The sky didn’t fall

On Sunday, Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, took to the Sunday morning talk show programs to speak about the gridlock over our national debt ceiling.  I am not adept enough to add a video clip of his comments.  But, here is what I heard.

Mr. Geithner explained the urgency for Congress doing something before 4 pm Sunday afternoon.  At 4 pm Sunday afternoon, U.S Eastern Standard Time, the stock market in Japan would open.  According to Mr. Geithner, if Congress hadn’t agreed upon a resolution to address a raising of our debt ceiling by then, Asian markets would open and sell, sell, sell, thus precipitating a catastrophe in the American stock market when it opened this morning at 9 am EST.  Pension plans (read here, union pension plans) would lose millions.

I can only suppose that we were all expected (assuming that anyone other than my brother and I watch Sunday morning programing) to call our Congressperson sometime on Sunday to urge him or her to agree to whatever it is that Obama demands.

So, here we are, some 30 hours after Secretary Geithner issued his warning.  Our stock markets have closed.

The DOW fell by 88 points to 12,592.  That’s sort of a normal day…up by 88, down by 88, but, certainly not the  catastrophe predicted by Mr. Geithner.  Any investor, including pension funds, would far prefer the “ups”, but…

I’m beginning to wonder if we are being fed a bill of goods.

This is a serious situation, but, it doesn’t get any better if Americans begin to believe that our administration is, well, not exactly telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Posted in ,


The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. GdavidH on July 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    SOS writes, “I?m beginning to wonder if we are being fed a bill of goods.”

    ?We were sold a bill of goods during the 2008 campaign, and for the next 2 1/2 years about who was in charge of the purse starting in 2007 (That would be Democrats? for Sammy and Crystal et. al.)

    ?The fear mongering will continue until Obummer gets his wish….

    “”The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions,” Obama told the National Council of La Raza.?”?

  2. sammy22 on July 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks for the “support”. My wish is that a default can be averted. I hope you do too, GdavidH and SOS. There will consequences no matter how you would like to spin it.

    • Eric on July 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      There will be no default. ?There’s no reason on Earth for this to happen. ?The government has plenty of revenue to guarantee that this doesn’t happen, regardless of what your elected officials are telling you. ?Our credit worthiness, on the other hand, is certainly at a point where our rating is going to be downgraded. ?There’s not much we can do at this point to keep that from happening, and certainly not with the present Administration and Congress. ?The only way we can prove our credit worthiness is by getting serious about debt reduction, something that is not happening yet. Reducing spending by a measly trillion dollars over the next ten years is a pitiful attempt to deal with a huge problem that could actually bring our country to it’s knees. ?We the people are responsible for this catastrophe. ?We continue to elect people to Congress who have no idea what they’re doing. ?They’ve never owned a business or worked in the private sector and yet we’re asking them to take care of our monies, our security, and the well being of this nation. ?We deserve what we’ve come to. ?Until we get serious about the people we elect to high office nothing will change and WE will deserve the fall that’s coming our way. ?It’s just a…

    • ricbee on July 27, 2011 at 7:11 am

      There will be no default. The USA has plenty of money to live within its means.

  3. Plainvillian on July 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Geithner works for the biggest liar in a town full of the best lairs in the world and you accuse him of shading the truth?? Why??

  4. winnie888 on July 26, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Obama & his buds in DC are turning this supposed crisis into a wicked joke, now.? The deadlines and the threats of what will happen if the deadlines aren’t meant are simply a reason to roll eyes and change the channel on the set.? I say take it past the 8/2 *deadline* to see just what happens.? This is all posturing and the usual chest beating followed by “I’m the president!”? Obama & his party:? cause for embarrassment.? Fortunately, I’m not affiliated with them in any way, shape or form. 🙂

  5. crystal4 on July 26, 2011 at 7:08 am

    How did we get into this mess?
    In ghdavid’s “lala world” it was the dems who started 2 wars and, at the same time didn’t raise taxes to cover these wars but CUT THEM!

    • GdavidH on July 26, 2011 at 9:44 am

      You funny?!
      ? I think the jihadist, MUSLIM?terrorists started the war to be honest. Unless you’re one of those?who think the US gov’t was in on it so Cheney could get richer and GW Bush could play with his military toys, like Obama’s buddy Van Jones.
      ?I did not like the fact that the “costs” of the wars was not accurately included in the budgets, but hey, the defense of the nation is an actual job the federal gov’t?is supposed to be doing with the revenues collected.

      ?By lala world I think you mean when the dems stick their collective fingers in their ears and?sing?” lalalalalalala” all the way to the blame Bush world they all live in, sipping the Kool-aid.? In the meantime the facts don’t change about who was in charge of the budget between 2007 and 2011, AND were so afraid of the reaction the voters would have towards a bloated Dem budget in the fall of 2010 that they didn’t make one.

  6. Marilyn on July 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I no longer have any doubt that? All The Presidents Men have been instructed by the President to place fear in the hearts of every American if he doesn’t get exactly what he wants.? I further have no doubt that Geithner, former head of the NY Federal Reserve, was called upon to have Moodys and S&P threaten a downgrade of our credit rating.? Is there any doubt that the President, if he doesn’t get everything he wants will encourage this downrgrading.? Someone will spill the beans on this as they always do.??

    • ricbee on July 27, 2011 at 7:14 am

      I’m sure the Obama administration encouraged Moody’s & the S&P to make those foolish statements.

  7. Lynn on July 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Frankly, I’m fed up with the bill of goods. It’s a great diet

  8. crystal4 on July 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

    The Dow Jones futures dropped from -12 to -39 last night during the speeches.

    • Dimsdale on July 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      As I recall, every time ?bama opens his mouth, the stock market takes a plunge.

  9. SeeingRed on July 26, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Has a Treasury Secretary ever been used as such a political pawn before?? Sure they all tow the line for the Administration and policies, but the things that come out of Timmy’s mouth seemed to be worse than run of the mill bald-faced lies.

    • ricbee on July 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Tim & the Obama crowd believe if they say it,it is true. And they have plenty of supporters who second that-sheeple.

  10. sammy22 on July 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Don’t worry crystal4, SOS is sooooo reassuring! And the other economic/financial experts are taking a “vacation”.

    • Dimsdale on July 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I would take SOS over ?bama any day!? What reassurance did you get from ?bama’s petulant, finger pointing tirade last night, a transparently desperate ploy to show how relevant (while trying to avoid any responsibility) he is when the real players have walked away from him??? The markets are more concerned with our ability to handle our bloating debt than the promises of some incompetent tyro like ?bama.
      ?bama and the Dems own this recession/depression, and his poll numbers show that everyone (except him, apparently) know it, and they are panicking.
      Where is Contessa Brewer, asking for the presidents economic bona fides, by the way?? Where is anyone in the media for that matter?

  11. Tim-in-Alabama on July 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m confused. The Potted Plant President demonizes Wall Street, but now is sending out Timmy Geithner4 to warn that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised there’ll be trouble in the Asian markets. How are we supposed to know whom to hate if they keep sending such mixed signals?

    • GdavidH on July 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Potted plant POTUS!

      You da man, Tim?

  12. Gary J on July 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    My deadline Is November 1012. ” easy button”

  13. Gary J on July 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    2012?? ok so I had 2 glasses of wine —? sue me

  14. sammy22 on July 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Hey, Dims: 80 points yesterday, 90 points today. SOS (and you??) can handle it w/ no sweat. Pretty soon it may amount so something sizable?? BTW, the market(s) only care that the US can pay the bonds (plus interest) when they are due, not how large the debt is. The REAL pain will come when the need to re-finance the loans comes (see what’s happening to Greece).

    • ricbee on July 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

      I actually enjoyed the inflation of the Carter years once I learned how deal with it. By buying REPO bonds & getting 18% interest.

    • Dimsdale on July 27, 2011 at 8:17 am

      Actually, according to Mark Zandi of Moodys (on CBS this morning), the markets care about two things: extending the debt limit AND getting control of the spending.? These are things that the Republicans are dealing with, while the Democrats want to ignore the latter and only include the former.
      He also said that if we lost our AAA status, we could get it back fairly easily and quickly.? Interest rates were expected to rise a few tenths of a percentage point.
      But hey, what does he know?
      P.S.? Watching the market fluctuate every day is like measuring your blood pressure every 10 minutes: you get ups and downs based on activity, but only the average counts.

  15. rickg on July 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Geithner is just another one of Obama’s LAPDOGS . He’s doing and saying whatever the Young President wants him to do or say. It’s all just a big FEARFEST.

  16. steve418r on July 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Someone sent me this little story and it pretty much sums up the state of affairs we are up against with the media now.
    A Harley biker is riding by the zoo in Washington , DC when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. ?
    Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.
    The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.
    Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly. ?
    A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, ‘Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.’
    The Harley rider replies, ‘Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right.’
    The reporter says, ‘Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page…So, what do you do for a living and what political…

  17. steve418r on July 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?’
    The biker replies, ‘I’m a U.S. Marine and a Republican.’
    The journalist leaves.
    The following morning the biker buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:



    That pretty much sums up the media’s approach to the news these days.

  18. Erik Blazynski on July 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Default on the debt or don’t default on the debt, what is the difference?? How can a ratings agency put much stock in the fact that we allowed ourselves to borrow more money to pay our debt?? Our country’s financial solvency is clear to anyone correct? Meh, whatever.

    • ricbee on July 27, 2011 at 7:24 am

      Once we stop borrowing there will be no inflation to speak of.

    • GdavidH on July 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

      We have a AAA rating and $14 trillion of debt. We can’t pay the interest on the debt or grandmas SS check, according to?THE ONE. We should not have a AAA rating in the first place, what’s a couple trillion more gonna matter? Let it ride!!!!?

  19. NH-Jim on July 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Let’s use the mountain lion incident in Milford as a microcosmic analogy to the federal debt & default rhetoric coming from Washington.? The talk of doom if the debt ceiling isn’t raised again and again is like the state DEP saying there are no cougars in CT.
    “Listen to us, we’re the government, we know all that is good for you.”? (Very Orwellian)
    Well, they were wrong, there are mountain lions in CT and they will be wrong again about the threat of default if the ceiling isn’t raised all the time ignoring the real truth that we all know – it is the DEBT, itself, that will make us default!? We all see it like the lion in the woods but they deny it.? The arrogance of government must be put in-check and these congress people held to the fact that they are representatives and not leaders of us.
    Funny thing, my wife, my neighbor, and I had seen a mountain lion in Litchfield in 1988.? But, they tell us we did not see what we saw.

  20. sammy22 on July 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    The sky is not falling: it’s dropping 100 points a day. And, investors are already asking for higher interests to lend short term to the Feds. Sounds like the real financial experts are not reading the advice on this blog, Dims.

  21. TomL on July 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Sammy look at the percentage not the points. Back in the 60’s if it dropped 100 that would be bad but now not so much.

  22. sammy22 on July 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    WOW, TomL! Back in the 60’s I did not care. Today the S&P dropped 2%=2% of my wealth disappeared. And the DJ dropped 400 points in 3 days. I hope all the rich people reading this blog can happily shrug it off.

    • Dimsdale on July 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Maybe if ?bama and the Dems could stop “helping” the economy with “stimulus” bills and bailouts, the market could recover and your paper wealth could reappear.
      The worst economy since the Great Depression started when the Dems took over Congress in 2007, and really tanked when they gained the White House.

  23. sammy22 on July 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Those recriminations do not get us out of the current situation. The Asian markets are in the red right now, that will probably be color for Europe and the US come tomorrow. The Repubs have cornered the market on the kool-aide. Nothing left for the rest of us.

    • Dimsdale on July 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      The recriminations can keep us from digging deeper!? The freshmen of the Congress are the only thing that is praiseworthy in D.C.? They are holding the line and putting the country before the politics.

  24. Lynn on July 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Oh, woe is me, sigh

  25. Lynn on July 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Or I should have said, Oh woe is thee

  26. sammy22 on July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Not only has Congress failed me (both houses, both parties), but Pres. Obama too.

    • GdavidH on July 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      It’s a tough pill to swallow. Or should I say serving of peas.

      ?They are all failing all of us….no matter which side you’re on. Question for you Sammy is….is it enough to make you NOT vote for Obama again??

    • Lynn on July 29, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Sammy, I’m sorry too.? Washington has gotten out of control. I don’t know how we can get it back. But my hope and change is this new crop of Republicans who seem to understand that crushing debt is bringing us to our knees. There is no strength in poverty for our nation, we are ripe for our debt holders to just walk right in. How do you say, Hi in Chinese?

  27. sammy22 on July 29, 2011 at 12:11 am

    And my answer would solve the problem? Brilliant!

    • GdavidH on July 29, 2011 at 10:35 am

      It would be a start!

  28. crystal4 on July 30, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Headlines today, the market had it’s worst week in a year.

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