Over To You, Beijing, Riyadh, Kuwait And UAE (Updated)

Fine, who’s going to pay for it? We’re still skeptical the U.S. can sucker punch them yet again for a cash infusion. Particularly now since the Warlord’s tenure puts an exclamation point on “The Unipolar Power Has No Clothes” across all measures of influence, perceptions of power and status (even Scalia is not entertaining abroad).

International observers from Frankfurt to Tokyo observe that the U.S. on its own no longer can afford to pay for projects of this scale. Not anymore. Not without outside help.

Curmudgeon in the comments here noted a good point — T-bills paradoxically are more attractive now with the collapse of commercial paper. And at least verbiage from the Bank of Japan today confirms that they are holding so much in U.S. assets that they too are *in the short term* compelled to intervene and lend actual dollars. If Tokyo is in this position, one can only imagine the conversations in Beijing. Where the skepticism comes is after the short term measures are taken.

Save the Wall Streeters, Save the World (apologies NBC)

Whatever entity the Paulson Posse ™ creates (New Thing) will have to dispose of staggeringly huge, assumed toxic instruments or eat them. We remain in agreement with sentiments in Frankfurt and elsewhere that at this point, the U.S. simply no longer is in a position to do so on its own. Optimistic structural concepts for New Thing are thinking about tapping ‘only’ $250 billion in private money (which is unlikely if it couldn’t or wouldn’t save AIG or Lehman) or foreign sovereign funds. If only it were ‘only’.

We’re amused (in a sardonic way) to see how the campaigns flail about on this issue. McCain’s flip flops are already the stuff of immediate talking head legend. So too to see the Left rapturously pointing to the Boy King’s tete-a-tete avec Larry Summers, Bob Rubin and others who led the charge in the late 1990s to repeal the Depression Era’s Glass Steagall Act. As you know, dear reader, had the law remained intact, with its provision to separate banks, investment banks, etc. much of this cross-sector mutual pull down would not be happening. Observant commentators also note “Mr. Andrea Mitchell’s” finger prints, too. (Love that moniker).

Still, it’s nice to see that the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is taking notice:

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

Mr. Schumer added, “History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment.”

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as “somber,” Mr. Dodd cut in. “Somber doesn’t begin to justify the words,” he said. “We have never heard language like this.”

‘Somber’. They used to say the most dangerous place in Washington, D.C. was between Chuck Schumer and a microphone. Thank goodness Dodd heeded Dan Rather’s old sign off and showed ‘courage’ to step into that very harrowing gap.

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And for your amusement, herewith a pen given to the Stiftung by the General Counsel of a major AIG component company — after we signed a joint venture agreement. (Assisted by a famous lawyer known to everyone from his White House Monica Lewinsky days).

It’s actually much nicer than a Bic. Not sure how many $85 billion will save. Maybe we will see if we can make a piece of toast with the AIG logo. And add the pen, too, for eBay . . .

How The Mighty Have . . .