Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rush (Limbaugh) to opportunity

From yesterday's (Tuesday, 11/20) on-air broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh Show:

RUSH: "The Dubai government agency that bought into Deutsche Bank this year said on Monday it was considering investing in US financial services firms affected by the mortgage-market crisis." (laughing) The thing is, Dubai could wipe out the debt; they could wipe out the crisis. "DIFC Investments, one of the agencies Dubai has used to buy foreign assets, is identifying 'good opportunities for acquisitions' in the United States, the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said on Monday. Asked whether the targets could include US banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, Omar bin Sulaiman told Reuters: 'Without mentioning names we have a track record of taking stakes in banks, with the right partners for management. The price has to be right and the strategy has to be aligned,' he said. Asked whether it made sense to invest in banks which have taken a hit from the mortgage crisis, he said: 'Yes, but we are looking at all sectors not just financial sectors.'"

Let me pause for a moment and pose the rhetorical question, when your boat is actively sinking, are you really going to refuse an extra bucket because of who is handing it to you? Granted, you will question his motivation and be suspicious of whatever terms might come along with the aid, but are you really prepared to risk destruction because the aid offered comes with an increased potential for risk? If you are, then I hope you're a Democrat or a Paulian. The Republicans have enough troubles already without taking up the cause of national suicide as well.

Returning to the matter at hand, anyone who was paying attention back in the late 1980's and early 1990's will likely remember the furor over Japanese investment in property and business here in the US and how they were "buying the country out from under us" and similar nonsense (yes, I'm looking at you Ross Perot). Other then the obvious fact that we Americans have more job opportunities and better cars and trucks to drive, anyone still want to argue that the "Japanification" of the USA was a bad deal for our country?

That's precisely how I view this potential investment from Dubal. The Dubai World port's terminal deal had the same potential as did the earlier Japanese investment, but fell afoul of the institutional racism that is fundamental to the Democratic Party. I'm confidant this latest proposed return investment of US currency into our economy will be recipient of at least as bad treatment by all the usual suspects once again.

Which is silliness personified in this particular instance. With the possible exception of medicine, the financial sector is the most closely monitored and heavily regulated sector of our entire economy. This isn't a question of a few iconic buildings or a geriatric monolithic industry hiding from reality in ravaged Detroit, but the principle mechanism for operating our country. That's what the dollar is after all, the tool we - and the rest of the world - use to do the work Americans are so justifiably recognised for. If we don't allow foreign entities to re-invest our currency back into our economy, we contribute to the decline in our currency's value everywhere.

If we keep doing that to ourselves long enough, we get to experience soon the sensations that are Zimbabwe today.

Disclosure: I suppose I should mention that I am a Rush 24/7 member and have been a semi-regular listener (job and other commitments allowing) since the late spring of 1989 or thereabouts.

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