Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


Robert's Money

By Dian Vujovich

The funny thing about money is it makes everybody crazy.

Word that millions will be doled out in bonuses this year to Wall Street firms that got bailout money doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks. Myself included.

My angst began way back when then president George with the “W” middle initial allowed bundles of money to be given, or lent, to companies considered too big to fail. I never bought that story because it seemed to come out-of-the-blue.

Anyone who has lived long enough and pays at least a little attention knows that big businesses don’t usually go bust from one day to the next. There are always rumblings of some sort before hand. Plus, most biggies don’t fail because someone comes in and buys them out. But before those autumn days last year, I’d never read or heard a word about financial institutions like AIG or Lehman Brothers struggling. Had you?

As for that something is too big to fail notion, anything can fail.

Washington, as we know, bought the story and opened the taxpayer’s coffers to a number of firms in a couple of different payouts. The bulk of those dollars have’t begun to be repaid. I’m not even sure if each firm has one of those little coupon booklets to see that repayment happens in an orderly fashion.

That said, repayment isn’t my point here. Having others think you’re broke and those others then deciding to help you out financially only to see you take that money and go on a buying spree, however, is. And that reminded me of an “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode.

In it, Robert was having a tough time financially. He had cut back on all sorts of living expenses—like food—and Debra felt sorry for him. So sorry that she talked Ray into giving him some money.

Raymond, of course, is thinking a few hundred bucks while Debra has $1000 in mind. She wins and they give Robert a check in that amount.
Thinking, as naturally many might, that he would be grateful and use the money wisely blah, blah, blah.

Well, in the next scene, in walks Robert carrying a suitcase. Where’s he going? To Las Vegas for a little holiday vacation.

Ray, Debra, Frank and Marie all flip out. Robert, on the other hand, figures that he didn’t have the money before so couldn’t afford a vacation but now that he had an extra thousand dollars, he’d take one.

Sort of explains it all, doesn’t it.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]