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It’s highly entertaining to watch the childish melodrama exhibited by many of our elected congressional “leaders” and their equally childish counterparts in the financial markets. These people (the news pundits, the politicians, and the investors) should all grow some intestinal fortitude, slow down, take a breath, and think through the financial crisis and so-called bailout carefully.

Yes, the cost of doing nothing will likely be high; but so will the cost of rashly doing the wrong thing.

Tomorrow morning, no matter what the markets do, my partner will still kiss me goodbye on her way to work. My cats will still lovingly harass me until I get out of bed to feed them. The sun will still come up. I’ll still need to pass water and break my fast. Yes, my retirement portfolio is much smaller this morning than it was yesterday… in fact, I lost more than my gross annual salary in one day of market histrionics. A lot of people did. Take a breath, the good news is that our portfolios will recover in time.

Our congress has accidentally and for all the wrong reasons actually done the right thing. The revised bill that failed yesterday needed to fail. It was a bad bill for hundreds of reasons that people much smarter than me have detailed at length. The roll call of votes and the comments afterwards are not only entertaining because of the silly melodrama, but they also demonstrate that congress is aware there is a problem and it needs addressing. They’ll eventually follow the wiser members of the American public and come up with a reasonable plan without the gaping holes in the one that got rejected yesterday. It’s sad that the so called leadership is not leading, but sometimes leadership has to defer to others… and in this case I think a time out is a good thing.

A deal will happen, it may be smaller (or larger), but it will likely be a better deal and one that more people can vote for without fear of losing re-election. No need to panic. Keep an eye out for possible buying opportunities in the next week or so. Good luck, hug your friends and family, and keep it real.

Update: Full disclosure; I am not a market analyst nor a financial expert by any means. I am a UNIX Systems Administrator/Analyst, a living history hobbyist, a political activist, a scuba diver, and I study the Lotus Sutra. I read others, and because people are asking I will share some of my sources on this issue:

Barry Ritholtz
Mark Blacknell
Ben Tomhave
Andrew Sullivan has links to many different explainations
Even BoingBoing has had lucid and interesting information; which is not what I’d expect from an entertainment site, but I’ll take it
BoingBoing Bailout Pros and Cons
As John Gruber implies – it’s a rare day when I find Newt Gingrich making sense, and even Newt is/was calling for slow deliberation.

Update 2: Robert Reich thinks a scaled down version will get passed this week.

Update 3: it looks like the Federal Reserve has been quietly lending huge amounts of money to the banks since Monday to improve market liquidity; if that does not help the problem a lot, it will at least buy us some time. Hat tip to Vivian Paige for catching this and pointing out.

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