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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • October 21, 2008
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The Economic Bailout - Enjoy The Fun 

Even economic bailouts follow the lifecycle – albeit a considerably distorted version of it.

After about 6 weeks of Early Struggle (is it this plan or that plan? Does the government invest or lend? Is this socialism? What will our constituents think? Is this working? …and the classic Early Struggle question: Do we have enough cash?), we’re now (believe it or not) in the ‘Fun‘ part of the cycle – “Whoo-hoo – we’ve got money to spend, and it’s gonna fix this mess!” – hence the current revival in stock markets world-wide.

In a very short period of time – a few more weeks at best, we’ll see the ‘Whitewater‘ hit as processes, policies and systems become vital to the smooth running of the bailout (they’re already there in very basic form, but the outcry about possible abuse and ‘fairness’ hasn’t started yet. When it does, watch Whitewater hit with a bang).

As the bailout is by and large being managed by governments at federal levels, the move from Whitewater into Predictable Success will be shortlived – so short as to be unobservable.

The enormous pressure to over-regulate (particularly given the roots of the economic problems, which largely arose because of lax regulation) means that pretty much immediately, the bailout will move into Treadmill, then quickly into The Big Rut, where it will stay for many decades – a gargantuan paper-pushing exercise providing safe and secure employment for hundreds, probably thousands, of people engaged in what will be essentially compliance functions.

Finally, in the distant future some new administration will ask if the Bailout program has run its course, and the Death Rattle will be heard – congressional / parliamentary debates about the program’s value and relevance, rearguard action by the program’s bureaucracy to protect their jobs, and at the end, the legislation to shut down the program and redirect its people, assets and activities elsewhere.

(The above is not intended as a political comment – just a reflection of the how the Predictable Success lifecycle applies to massive government intervention.)


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