Max Gladwell

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The Daily Show on Offshore Drilling, Energy Policy, and the Financial Crisis

September 17th, 2008 by Max Gladwell · No Comments

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart calls McCain on offshore drilling double-talk and offers some comic relief for the financial crisis.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an energy bill compromise that lifts the ban on offshore drilling. This is similar to the bill being hammered out in the Senate that we fundamentally support. Of course, when both sides compromise no one ends up happy. But that’s the nature of politics.

“The House Democratic energy bill passed, pleasing basically nobody. Republicans called it a sham because it did little to bring more oil drilling; environmentalists think there’s too much drilling. The Senate has its own ideas. Bottom line, notes the WSJ, between the Senate’s stab at energy and the president’s veto, the energy bill is DOA. In fact, it’s little more than an invitation for environmentalists to sue, argues the WSJ edit page.”

The fact that it pleases nobody should be a signal that it’s good policy. Contrarily, when either side gets a hard-on about a bill, such as the Medicare prescription drug plan, it’s a clear sign that it’s pleasing lobbyists and special interests in a huge way. This bill does nothing of the sort. For the oil companies and the Republicans they support, it’s a superb example of “careful what you wish for.”

Jon Stewart also comments on the financial crisis. If you’ve ever watched CNBC, you know what he’s talking about when he calls them out for having their heads up their collective asses. Stocks are up? Better buy before they go higher! Stocks are down? It’s a buying opportunity! These stocks are on sale! That’s how the CNBC cheerleaders operate, constantly pumping the market. Congress should legislate a disclaimer for financial news shows. It’ll be a new crawl above the stock prices that says, “These journalists have no f’ing idea what they’re talking about.”

By our calculations, yesterday marked the day America officially slipped into a socialist economy. The $85 billion bailout of AIG means that our federal government is now one of the largest single shareholders, if not the largest. Upwards of $300 billion of taxpayer dollars, all of which is actually borrowed from foreign governments, has been put at risk…so far.

The New York Times tallies up investor losses for the past year: a cool $4 trillion. TechCrunch sums it up:

Citigroup: $236.7 billion to $97.8 billion.
Bank of America: $236.5 billion to $150.2 billion.
AIG: $179.8 billion to $32.3 billion
Goldman Sachs: $97.7 billion to $61.3 billion
American Express: $74.8 billion to $45 billion.
Morgan Stanley: $73.1 billion to $41.1 billion.
Fannie Mae: $64.8 billion to $700 million.
Merrill Lynch: $63.9 billion to $24.2 billion
Freddie Mac: $41.5 billion to $300 million.
Lehman Brothers: $34.4 billion to $2.5 billion.
Washington Mutual: $31.1 billion to $2.9 billion

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Tags: Economy · Humor · Online Video · Politics