Financial services collapse, SNL premiere, salad dressing

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a week (so far) in the financial services industry! We’ve had Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch’s sale, AIG’s $85 billion bailout by the Federal Reserve, the SEC’s new rules against naked short-selling (thus reining in that particular criminal playground), and other fantastic economic disasters.

Burning money Question: Are corporate bailouts the new rate cuts? Can this possibly save the financial system? Now there are only two independent Wall Street investment banks left standing, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, each with a dramatically plunging stock price. Mmm, taste the recession. Firms and companies continue to gobble each other up in order to survive. (Oh wait, we’re not in a recession. It just feels that way.)

CNBC.com reports that we are apparently in the worst slump in U.S. housing since the Great Depression. Construction starts on new homes plummeted to a 17-1/2-year low during August. The nation’s struggling real estate markets and the associated complex financial securities are destroying liquidity. Failing real estate investments are taking banks down left and right. (Good thing I just bought a house, right? Umm, right? At least I got a great mortgage rate, since the U.S. economy is total crap all around.)

Of course by now everyone has seen last weekend’s opening SNL skit with Tina Fey playing Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, but it’s worth watching again. Gov. Palin and Senator Clinton address the nation: Palin / Hillary Open. A very enjoyable parody. The new Microsoft commercials with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates are also amusing.

You know what tastes good? Ginger and peanut butter salad dressings, the kinds served by some Japanese, Thai and other Asian restaurants. Variants of these two dressings are really the only salad dressings I enjoy. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise or heavily vinegar-based dressings . . . and that just about sums up the rest of the salad dressing market. Peanut butter-based dressings are so good. Ginger too. Mmm. Perhaps it is time to order a bento box. To wash down the taste of the plummeting stock market.

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