huge bank* with tens of thousands of employees worldwide who rely on your success to pay their bills, feed their families, put roofs over their heads, and secure their financial futures. You just received $45 billion in stimulus funds to keep the doors open and the lights on, because of some questionable decisions you already made that put everyone’s jobs and retirement in jeopardy.

Do you: A) Use all that money to secure your bank and do business with others in order to shore up your jobs and stimulate the economy… or B) Spend $400 million to put your name on someone else’s baseball stadium?

See? You are an expert.

*You’re Citibank. Congratulations!

20 Responses to 422

  1. I’d prefer to ensure the most important expenses of the bank, namely my (and other dirigeant’s) salary and numerous bonus, including my golden chute when I decide to retire in the luxuous mansion I just bought.

    P.S.: What the fuck??? They didn’t do something like this, did they? Although they’d argue the publicity will bring money and fame to the bank, of course.
    Somthing that warm my heart at night is that, although we have this sooo-wonderful omnipresident sarkozy (god bless his beloved name), it could be worse. We could have had Bush 🙁

  2. LOLZ nice. You have no interest in saving the bank. Your orders are to make sure it sinks, and you do this by taking everything in sight and keeping it or giving it to your buddies who build shoddy stadiums. Citibank got kicked out of Japan a few years back for being owned by other mobsters than the Yakuza. Everybody’s in it together and the name of the game is crash this ship. It’s an easy game. They do it ~ every 40 years – 1929, 1973, 2009. The weird thing is if you look closely every crash was caused on purpose. Kind of like how every major war starts with a deliberately manufactured incident. Except 9/11, of course. It’s the first time that didn’t happen. Really.

  3. This is officially the greatest comments section ever devised by man.

    Not ONLY can you edit (which is something I have never seen before), and post without registering (more common but still appreciated) but you get your

    I am sure someone brought this up but how do you do that? My little green guy comes up every time I post and I see it is the same for others as well. That is so freeking cool.

    Congrats, I am very impressed by how well this has worked.

    PS. I googled… Citigroup actually did this. Why do these people keep trying to make themselves even more hated then they already are? It must be some sort of game among them to find out who can screw over the most people.

  4. I can’t believe nobody in America is willing to talk about the only sane response to the banking crisis: Government seizure of failing or dysfunctional banks. It’s the only way to make sure they actually lend–take the decisionmaking out of the hands of self-interested fools who see doom and gloom and fail to care that their actions guarantee it will happen. What’s so hard about taking seagull management out of the equation? It’s not like top level executives run the businesses anyway.
    How to do it without making a giant mess is very simple: Draft a promise to assess the value of what was seized and return the bank plus compensation for any losses to the original owners. If it so happens that the bank was insolvent and worthless because it had bigger debts than assets (which is very possible) then you just auction off the bank when the crisis is over instead. This has been done many times in many different countries and it generally seems to work where corruption isn’t a problem.

  5. When the hole in your back yard becomes a viable option for holding your money, somethings wrong. If I had any serious cash in the bank right now, I would trade it for an amount of precious metals of equal value. Gems are pretty, but most of them we can already synthetically reproduce, that or they’re not worth what you pay for them a second after you buy(diamonds). I’d say that we’re at least fifty years away from being able to make synthetic gold in any kind of substantial amount using theorized fusion methods. While the dollar inflates, my gold would increase in value. And I could scream, “YOU’LL NEVER GET ME POT O’ GOLD!” whenever I entered a bank.

  6. @TomaO2: The avatar is generated from your email address, so while it’s unique to you, it’s always the same. There is also a way to put your own avatar in there but I can’t find the post Lena made about it. Maybe she’ll repeat that link here…

    @Jody: OMG I SO want a pot o’ gold now! LOL!

  7. Well, this is exactly what you SHOULD expect isn’t it? You have a bunch of greedy corrupt bankers who got into a shithole of trouble by doing stupid things with money. You then think you’re going to solve the problem by giving them buttloads of MORE money. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This whole banking mess now qualifies as insane.

    @anonymous coward: you got my vote. You need to take these jokers out of the equation. Do that to one or two of the big guys and the ones with any sense whatsoever will get scared shitless into behaving properly. Same thing with the auto companies – let them fail – why keep throwing MY money after a company that can’t do things right? For those who say it would destroy the US auto industry – I say bull. The US airlines go bankrupt on a near regular basis and everyone keeps flying the same airlines.

    @cthulhu: I’d maintain that 9/11 was fully planned as well. The terrorists spent a couple hundred thousand to train some guys to crash planes into buildings. The US then spends over a trillion dollars in new (and stupidly ineffective) airport security measures and two separate wars in the mid-east. Sounds to me they got just what they wanted – nearly bankrupting the US budget for (comparatively) little effort.

  8. In my head, Mars has a weird cockney-like accent, but his dad, Boss Baritone, has a “neutral” American accent. Not sure why that is.

  9. In 1980 I was offered a job at a bank in downstate Illinois to enter in their management training program and become a branch manager and eventually one of the “good ol’ boys” in the banking system. I turned it down (like a moron). I regret very few things in my life, but DAMNIT that was a sweet offer and I was too stupid to go “Okay.” This is why I’m cartoonist… 🙂

    Government is not run by logic. Logic would have been that the Government took the billions and bought all the bad mortgages, thus the BANKS would have gotten the money back and the bad debt gone from their books. THEN put in the regulations that use to be there for banks before Regan striped them all away. Our government then would “own” all these houses and work out payments with them (um, IRS does this so they know how). Then when the economy turned, allow the homeowners to refinance with a now regulated and conventional mortgage.

    How freakin’ hard would have that been? No, now we have banks handing out billions in bonuses and buying jets and paying for advertising and WE THE PEOPLE are still stuck losing our homes to these greedy bastards. AND I COULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THOSE GREEDY BASTARDS! Aw, crap…

    Nothing changed, just the names. I’m pro-Obama but thus far the Dems are caving to the Republicans as if they’re forgetting they have the votes now to do what they want. Nothing changed.

  10. @Ron: I guess that’s okay. I never gave Mars’ accent much thought, but I wanted to make Boss Baritone this Jersey-Italian mafioso type. Then I decided that Italian Americans get kicked around enough and made him more neutral (Midwest) in tone.

  11. Cthulhu Hungers,
    You apparently missed Da Rouge’s notice that the Great Depression started in the summer of 1921.

    “Actually the Great Depression started only a few months after Herbert Hoover (a Republican) took up the office of the Presidency. Joshua W. Alexander (a Democrat) was his predecessor…”

    Note: Hoover succeeded Alexander (as Secretary of Commerce) in February of 1921.

    More seriously, the 40 year cycle you cite is probably not “planned” but simply the time it takes for the reforms instituted in response to one crisis to be undermined sufficiently to allow some foolish and greedy action (or policy) to trigger another crisis.

  12. With 40 billion I would buy a small country somewhere and start a war with my nearest islamic neighbour in possession of valuable commodities. Soon, France and the US would sell me huge loads of weapons and give me even more money for this stuff…and it would invariably save the jobs of these middle class, WASP employees.

  13. I just had to post once I heard the avatar off of email, comment. That is realy cool and I had to see what mine would be.

    I love how a lot of you have good old common sense aproached to what we should be doing. It seems as if as soon as you hit a big office, your common sense goes right out the window. I think its time we stop putting Rich big wigs with political power in office to do NOTHING, and get Jim Bob the Farmer with a hundred acre spread he runs with his boys into office. Let the good ole homegrown commence sense take care of the issues.

    It not workin, well just plow em over and retill the fields. We may take a loss on this years crop, but we will have a fresh start for next year.

  14. I’m pretty sure The Solution doesn’t really have much to do with a $880 B “supplemental budget disguised as stimulus plan”. It also doesn’t have much to do with giving similar amounts of money to Giant Monster Mega-banks. “The Other President Did It Too” doesn’t strike me as a particularly strong reason, especially since most of the Congressmen and Senators are still the Same Old People anyway.

    I think the Fairly Rich (i.e. people who have about as much money as Barack Obama back when he was a lawyer) need to thrive to get this economy going, but so far all the attention seems to be going to the Too Rich and the Too Poor.

  15. Sorry guys, it’s not just stupid people being stupid. It’s deliberate. Watch Zeitgeist on youtube if you want some details about banking and have a lot of patience. It’s assholes at the top of every nation, religion, and racial stereotype. As far as the 9/11 thing goes what I meant was it’s the first time we didn’t get caught doing it to ourselves like the USS Maine (Spanish American War), the Lusitania (WW I), Pearl Harbor (WW II) – LOOK IT UP FIRST, 38th Parallel (Korean War) Marines did well though, Gulf of Tonkin (Vietnam), and Kuwait (Gulf War). This time it’s so bad no one can face it. And here’s the worst part: there is no let’s band together and we can Fix It. It’s always like this. Humans tend to put up with this sort of thing. Possibly it’s about to be so bad that everybody does the torches and pitchfork thing and it looks better for awhile, but I doubt it. At the end of one of those you always go home to find your house burned down.