Tuesday, September 9, 2008
US Treasury to bail out Cuba
In a surprise news release destined to foreshadow the upheaval in the markets for months to come, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced that the Treasury would be injecting up to $500 billion into the isolated communist state of Cuba. The small island country was recently ravaged by consecutive hurricanes.
"We've used Cuba as a strategic red herring for many years. To allow Cuba to fail now would deprive of us an important ideological and imaginary enemy, right there on our own shores," said Paulson yesterday. "Without Cuba to bash as an example of the failure of Neo-Marxist communism, we would have to turn our eyes to Haiti, or the Dominican Republic," he paused, "and they really don't work within the confines of our military rhetoric."
Cuba, which for years has barely hung onto a diminishing balance sheet due to forced liquidation of assets, like Model T Fords, cigars, grumpy old guys, and floating car boats, had not been seeking bankruptcy protection, or any other form of help from the US. Cuba's net worth is estimated at 100 billion (US), less than five times the amount the US Treasury is seeking to inject. However, by taking out various loans from Venezuela, China, and Russia, all close Cuban allies, it has a book to loan value of seventy-four. A standard acceptable book to loan value of a bank in the United States is ten. The US itself has a book to loan value of about one gazillion.
"Die, American pigs!" wrote Raul Castro, in response to repeated email inquiries. Fidel Castro was regrettably unavailable for comment.
The capital injection will begin as soon as the Treasury can ramp up dollar bill production using unskilled immigrant labor. The cash will be delivered to Cuban nationals in Miami for distribution through their network of relatives who live in underground caves outside Havana.
"It's a short term, necessary evil," said Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. "I mean, what's more American than owning your own home, watching the New York Yankees play baseball on a flat screen TV in your living room, and hating Cuba?"