America's $15 trillion ticking financial timebomb - and what you can do to defuse it
An Iowahawk Special Investigative Report
by David Burge
Markets in turmoil. 401(k) plans evaporating overnight. Huge financial institutions declaring bankruptcy. A black abyss of oblivion engulfing America, as ragged cannibal armies of hollow-eyed MBAs stagger down Wall Street, feasting on the bloated, rotting corpses of CNBC hosts in a desperate attempt to survive one more day. American are asking: how did we get here? The answer may surprise you. A growing consensus of economists now believe the current global financial Armageddon can be traced directly to Jim Treacher's out-of-control pornography debt, and its principle victim, me. By now we all know the bad news, but the good news is that it's not too late to do something about it -- but only if we act now. But first, in order to understand this crisis, let's review how it started.
Roots of a Crisis
On September 26, I ran into internet blogging person Jim Treacher in the browsing stacks of Adult World Supercenter at Exit 303. After some some idle chitchat and shop talk, Mr. Treacher requested a loan for the purchase of a pornographic DVD, explaining that he was temporarily short of cash and had various biological-related needs. At various times in my life I have been pornless, so I was naturally sympathetic to his plight. I inquired as to the property he was interested in, and he enthusiastically showed me the 3-DVD box set of the classic 1992 series "Where the Boys Aren't," on special for $29.99.
In retrospect, I suppose I could have exercised more due diligence in considering Mr. Treacher's loan request. Perhaps he didn't have the most spotless credit history or employment record, but he seemed truly sincere. He was willing to put 1/3 of his own money down and sign title to the DVDs as security. Also, as an avid internet researcher I knew that the value of these DVDs has steadily increased, thanks to a growing community of vintage 90's porn collectors in Japan and Finland. Even if Mr. Treacher defaulted, what could possibly go wrong? After writing out a loan contract specifying my customary interest rate of 8.5% per hour, I handed him a crisp $20 bill and we shook hands on the deal. Luckily, I always carry a bottle of Purell.
Hot Interest-on-Interest Action
The next day I telephoned Mr. Treacher to inquire about the status of his loan and a review of the DVD, but there was no answer. By then his principle had grown to $153.74. Although his lack of communication was somewhat worrisome, I knew Mr. Treacher sometimes converted his pornography collection into income property - leasing it to neighbors, hosting stag nights for local college organizations, and so on. At $25 per ticket, one of Mr. Treacher's fraternity parties would easily cover the DVD debt, even after paying for kegs, the dancer, and damage to his trailer.
Over the next few days I tried to put Mr. Treacher's growing debt out of my mind. My busy schedule helped, along with the subsequent hangovers and the security knowing there was probably a government agency that would buy up his contract if there was a problem of some sort.
But when arose on the afternoon of October 3 and checked the debt calculator at the local public library internet terminal, my concerns intensified. Mr. Treacher's debt had by then increased to $243,768,526, and I knew it would be difficult for him to make payments even if he threw in the trailer and his storage shed. I had not heard from him for a week so I decided to pay a visit.
"Dude," I emphasized, "I want my $264 million."
"Hey scro, I'm a little short," he said. "Will you take a check?"
Knowing that Mr. Treacher was chronically overdrawn, I decided to call his bluff and announced I would be foreclosing. He complied, and we began searching his trailer for the DVDs, with no success. After several hours of investigation, while his debt continued to mushroom towards $1 billion, we finally located them under the plywood apron of the trailer -- only to discover they had been aggressively chewed by a neighbor's dog. In a panic we put the least damaged disk in his DVD player, but it was obviously ruined. Then we switched to CNBC and the shock set in -- the word about Treacher's debt had reached Wall Street, propelling the economy into a tailspin.
After discussing the situation over a few bong hits, we decided to contact Federal officials the next day. Our messages to President Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke went unanswered, so on Monday October 6 we decided to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and lay our cards on the table. While generally supportive of our goals -- and our proposal for a new federal agency named Tiffani Mae to guarantee the loan -- she said that Mr. Treacher's $73 billion debt was probably too small to warrant a government bailout, especially with our spotty record of campaign contributions. We also contacted House Banking Committee chairman Barney Frank, but he explained that he had different tastes in adult cinema.
Long story short, we have spent the last week contacting various state and federal officials, the EU central bank, George Soros, and Goldman Sachs on the cell phone we found in Speaker Pelosi's office. Unfortunately the only result has been thousands of dollars of roaming charges for Mrs. Pelosi. The Treacher deficit continues to grow by the hour, plunging the entire global economy deeper and deeper into a black hole spiral of nothingness. The following chart displays the magnitude of the problem.
It's Time to Step Up, America
As of 6:00 PM today, the ballooning Treacher porn debt will stand at nearly $15 trillion dollars, two times the combined annual GDP of China and Japan, and represents more than 70% of all outstanding debt in the entire global economy. If corrective action is not taken immediately, this crisis threatens to to destroy our already fragile economy, and condemn our children to a short, brutal lifetime of despair, pestilence, and starvation. It's too late to point fingers at those who are responsible, such as George Bush. His public tribunal and ritual punishment ceremony can wait for another day. The important thing for now is that we all make sacrifices to stave off an untold disaster.
This afternoon Mr. Treacher and I sent a joint communique to global financial markets and key government central banks, declaring our intention to restructure our debt agreement. We have named our plan the "Save the Global Economy Fund." The terms are somewhat complex for the economic layman, but here are the highlights: I have agreed in principle to write off 50% Mr. Treacher's debt, and he has agreed to a 60/40 split of the proceed from the fundraising portion of the plan.
We have done our part to ease the jittery credit markets, but ultimately the success of our plan depends on the participation of the American consumer. And that's where you come in.
- Click on the PayPal button on the left side of this page (Beer Fund) and make a financial sacrifice to me in the name of the "Save the Global Economy Fund."
- Next, visit Jim Treacher's site and make a PayPal sacrifice to him. It should be 1/3 smaller than the first, reflecting his greater culpability for the crisis, and our 60/40 thing.
The actual amount of your sacrifice -- $1 million, $100,000, or even $10,000 -- is not important. The critical thing is that the markets see that we are pulling together to sacrifice as Americans to save the future of this country, just like the Greatest Generation of World War II. You can monitor the impact of this campaign by keeping a close eye on the financial markets. Is the Dow up? Great going, America! Let's keep up the good work, and repeat steps 1 and 2 with increasingly larger donations. If the Dow is down, however, this will be your signal that the markets think your donation was insufficient. In this case, you should instead repeat steps 1 and 2, with increasingly larger donations.
I know in these tough economic times, it will be difficult for many of you to come up with trillions of dollars this effort may take. But if we roll up our sleeves and give the markets vigorous, repeated strokes of financial stimulation, it's only a matter of time before it responds with a relieving gusher of credit. Let's get to work!