Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."



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Comments

realpc

Oh heavens. But Amba the bailout idea is horrific, necessary or not. We have a can't win situation here. I hate to be so negative, but we've already had enough toxic optimism for one century, I think.

realpc

" it's an investment on the taxpayers' behalf"

No.

amba

Charlie, where are you?

Charlie (Colorado)

Sorry, I'm on deadline for PJM. You should have a long article about it up pretty quickly, but the gist of it is like this:

- whatever the original cause was (*cough* Community Reinvestment Act *cough*) the fact is that the markets --- along with most retail businesses, like grocery stores, and many businesses payrolls --- depend on the availability of interbank credit.

- interbank credit is very nearly frozen and unavailable. Depending on how much room there is, this could mean that paychecks start bouncing in the September 30 or October 1 payrolls.

- this doesn't mean the bill will save us from a recession, but it might save us from a depression.

If you were of a mind to believe in conspiracy theories, you could easily theorize that Democrats would rather see the economy collapse, figuring that the Great Depression ushered them into power for 50 years, and Republicans (like Newt Gingrich) and other conservatives (like Michelle Malkin) figure it wouldn't be a Great Depression, but merely a good Depression.

Right now, I'm of the opinion that we should be getting long on guns, beans, and bacon. But maybe I'm just disappointed.

Charlie (Colorado)

You want a hint? The 9/11 attack cost the economy about $1 trillion.

This has cost the economy something like $6 trillion.

So far.

amba

Thanks. Let us know when your piece is up.

realpc

Well I'm at work (not on Wall St., fortunately for me) and everyone seems so calm. I mentioned it to someone and they said oh don't worry, everything will be fine. I said well I'm not worried so much as astounded, I have never seen anything like this. They said well it happened in the Great Depression. Do I look like I was around in the Great Depression? I hope not anyway.

Amba, the sky is falling. I feel like getting all my money out of the banks, but what the heck am I supposed to do with it? Maybe it would make attractive wallpaper.

Ben (The Tiger)

WOW.

Simon

What they need to do is to stop screwing around and pass the insurance plan that the GOP pushed Friday. There is far more support for that plan than there was for the bailout, and passing the insurance plan leaves the bailout as a possibility for later. Right now, though, isn't their choice between follow RSC's leadership or getting nothing? Is no Congressional response better than that?

And, just a thought - is it conceivable that the administration will decide that it's going to go ahead and do this anyway? That is, take ultra vires action to do what they evidently believe is necessary?

amba

I mentioned it to someone and they said oh don't worry, everything will be fine.

That's probably because they never lived through the Great Depression. What could come is unimaginable to them. We thought we didn't have a safety net in this country? Well, we did. As witness their confidence that "Bad things can't happen here!"

Maybe it would make attractive wallpaper.

LOL -- I guess!

realpc

"is it conceivable that the administration will decide that it's going to go ahead and do this anyway? "

No, that is not even close to being legal. I mean I can't imagine that being legal in this country.

amba

"Ultra vires" sounds like it means "super macho" or something. Can it do that? (Yes, Simon, I'm Constitutionally ignorant.)

RW Rogers

I'm stunned that 40% of the Democrats in the House voted "No." (Not being partisan - or holding anyone out as the cause - just an observation.) The GOP number isn't all that big a surprise given how small the support was last week. Now we know Pelosi what meant least week. She knew the House leadership couldn't deliver enough votes on their side and Bush couldn't hope to deliver the GOP in any numbers.

realpc

"That's probably because they never lived through the Great Depression."

Amba, I didn't live through the Great Depression but I have read enough to know we should be getting ready to panic. Maybe it's just that since I don't work in a financial company no one here is paying close attention. You know, most people don't understand or care much about the economy, even though, in my opinion, it is the (crumbling) foundation of our civilization.

We're so used to peace and prosperity. Even 9/11 just knocked us off balance for a moment (aside from the victims and their families). We're so used to being optimists. And I think it's that very optimism that is now killing us.

I am finally getting a chance to be proud to be a pessimist. That's why my money is in FDIC insured accounts -- not that it means anything anymore.

amba

There's some comfort in having no money to lose. But not for long. Who needs my skills in a depression? I could proofread bankruptcy filings.

realpc

What were those investors thinking when they made all those bad loans and packaged them so no one knew what they were buying or selling?

I have not seen any of those people interviewed on the news, have you? Why didn't 60 Minutes go after any of them? Why isn't anyone wondering about where they are hiding or what they were, and are, thinking?

Outis

Amba, RW is correct. The stunner is twofold: First, Pelosi couldn't deliver the votes from her own party. Then yesterday and today she has gone out of her way to antagonize the Republicans with one broadside after another.

She is the weakest Speaker of the House I have ever witnessed, and likely the most stupid - she can't even COUNT, for Christ's sake! What is her IQ, anyway, 90? 85? How goddamned stupid does one have to be to knopw that you don't insult people right before asking for their support?

In a just world, she will be removed from the Speakership tonight. The Dems should at least get someone who can count without using their fingers and toes. Of course, since it isn't a just world....

amba

I have long despised Pelosi.

PatHMV

Charlie, here's what I'm struggling with, and have been since Bush's speech. Exactly why is the interbank lending drying up? I understand its importance (President Bush spent some time explaining that on Wed.) but I don't understand why it's drying up. Is it because they simply don't have the money, because too many of the bad loans have failed? Listening to Bush's speech, the impression I came away with was that they have the money, they're just tightening their credit A LOT, refusing to lend to even good credit risks.

If they've got the money, and just don't want to loan it out even to good risks, then it sounds an awful lot to me like they're demanding that we play by their rules and bail them out or else they're going to take their ball and go home. And I do fear that the consequences to giving in to that kind of extortionate demand would be even worse than the great depression, over the long haul.

RW Rogers

FWIW, given the way this is being played, I'm inclined to believe that the GOP has just insured an overwhelming landslide for Obama and a filibuster-proof Senate.

Simon

Amba & RealPC - ultra vires = "beyond its powers." The executive branch almost certainly has no power to act, perhaps a fortiori now that that the bill has failed (Justice Jackson's Youngstown framework posits the President's authority at its perigee when s/he acts in direct contravention of the will of Congress - but does rejecting a bill count for those purposes?). But haven't we been repeatedly been told by the left that this administration is out of control? Haven't we been repeatedly told by the right (and particularly by the administration) that the President has the power to deal with a crisis or an emergency? I think it very unlikely that they can legally do this. My question is, should we assume that they won't do it anyway, if they genuinely think it's the only thing that can stop a meltdown?

Outis:

What is her IQ, anyway, 90? 85?
They call her 9% Nancy, and that seems close to the mark.

Melinda

Simon, thanks for the legal lesson.

Actually, the market is tanking because I took a day off. I'd better get back to work.

As for Nancy Pelosi, whatever is keeping her face frozen in the "surprised" position apparently is also giving her lockbrain.

RW Rogers

Here's some timely advice.

wj

It's pretty easy to have a less horrible opinion of Pelosi than most people here do: Just live in California, where you also get to be aware of Senator Boxer.

Thus we demonstrate that it's hard to be really objective about individual bad things when surrounded by lots of bad things. We manage to recognize that both are bad, but how bad is harder to recognize without a real variety to compare to.

realpc

" should we assume that they won't do it anyway, if they genuinely think it's the only thing that can stop a meltdown?"

We should assume they will not do it, because they won't, and they won't because they can't. We are a democracy no matter what.

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, the piece is off to PJM.

Basically, it's like this. Unlike any other kind of company, a bank or a bank like company can't stay in business if their cash, or cash equivalents, run out. After the bank runs of 1929 and after, ther are a number of ways to prevent that. (To find out about bank runs, read my IndyMac piece.)

The way things stand now, some big firms have pretty well run out of cash. They would normally solve this by borrowing cash via the interbank market. The interbank market has dried up, and everyone is trying to buy treasuries instead. So much so they'll actually buy treasuries that have effectively no yield at all. They're willing to actually lose money now, for fear of losing all their money later.

The interbank market has dried up because no one can be quite sure which firms are going to survive, so loaning them money is a crapshoot. And people who are scared don't like to shoot craps with the rent.

Simon

RealPC:

they won't because they can't.
Why, because it would be illegal? I thought we'd been told for the last seven years that this administration doesn't care about legality, including constitutional legality. I thought we'd been told that the administration was out of control, doing whatever it thought was right to handle what it saw as a crisis? I thought we'd been told that Bush called the Constitution nothing more than a "goddamned piece of paper"? Were the critics wrong, do you think?

realpc

Yes Simon, what "we were told," or what you were told, was wrong. Can you show me exactly where Bush called the constitution a "goddamned piece of paper?" I think you have too much faith in the Bush-bashers.

PatHMV

Charlie, what I'm seeing online is lots of comments from much smaller banks saying that they have ample cash reserves, because they avoided all the shady mortgage deals (or sold them off quickly to much stupider investors).

What I hear you saying is that the folks with cash won't make interbank loans because they don't know whether the firm that's asking for the money will fail or not. Why can't they then just loan the money directly to the actual company (GM, GE, whomever) directly? Rather than invest in T-bills at a loss, why not do a bit of research and buy the solid assets from those existing firms that they won't loan to at the moment? I'm still hearing "bail us out, or we'll take our ball and go home" as the fundamental reason for the bail-out.

Pastor_Jeff

If you were of a mind to believe in conspiracy theories, you could easily theorize that Democrats would rather see the economy collapse, figuring that the Great Depression ushered them into power for 50 years, and Republicans ... figure it wouldn't be a Great Depression, but merely a good Depression.

It does make you wonder. I'm not sure what game 2/3 of Republicans (and 40% of Democrats!) are playing. Maybe the Republicans are hoping to go back to the "insurance" plan.

But I really don't understand Pelosi at all. If she really believes this bailout is necessary to save the economy, then her actions suggest she's incompetent, idiotic, and/or unhinged.

Does the bill's failure mean things aren't as bad as they seem, or simply that they'd rather let the country slip into a depression rather than concede anything to the other side?

Charlie (Colorado)

Pat, until this sorts out, there are no good risks. People are talking about a potential for a 4,000 point loss out of this, maybe in the next month. (Remember, Wednesday is October. And Octobers are bad.)

Every measure of the market says it would take an atomic war to be more worrisome right now.

Ally

I disagree with many of you about many things, but we're in agreement on Pelosi.

Ally

...But Newt Gingrich is an asshole as well.

amba

Pelousy.

Michael Reynolds

So the Dems deliver far more votes than the Republicans . . . and it's the Dem's fault the vote failed.

Yes. That makes perfect sense.

Summarizing: it wasn't the fault of billionaires, banks, the president or the iedology of deregulation, it was the fault of working class black people trying to buy homes.

And the Republican President's bail-out failed because the Democrats didn't deliver quite enough votes to overcome the opposition within the president's own party.

Despite the fact that the GOP candidate's people have been claiming he sewed up GOP support.

You people have really lost your grip on reality.

Pastor_Jeff

Michael,

Sigh. We've been down this road too many times already.

McCain tried 3 years ago to pass reform legislation, and Bush has been calling for reform for years. It's congressional Democrats who've blocked reform and denied there was a problem. Even Bill Clinton said so. But your narrative tells you that eeeevil Republicans are always -- always! -- against regulation, so the facts don't matter.

Pelosi says this is a crisis and she needs Republican support. Then she spits in the face of the people she says she needs. There's leadership for you!

And tell me how it's Republicans' fault that she can't 40% of her own party to vote with her.

I'd give you bonus points for dragging in tired racial tropes, but you do that on every political rant, so it's become par for the course.

Are you actually trying to talk to anyone here, or just burning down straw men?

Don't bother replying. I know the answer.

realpc

"it wasn't the fault of billionaires, banks, the president or the iedology of deregulation, it was the fault of working class black people trying to buy homes."

Poor people who wanted to buy the "American dream" before they could afford it deserve a little blame, although most were probably victims of deceptive lenders. Still, if they weren't greedy and impatient they might have resisted.

There were also middle and upper middle class Americans who got into debt trying to impress their friends. And there were speculators who assumed everyone who invests in real estate gets fabulously rich. After all, we all know someone who did just that.

And of course there were the big lenders and insurers and their deceptive products no one could understand. Do you realize they were hiring physicists to work out the math? So maybe the CEOs didn't even know what their companies were actually doing.

In other words, there is at least a little blame for almost everyone.

Instead of working on a bailout, I wish the government were going after the major crooks and thinking about how to prevent this from ever happening again. It's obvious that Wall Street is holding its breath waiting to be rescued so it can go back to deceptive practices as usual.

The president sounds worried but he doesn't sound angry. Why not? Not a trace of outrage.

karen

I had an interesting afternoon. Went to see a horse a chap was giving(giving!)away. 12,000$ horse.

He's an inventor and he's got a home up here. When i say ~home~, you know i mean that the stonework/landscaping on his place(done by my brother)exceeds my worth in home, land and animals.

He's from out of the country and has been watching his $$$$ go down the drain as banks fail across the world, via the 'net. Not a happy camper, let me tell you.

He's known this was going to happen. Buffet predicted it 4-5 yrs ago(heh- so did W). WHY didn't he do something before now? He's not even talking stock-- just cash. He bashed the crap outta the Pubs. Had the Administration been his company, he'd have fired the lot...

i don't really kow what to make of it. I do know, thanks to Charlie-- how this may affect us, now. It means we may not get pd for our milk.

karen

PS- i didn't take the horse-- i don't think it would acclimate well, you know. Elite vs colloquial :0).

huxley

However much I read, I don't feel I've touched bottom in this crisis, but I would note that it's not just here.

The Irish stock market just had its worst fall ever today. Banks in Germany, UK, Belgium and Iceland are going under.

amba

That's chilling, though not surprising, given the way they've all been roped together like reckless climbers on Everest.

karen

Slight exaggeration on the worth of stone/scape-- that would be another multi-millionare in Stowe.

I think i'm still in shock.

Isn't Pelosi the most powerful woman in the gov't and 3rd from the Presidency? My- how'd that happen?

jason

I'm thrilled it failed. I'm grateful to the Republicans for their anarchy during this vote, not to mention the (relative) handful of Democrats who likewise didn't cave to party pressure.

If the government is so eager to spend $700 billion, send me a check. Trickle-down economics doesn't work, so let Wall Street implode under their own weight and let capitalism work its magic; meanwhile, let me spend some of that cash so we can get the economy going again--which is always the way it works (from the bottom up, hence the reason for my measly $600 check earlier this year).

Spud

And tell me how it's Republicans' fault that she can't 40% of her own party to vote with her. Pastor Jeff

Why don't you tell how effective McCain was to suspend his campaign to go to Washington, but only managed to get 33% of his own party to go his way.

Spud

McCain tried 3 years ago to pass reform legislation, and Bush has been calling for reform for years. Pastor jeff

I see. So that's why Bush used an 1863 National Bank Act to prevent all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, from enacting state predatory lending laws and prevented states from enforcing their own consumer protection laws against banks?

huxley

In the 80s, Tom Paxton, an old sixties folksinger, had a fun little song titled, I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler, after a bail-out of that time.

huxley

I wish I knew the best way to go on this.

I certainly don't want to see a Great Depression, and if a $700 billion bailout will prevent that, count me in. The villains can meet their justice in hell.

OTOH, are things truly that serious? What if instead we are watching a poker game of huge proportions between the government and those who want to be bailed out?

And a pox on all who are playing election year politics with this.

realpc

"I certainly don't want to see a Great Depression, and if a $700 billion bailout will prevent that, count me in. The villains can meet their justice in hell."

First of all, no one knows if the bailout will work, or how well. And rescuing and forgiving the villains will only guarantee that they return to business as usual, and will screw us again and again.

"If the government is so eager to spend $700 billion, send me a check. "

Yeah a lot of people are saying that. But for one thing, it's not like the money is sitting there waiting to be spent. They probably would have to print it, which could be devastating to the value of dollars. And sending a bailout to Americans who could use it sounds nice but it would be a punishment to all the Americans who carefully stayed out of debt. How would you feel if you worked and sacrificed to pay off your mortgage while your neighbor lived it up, and then the government paid off his mortgage?

I'm sure that most of the Americans who are in financial trouble right now have much better TVs than mine, which is 20 years old. Bailing them out would raise taxes and create massive inflation, which would severely punish everyone who worked and saved.

We should not bail out either the reckless investment speculators or the homeowners who can't pay their mortgage. It's a basic fact of psychology that rewarded behaviors increase, and bailouts reward irresponsible behavior.

huxley

First of all, no one knows if the bailout will work,

That's why I said "if." If a bailout would work, I'm for it, as opposed to a depression.

But as I said in my first line: "I wish I knew the best way to go on this.."

My imnpression is that no one knows for sure.

Donna B.

Michael Reynolds wrote:

"it was the fault of working class black people trying to buy homes."

Not at all. It was the fault of those who pressured banks (by force of law) to loan to people who couldn't afford to pay it back.

To loan to people who were going to be saddled with property worth less than their loan balance.

Did these lenders know this? Why, yes. Yes, they did.

Take Countrywide for example. They grew by making 30 year mortgages on trailer houses.

TRAILER HOUSES!

Who lives in trailer houses? Poor white people. Poor white trash to use politically correct terminology.

Now, why do I think that poor black people (in the South) don't live in trailer houses? I used to work for a CHDO - that's a Community Housing Development Organization for the uninitiated.

Some foolish redneck schmuck who owned a large trailer sales business here offered to give (that's GIVE!) five 14 X 80 3 bedroom trailer houses to the agency. All they had to do was come up with land to park them on.

Land, which the city was willing to donate. Land that was in an historically and almost 100% black neighborhood.

So, that's five brand new housing units, free.

Except a CHDO really has to make money. So, they wanted the new tenants to pay 1/2 the value of the trailer houses (not the land, just the trailers) and offered them some of those fancy no downpayment, no credit check loans to do it.

The value of the land was more than they were being asked to mortgage.

There were no takers. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Why? Because you couldn't pay a black person in this community to live in a trailer house.

A (black Democrat) state representative threatened to pull his black legislators' slush fund (this is Louisiana) grant to this organization if they continued this "offensive offer" to his constituents. He pontificated loudly in the CHDO offices about the effect that the trailers would have on the neighborhood -- lowering of property values -- by allowing trash to move in.

It's important to know that one of the persons in this neighborhood that the CEO of this CHDO specifically wanted to move into one of those trailers was an 80 year old woman who lived in a shack that allowed daylight, moonlight, and rain in through the roof. This was fortunate in the summer as it allowed circulation, but deadly in winter to an old person.

She cooked on a hot plate and had a dorm refrigerator, given to her personally by a CHDO employee.

But you see, it was (is?) offensive to ask a black person to live in a trailer house.

Does this help you understand why so many FEMA trailers intended for South Louisiana after Katrina are still stored near Hope, AR?

Now... back to Countrywide offering 30 year mortgages on trailer houses. Unless one is going to go to the expense (not small) of setting up the trailer house on a permanent foundation, it's not going to last more than 10 or 15 years.

With the foundation, and much more homeowner time spent on maintenance, it's probably not going to last more than 25 years.

Yet, Countrywide was offering 30 year mortgages. Does that make financial sense for either party to the deal?

Yes, it does if you can sell that mortgage to Fannie Mae, collect your fees and commissions and do another deal just like it.

Why not move onto to the really lucrative home loans which at least had the possibility of actually retaining some of their value? Plus, you could sell these in packages to banks that needed to meet their "CRA requirements".

As long as home values kept rising you couldn't lose.

Then some really cynical and greedy people saw an opportunity to get in on the action by making side bets on whether these loans based on sketchy creditworthiness would succeed or fail.

Enter credit default swaps and AIG. Now, the $50,000 loan on a property actually worth $45,000 could generate losses of up to $200,000.

oops... And while we're at it, why don't we push those credit default swaps as a great investment for pension funds and municipalities?

Finally, as bubbles do, this one burst.

Those who took their fees and commissions win. Those who cashed out in time win. Some CEO's (because they were wary enough to insist on employment contracts) win.

Almost everyone else (that's you and me) lose in one way or another.

Fast forward to today: If Pelosi had really wanted this bill to pass, it would have. You cannot convince me that there were not 12 of the 95 democrats who voted "no" that she couldn't persuade to change to a "yes". She has a bunch of carrots and wheel barrel full of sticks to use, but she chose not to. Then she did everything she could to ensure that no "on the fence" Republican would be swayed to vote "yes".

Yet she (and her Democrat cronies) are doing a very good job of making it look like this was all the Republicans' (and by default, John McCain's) fault.

That takes a lot of talent if you ask me. Talent put to use NOT for the good of this nation or for its citizens.

Nancy Pelosi is not stupid, she's mean-spirited and evil.

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