While you were out….

Dear O,

I hope all is going well on your whirlwind trip across America. Oh, and we saw you on the Tonight show. Unfortunate choice of words; you should have said I’M like special Olympics or something. Not IT’S. Or It’s like I’m in the special Olympics or something. It really didn’t make sense the way you put that sentence together. Anyway, the girls and I are having tons O fun here in the O-val Office. I was digging in your top drawer today looking for your gum (Malia said Nicorette was disgusting, I had to prove her wrong) and I came across the “FINANCIAL MESS” file. Well of course, as little girl of the house while you’re gone, I decided to help you out. I sat right down in your big, stiff, cold chair and started to work on a plan that, I think, will really help to ease the worries of the American public. It’s called “We’re having a meltdown” (If you see A Star is Born and notice the little number a one Marilyn Monroe sings quite love-a-lee, you’ll catch my vision)

Stra-tee-geery! (I know you love it when I say it) Stra-tee-geery! Stra-tee-geery!!!!

Operation “We’re having a meltdown America”

1. First of all, we need Americans to understand that we’re fucked. Seriously fucked. I think the best way to grab the public’s attention is to roll out an edgy ad campaign. 

We’ll get depressed celebrities to film short PSA spots. They’ll go a little something like this:

“Hi, I’m Owen Wilson and I’m depressed. America, it’s time to admit you’re depressed too.”

I’ve already talked to the publicists for Britney Spears, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Aniston and I thought it would be best if you called Oprah yourself.

2. We’re trying to get rid of toxic assets on bank balance sheets right? Well, I say put them in a grab bag. Everybody loves grab bags. It’s like the lottery! “What am I going to get, what am I going to get” ‘Damn, half of the lower ninth ward and half a billion in AIG, pardon, AI”U credit default swaps. Fuck! orrrrrrrrr…… “Yes! A housing development in Elk Grove!” 

3. Slogans! We need snazzy one liners for Americans to throw around. Americans are only into something if it can be summed up in either a country song or a one liner. I’m not a country singer, so we thought one liners would be the next best thing, and bumper stickers, shirts and stickers create revenue. The girls and I are going to handle this one for you. We’ve already thought of  a few. (See if you can spot mine!)

“It’ll all work out. And if not, it should have!”

“If America can’t get out of the red, I shouldn’t have to get out of bed!”

“America: Fucked now and fucked later.”

“Cats are cute, and I love my dad.”*

*Malia is having trouble with the concept of a slogan. I know how you feel O, but I think it’s time for private school.

4. Less is more than enough! America is way too big to manage as a country. I say we get rid of some property and raise revenue: Win/Win! 
Lets sell Texas to the Mexican government.* Their drug war is already spilling into Texan cities anyway. And Montana is always bragging about how they only have six or seven people per square mile, so I figure we can relocate Texans to Montana. Same thing right? Pretty much, after most of the nonwhite population stays in Texaco. 
And instead of consulates, I say we sell entire cities to countries. San Francisco can be sold to China. Spokane to Russia. And we can make New York a worldwide time share: France gets a month, Israel a month (at a discount), Africa a week (pro bono) etc… It’s time, O, we need to liquidate America!!!!!

*assuming at press time that the mexican government still had control over Mexico. If not, we sell Texas to the drug lords. 

5. Brackets! You love brackets! I love brackets! America is crazy for brackets! I propose the following to help America get excited about impending doom:


Let’s put the banks into four regions, and see which beat each other out for the title of the worst bank in America.

I know you’re busy with your tour and doing your NCAA bracket (And it really hurts that you picked UNC over my beloved Zags) so I decided to do your picks. I’m finished with your sweet sixteen. Here’s my, ugh, your list.


Floridian Bank, hailing from Ormond Beach, Florida. This young bank boasts a slightly high leverage ratio of 12.85 and at press time was in the red. But with smart plays, like contributing to the Kosmas for Congress campaign, dashing leader CEO Thomas Dargan is hoping to not pull out the upset of a lifetime. Deposits will probably remain safe and sound, and, depending on the impending hurricane season, maybe even underwater.

Columbus Bank Trust, hailing from Columbus, Georgia. This mature bank enjoys relative anonymity, most likely because of it’s uber reclusive CEO Samuel Wellborn. Welldone. But they have to show their cards sometime, and with their penchant for commercial lending and fairly high leverage ratio, 12.67, we can bet those cards are red.

Tri Parish Bank, hailing from Eunice, Louisiana. In the black at press time. But CEO Jerry Reaux is almost too confident. Last week he said of his team “We’re strong, we’re well capitalized.” Tri Parish could be the 2009 AIG ugh, AIU. Mr. Reaux and his team bring to mind the comments made by Joseph Cassano in August 2007 in response to the worry of investors. Just months before a government takeover he, as Aig’s head of financial products said in regards to his company’s CDOs that “it is hard for us, without being flippant to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing a dollar on any of these transactions.” If Reaux is the new Cassano, then Tri Parish is the new AIG-U. If that happens, they should advance.

Roanoke Rapids Savings Bank hailing from– wait, I have no clue where they hail from. But they’re a mature bank established in 1914. They could be the Cinderella of the tournament. 


Wells Fargo hailing from San Francisco, California. The big number one seed in the tourney. Many see their penchant for piggyback loans as the main reason for the high seeding. CEO Dick Kovacevich raised eyebrows after accepting 25 Billion in bailout monies and then turning around and criticizing TARP. This is one to watch.

Arrowhead Community bank hailing from Glendale, Arizona. Low leverage ratio, FDIC regulated and conservative loan programs mean they shouldn’t get past the elite eight.

Pacific Rim Bank hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii. Slim chance of advancing, but I know you have a soft spot for Hawaii O. Good Luck.

First Utah Bank hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. Donated to the Mitt Romney campaign, which means they have a connection to the Mormon church. Any bailout money, if needed, would probably come from the Mormon church itself. Sill one to watch; Mormons are always unpredictable- at least they are on television.


Bank of Wisconsin hailing from Wisconsin Wells, Wisconsin. Their banking practices make as much sense as the new state motto. Should be an interesting one to watch.

STC Capital Bank hailing from St. Charles, Illinois. Young bank with a fairly high leverage ratio, but smartly stayed out of the sub-prime mess for the most part. Only a poorly researched Oprah show on “The state of banks in Illinois” could cause it’s collapse. Unless Oprah can singlehandedly cause a run on the banks, it looks like its run in the tourney will be short lived.

United State Bank hailing from Lewiston, Missouri. Stability and a conservative loan portfolio is probably going to keep this one from advancing. True, they’ve been around the block a few times, but only to grab Venti Coffees from the Starbucks around the corner. 

The First State Bank of Ransom hailing from Ransom, Kansas. At press time they are in the black, but a high leverage ratio of 21.43 and a specialty in Agricultural loans mean they have a good chance of advancing- and even better chance that pitchforks will factor into this banks eventual dismantling.


CHASE hailing from Newark, Delaware. The big number one seed out of the east, they are led by all star CEO Jamie Dimon who wowed investors by accepting a government bailout and then promptly pledging 400 million to help with the outsourcing of jobs to India. Some say Chase is the true (foreign) people’s  champion. 

Sturdy Savings Bank hailing from Stoneharbor, New Jersey. Their name is their game. Led by employee of the quarter Barbara Niemczak, this commercial lending specialist has a reasonable 11.31 leverage ration. Probably go out early.

Cambridge Trust Company hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Somehow managed to keep a low leverage ratio, 7.86, despite the fact that mortgage lending is their specialty. And CEO Joe Roller isn’t afraid to throw a log on the fire when things get a bit chilly. Of course he’s throwing that log to fuel the fire in  the fireplace that is located in his lavishly decorated office. 

Farmers and Merchants hailing from Upperco, Maryland. The leverage ratio is average. The specialty, commercial lending, a bore. They’ve been around almost a hundred years. I’d bet a week’s allowance they aren’t getting out of the sweet sixteen.

Okay, there you are, O, I did your brackets, took care of the advertising and even cleaned up a bit of the ashes left around your desk. (If Michelle catches you sneaking cigarettes she’s going to be pissed.) I think if we roll out the new “We’re having a meltdown” campaign by the end of this week, we should see results by May. Oh, and I got your note about the gangs. I’m on the case. Peace out homie…..

Your loving and (mostly) obedient, 
Sweet Pretty Young, Nola Shumway.

P.s. Vladimir says hi.

2 responses to “While you were out….

  1. Amazing!! Leave it to you to make this funny!! Great job!!

  2. I think this is one of your best ones yet. I love this little girl sitting in the white House, munching on Nicorette and saving the world. I was most amazed at your vast knowledge of banks around the nation…put down the Wall St. Journal!!!

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