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Politics

BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?

A couple of thirties guy were hanging around the park discussing the latest financial news. As far as I could tell their names were Bud and Mack. Here is their conversation:

"It's those Wall Street swells again, Bud, playing fast and loose with other people's dough, I tell ya! Turn your back for eight years on those jokers and they pull a fast one. Playin' us all for chumps, see, just like back in '29."

"Tell me somethin' I don't know, Mack. They oughta haul those palookas down to the station and give 'em the third degree, sweat 'em good."

"What good would that do? They already blew everybody's dough!"

"Find out who's Mr. Big in this caper. How could they knock off so many banks all at once, Bud? There's got to be a mastermind behind this setup!"

"Whattya mean, Mack, like a mastermind who hatches a cockamamie scheme where everybody loses? Sounds fishy. What's the angle there?"

"There's gotta be an angle, Bud. If so many people lost so much money, well, don't it stand to reason that somebody else found that dough?"

"I think I get your drift here, Mack, but it don't hold water, see. When a company's stock takes a swan dive, that money just evaporates."

"That don't sound too kosher, Bud. You mean to tell me that a company can be worth 80 billion simoleans one day and then the next day with everything the exact same about that company it can be worth only 6 billion?"

"That's about the size of it, Mack."

"So, it was only 80 billion because some jokers said it was 80 billion, and now it's 6 billion because now they say it's only worth 6? That's loco! It seems to me that now somebody can get to buy an 80 billion dollar company for only 6 billion. Who's that guy, Bud? That's the guy who's Mr. Big."

"I never thought of it that way, Mack. It seems like some other bank always steps in and bails those broke banks out. Sometimes the Feds pick up the lion's share of the tab too, and that's pretty sweet, collecting from Uncle Sam to the tune of a lotta free taxpayer billions. But who gets the bargain here, Mack, if all those small investors got wiped out?"

"It's always the little guy who takes in the neck, Bud, don't we know that! It's those rich swells who make out like Rockefeller when times get hard, buying up cheap what working stiffs slaved their whole lives for. And even if the $80 billion figure was out of line, wishful thinking maybe, you gotta figure it's worth a lot more that the 6 billion the new guy pays for it. If he's a smart cookie he hangs on to it until the smoke clears and people say it's worth big dough again, then he unloads it for a tidy profit! Tell me that ain't a sweet scam!"

"Amen, brother. And they're kicking a lotta people outta their homes again, Mack, just like back in the 30's. You think those people walk away with any dough for all their years of paying that big mortgage? Not on your life!"

"Good thing we're retired, Joe. I'd hate to be a working stiff again, not with all these scam artists runnin' the show."

"Well, we ain't too old to fight back, Mack."

"How do you figure, Bud?"

"We can still, vote, can't we? Votes count for something. A guy's gotta have his say."

"Well, for my two cents worth, I say it's too bad FDR ain't still kickin', Mack. He'd bash these bankers in the teeth but good!"

"Sure would, too. Toss all those Republican fat boys out on their ears!"

"A good stretch in the slammer might do 'em some good."

"Wouldn't do the rest of us no harm, either, Bud."

"Heck, no! Put 'em on ice for a good long while so that regular Joes can fix what they busted up. Put some real stand up guys in their place while we're at it."

"And we should fix it so the cookie jar ain't so easy to empty anymore, if you catch my drift, maybe put a few mousetraps around it."

"Maybe some bear traps, Mack, really give 'em something to think about next time they're feeling frisky."

"I'd like to knock a coupla heads together myself, Bud…"

"Amen to that too, brother. Just the same, Mack, I think I'll volunteer to help out when the soup kitchens open up again."

"Looks like old times again, eh Joe…"

"Except for one thing, Mack."

"How do you figure that, Joe?"

"These new skyscrapers, Mack, they don' have ledges and open windows so these rich guys can jump out the window like in '29."

"You gotta be kiddin, Joe! These mugs don't have the decency to even say they're sorry, never mind gettin' overcome with guilt. They still think they didn't do nothing wrong!"

"Makes you wonder who raised these jokers, Mack, it really does…."

"Wolves, Joe… musta been wolves…"

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