Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Tale - Thanks for the Bailouts times 3

Dear Uncle Sam,
Thank you for the trillion dollar gift certificate. We haven't actually used any of the money yet to make loans or renegotiate mortgages or do anything else to help the economy. In fact we fired a few hundred thousand employees just to be on the safe side and really cut back on the old Christmas bonus pool (sorry Santa). Look on the bright side. We still have jobs and we didn't have to give back the huge bonuses we made by reporting income from buying and selling worthless mortgages and writing credit default swaps that nearly sucked the entire country into a black hole.

Next year I want an X-Box 360 and a buyer for some (just a few Trillion $) toxic debt.

Yours truly,
Wall Street

ps - thanks a lot for the coal Uncle Sam, and screw you too Santa. Sincerely, Lehman Bros

Dear Uncle Sam,

Thanks for the $17 Billion. Really, thanks a lot. I knew you always liked Wall Street better. Well, at least you gave me a chance. Not like when you sat around and watched big steel and big rubber disappear. Okay, so I'm not the fair haired boy - at least I'm not a red-headed stepchild.

Wait a minute, you said something about a bigger gift next year when this $17 Billion runs out. But you'll supervise me, you'll tell me how to restructure for a new, green future. Ouch. I'll paint the cars any color you want, but if you think you can do a better job making and selling cars than me, well, just kill me now. Maybe it's better for you if I don't fail while we're all on the cusp of a depression, but for me the pain will be unbearable. Managed by committee, a committee picked by a Congress - is this $17 Billion really a gift or just the first step in a slow, expensive torture that ends in my death as soon as the economy has a pulse again?

If you really want to help, start now. I can't wait for next Christmas. Help me now even if it takes a bankruptcy (a bankruptcy planned in secret and in detail, a Chapter 11 where I never stop operating and never tell my customers until the entire long-term plan, including more bailout money, is in place). Help me consolidate into a Big Two before I'm a Big Zero. Help me get access to PBGC money (or just bailout money if you prefer) to get out from under some of my legacy pension obligations without stiffing my retirees. Help me get out from under the most expensive work rules in my union contracts (I must have been having a very bad day when I signed).

If you want to see me around for a few decades instead of a few years, forget about management by politician. Didn't you read Animal Farm. Just get me on the same footing as those damn Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes operations that seem to do OK in the South.

Your loving middle child,

Dear NY Yankees,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! If we had you guys in charge of the TARP we would have blown through the first $700 Billion by now, no sweat, and we would known exactly where every penny was spent - on veterans who failed to bring championships to New York.

After two decades of frustration you built a dynasty in the late nineties around young stars from your own farm system, players like Jeter, Williams, Pettitte, Rivera and Posada. Sure veteran acquisitions like O'Neill and Brosius were critical, but they didn't break the bank. Then came that fatal first taste, wins with names like Boggs and - yech - Clemens, and you were addicted.
Giambi, Johnson, Mussina, Rodriguez, Damon, Pavano like any addict you needed to keep spending more just to stay alive, even when you stopped getting high, I mean winning titles. Now your not even making the playoffs so, of course, you need to spend even more.

Now it's On Burnett (despite the suspiciously Pavano like history),
On Sabathia,
On Teixeira
On to the playoffs, the series, the ring
The win is the story,
Cashman's (aptly named) praises we sing,
The bucks are forgotten,
Signing duds was no sin.

But wait, in October there arises a clatter,
it's young teams with young arms,
Rays, Phillies, Sox that matter,
and Yanks with their checkbook so quick
spend another long winter
cursing Saint Nick (or, in the stand-up comedy version - pulling their .....)

Thanks Again,
MLB Players Association

ps - Yankee morons, we did a freakin press release announcing Boras was asking too much for Teixeira. I'd call you up and explain, but that whole collusion business is really a problem. Wake up and smell the coffee. You can't buy a championship but you make it too expensive for the people who actually know what they are doing. Theo

pss - Love you guys. Can't wait to start the season. Thank God there's no twelve step program for baseball executives. Mark, CC and AJ.

psss - Even I thought I was bluffing, thanks for bailing me out. Merry Christmas. Scott Boras

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