Poll: How long before Congress is asked to pass another bailout?

Please vote in this poll using the sidebar.

How long before Congress is asked to pass another bailout?

  • Less than 6 months. (71%, 158 Votes)
  • 6 to 12 months. (21%, 46 Votes)
  • 1-2 years. (2%, 5 Votes)
  • 2+ years. (1%, 2 Votes)
  • No more bailouts will be necessary. (6%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 223

This poll will be active and displayed on the sidebar through 10.11.2008.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Lanny Poffo says:

    So I had the chance to see I.O.U.S.A. at the Uptown Cinema tonight. The director stuck around and answered a couple of questions after the show – one item that really struck home is that our current $10 trillion debt is not the full story. Our actual financial obligations are on the order of $53 trillion – the clip can be seen here.

    And we are just throwing more debt onto the pile every time we pass a bailout – what will it take to turn this boat around? One example really did stand out, backed by foreign debt holders, how long is it going to be until fiscal policy becomes heavily influenced by those debt holders? How long will those foreign bankers be held at bay while we continue to ask for more money?


  2. 2
    Matthew says:

    62 billion of the 85 billion dollar Fed bridge loan has already been used by AIG.

    I bet the 700 billion is used within a month.

  3. 3
    Sniglet says:

    There will be another bailout or stimulus package before the end of the year. There will be many more coming in the new year. Welcome to the age of the serial bailout, where every handout begets another.

    This crisis won’t end until every person who has more debt than their incomes can support has defaulted (which will include tens of more millions as unemployment picks up), leading to a final bottom in asset prices. This is YEARS away.

  4. 4
    richie says:

    This is a very poor poll. It designed to achieve the pre-determined mind of the pollster. I don’t know if the bailout plan will work or not. However, I strongly believe that there will be no more bailout plans for a long time, at lease over the remaining life span of the baby boomer generation. If the plan is working, we will be prosperous. If the plan does not work, we will be on the board of Titanic of the New Millennium.

  5. 5
    Sniglet says:

    Iceland may be suffering now, as the credit crunch bites deeper than it has almost anywhere else, but in a few years it may prove that the swift decline and massive waves of defaults (as virtually everyone in the nation defaulted on their debts) was the best solution to the calamity. Other nations, with deeper resources (like the US) are delaying the inevitable with massive bailouts, which may ultimately do nothing more than prolong the pain


  6. 6
    Markor says:

    What bailout does the poll question refer to? The one for the banks, that Congress just passed, or the one subsequently requested by Schwarzenegger to bail out California?

  7. 7
    Jonny says:

    richie: strike up the dance band cause this ship is too big to sink!

  8. 8
    TJ_98370 says:

    The linked AP article indicates for the bailout to work, housing needs to stop depreciating. Affordability issues coupled with tightened lending standards will almost guarantee housing will continue to depreciate. I guess we had better settle in for a long term “adjustment”. –
    For bailout to work, housing market needs to mend
    AP Business Writer Sat Oct 4, 2:47 PM ET
    NEW YORK – Washington’s financial bailout plan is now law. So the credit spigot will start flowing again, banks will resume lending, and an economic recovery can begin, right?
    Wrong. Experts say the most important thing that needs to happen before the $700 billion bailout even has a chance of working: Home prices must stop falling. That would send a signal to banks that the worst has passed and it’s safe to start doling out money again…..


  9. 9
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    ” I guess we had better settle in for a long term “adjustment””

    Or for a homeowner bailout bill. Thus why I chose the “next 6 months” option.

  10. 10
    TJ_98370 says:

    Good point. It appears that’s what the Dems want to do.

  11. 11
    Crusader says:

    Well I hope the prices stop going down, I need to flip some properties soon!

  12. 12
    Crusader says:

    I learned everything I need to know about “flipping” from this site:


  13. 13
    Jillayne says:


    “The linked AP article indicates for the bailout to work, housing needs to stop depreciating.”

    I definitely agree. But in order for banks to stay in business, they desperately need to make more loans in order to have revenue coming in every month.

    So, does that mean that the government just keeps bailing and bailing and bailing? I’m afraid the answer is yes.

    I think there’s a small chance that we could need the second bailout before the election. Wait; maybe there’s a large chance we need another bailout but a small chance of it actually happening before the election.

    How many more big banks are on death watch?

    Sniglet says we are years away. Sniglet, so this is the slow unwinding recession/depression instead of a 1929 crash, yes?

  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:


    Now, after having said the obvious common sense statement for our longterm future, I still don’t want the Titanic sinking this week. If the phony [how in Hades do we twist anyone’s arm to buy the Fed’s treasury notes?] bailout slows the Depression crash a couple more weeks or months; I’m for the tap dance act.

    Bring on the dancing girls to delay the obvious.

  15. 15
    softwarengineer says:


    China has stopped all loans to America, while their stock market went down 50%

    Even oil rich countries, like Russia and the Middle East, are seeing their stock markets collapse as oil and gold plummet in value; due to world depressionary deflation.

    Europe has its own bank crisis too:

    AP this morning states in part:

    “….By MATT MOORE, AP Business Writer
    54 minutes ago

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Germany joined Ireland and Greece on Sunday in guaranteeing all private bank accounts, putting Europe’s biggest economy at odds with calls for a unified European response to the global financial meltdown….”

    The rest of the URL:


    Where’s the Seattle Pink Pony flip floppers now? Homeless, living in their cars?

  16. 16
    Sniglet says:

    so this is the slow unwinding recession/depression instead of a 1929 crash, yes?

    Actually, the “crash” in 1929 wasn’t all that big of a deal. Stocks actually recovered most of their losses within a few months. The economy didn’t really start coming off the rails until ’31 and ’32. I think we are in a very similar progression right now. Things keep slowly going from one catastrophe to the next, with serial (and ineffectual) government/fed interventions.

    The EXACT same thing happened in ’30, ’31, and ’33.

    I think we have forgotten how slow the great depression actually progressed. We look back on October ’29 as some magical date, but to people living at the time it was not at ALL clear that the initial stock market crash was really the harbinger of hard times to come. It took YEARS for people to slowly acknowledge they were in an actual depression.

    If anything, what is stunning about events today is that our leaders are ALREADY talking about a possible depression, and we haven’t even had a stock crash!

  17. 17
    Scotsman says:

    When I worked in commercial banking many years ago, the first thing they taught a new lending officer was “you can’t borrow your way out of debt.”

    To this day, most people don’t get it. HELOC’s, debt consolidation loans,
    cash-back auto loans, government bailouts,…..

  18. 18
    Dave says:

    What do you mean “we haven’t even had a stock crash!” The Dow is 30% off it’s peak of one year ago. The broader indices are in the same ballpark. And as we slide into recession, falling corporate profits will only pull the market lower.

    All this excessive debt has caused a massive asset bubble, not just in housing. And as that debt unwinds, ALL assets will depreciate. Granted, stocks are not dropping overnight, but the trend is down, followed by more down.

    I have no doubt that history will have no trouble seeing this as a “crash”.

  19. 19
    david losh says:

    There was an exchange at a tech conference where Bill Gates took exception to a presenter’s assertion that the Third World was an untapped market for personal computers.
    Bill Gates shook his head to say the people in the Third World were living on a dollar a day so how would they ever afford a computer?


    The promise to pay is the corner stone of global commerce. Wake Up!

    We would all have to stop paying, today, all at once, for there to be an impact.

    We can take very crappy products, from let’s say some place like China, and there is a market for them some place in the world today. If you factor in financing those crappy products it doubles, triples, quadruples the return.

    Wake Up!

    Why would you give money to a financial institution to lend for you?

    Invest in yourself, your business, your employees, your neighbor, friend, or family. Financial Institutions have tons of cash you already gave them, they don’t need any more.

    Become your own stock market, buy your own assets.

    Oh yea, there was no bail out, suckers, Dick and George just got a golden parachute.

  20. 20
    david losh says:

    BERLIN – Germany on Sunday guaranteed all private bank accounts and negotiated a 50 billion euro ($69 billion) bailout deal for Hypo Real Estate AG as Europe’s second largest economy sought to ward off financial crisis.

    It really is called Hypo Real Estate and they can’t go under because they are involved in infrastructure deals, government I suspect.

  21. 21
    Dan says:

    This blog is losing it’s way. When Seattlites were gloating about their inflated home values, it was nice to come here for a dose of reality. I especially enjoyed Tim’s insightful analysis about the Seattle housing market. But lately this blog has become home to a flock of pessimists trying to outdo each other with their doom and gloom predictions for the future. Look at this poll – 66% think there will be another Congressional bailout within 6 months!? That is a reflection of this blog’s readership more than anything else. In the past, Seattle Bubble was a voice of sanity against a blizzard of hype. Now, it just parrots and amplifies the worst news printed in all the newspapers. All this cheerleading for economic collapse is pretty sick. It’s eerily similar to the hype from the boom, but just turned on its head.

  22. 22
    Euro says:

    I agree with Dan.

    I am also amazed by comments on this blog and elsewhere raging against government intervention and raising taxes while at the same time damning the ‘greed’ of wall street and ‘flipping’ properties as if there can’t be a causal connection between them.

  23. 23
    Jillayne says:

    Hi Dan,

    Sometimes I think of it as a hurricane watch. It’s coming. It’s moving inland, we’re not sure where it’s going to hit and how big of a storm it will be, but we know it’s coming because it’s windy and raining.

    I think very few are cheering right now. Many are gravely concerned.

    I don’t see much chest thumping. Instead it feels more like we all like the same band, and the name of the band is SEATTLE BUBBLE.


    “Seattle Bubble was a voice of sanity against a blizzard of hype.”

    Dan, wouldn’t it be something else if SB still is the voice of sanity?

  24. 24
    Sniglet says:

    I am also amazed by comments on this blog and elsewhere raging against government intervention and raising taxes while at the same time “golly”ing the ‘greed’ of wall street and ‘flipping’ properties as if there can’t be a causal connection between them.

    I, for one, certainly have not been laying all the blame of the current mess at the hands of Wall Street. I think that society, in general, deserves a lot of the blame.


    I do, however, think that government interventions in the economy (e.g. sponsorship of subsidized mortgages via GSEs and mortgage tax deductions, etc) were a bigger factor in causing the collapse than the lack of regulation.


    In fact, the very attempts of the government to “control” the economy and protect us from calamity made a catastrophe virtually inevitable as the moral hazard slowly built up. Why should any individuals, or businesses, take responsibility for their own investment decisions (e.g. ensuring they depost money in sound financial institutions) when they know the government will bail them out (e.g. FDIC, etc)?

  25. 25
    Sniglet says:


    It seems as if another of my posts (on this poll thread) has vanished. Does the SPAM system automatically munch any posts that have more than one URL?

  26. 26
    TJ_98370 says:

    Sixty Minutes investigates Wall Street’s credit default swaps, reputedly the major reason for the current economic crisis. Video and transcript –
    A Look At Wall Street’s Shadow Market

  27. 27
    Dan says:

    Hi Jillayne,

    Two quick comments. An increase in pessimism and a breakdown in trust will make any recession worse. Hurricane watches don’t intensify the hurricane.

    As regards to being the voice of sanity, Seattle Bubble used to run counter to most media. Now the media is very pessimistic as well and Seattle Bubble amplifies and echos it. So, the viewpoint here isn’t much different than anywhere else, just more strident.

  28. 28
    TJ_98370 says:

    I’ll try this again –
    A Look At Wall Street’s Shadow Market

  29. 29
    Jillayne says:

    Hi TJ_98370,

    Thanks for the link. That was an easy, 12 minute explanation of CDS’.

    Hi Dan,

    In terms of SB echoing sentiment, yes, I suppose that’s true. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because we’re facing such a large crisis that everyone is seeking to just simply understand and by talking with each other, we are trying to learn what’s headed our way so we can prepare. This is all admittedly just from my own vantage point. Lots of opinions on this blog. It’s like going to the grocery store.

    We don’t buy one of everything. We just purchase what we need that day.

  30. 30
    Ron says:

    OFFSUBJECT: Just was in Bellevue driving past Crossroad… Champaine Condo/Apartment was just about where all the Police And looked like possibly Firetrucks.
    They had the hole street blocked going down the main road looked like both sides, couldnt drive down the road- to see closer..

    . About 45 of the Worst looking attempt at flipping to condo- even as apartments they sceam low income- No Gas all electric 600 feet to roughly 900 feet of Just Expensive prices- they have dug such A big grave on this project, the Workmen on the site were wispering about they were rigging the Plumbing and the piping was so old they couldnt properly find the right fittings. They would tell me under there breath nobody should ever get into this place.

    Believe me Theres a Project that would just BE SCREAMING ARSON.. Nothing selling- Months now they been changing directions with trying to Sell then going to Change Back Rentals.. Then Back to TRYING TO SELL AGAIN…

    This Project if they are Burned down, the Insurence company better get there full team out there.. Because This And be almost 100% Fruadulent Arson Job..

  31. 31
    buyStocks says:

    I’m always suspicious of mainstream media. Doesn’t anybody think it’s odd that gloom and doom is the current mainstream media line with an election lingering so soon. This hype(founded or unfounded) will end up killing the incumbent chances to stay in office.

  32. 32
    b says:

    Dan –

    What are you seeing is a lot of people ahead of the curve, you should take some of it with a grain of salt but realize that a year ago most people didn’t even think there was a bubble (at least in Seattle). If you think the media has “caught up” and now this place is full of people who are just MORE gloomy than the media, I am sure you are going to be very depressed at the end of 2009 when the media has “caught up” again. Lord knows what people here will be posting by that point, probably trading locations where you can buy gas and ammo for Cascadia scrip. (this may or may not be a joke)

    I don’t look forward to what is coming down the pipeline because I think its likely my job will be effected negatively by it, which is never good. However I think its important to keep my eyes open so I can help soften the blow by positioning my own affairs accordingly. Clinging to the belief that all will be just grand with a phony bailout and thinking positive is a surefire way to be blindsided and broke down the line.

  33. 33
    buyStocks says:

    Judging from the asian markets, european markets, and the futures, looks like we could possibly start below 10K in the AM. Let the panic begin.

  34. 34
    Aaron says:

    Sniglet @ 24

    Why should any individuals, or businesses, take responsibility for their own investment decisions (e.g. ensuring they depost money in sound financial institutions) when they know the government will bail them out (e.g. FDIC, etc)?

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation provides insurance for your money. By using an FDIC insured bank, you are indirectly paying for insurance on your money in the form of lower yields. I would argue that an individual who relies on FDIC insurance to “bail them out” is being responsible and additional diligence to make sure the bank remains viable is, or should be, unnecessary. That’s why you pay for insurance.

  35. 35
    Jay says:

    Well, Bank of America seems to have started the “homeowner bailout” for Countrywide customers. I wonder if JPM and Wells would end up following suit, cause, once you buy mortgage assets written down to less than 50 cents a dollar, it becomes that much easier to work out new terms for the acquirer. Of course, Bank of America was forced to act only because Countrywide became the public enemy, but I think it’s definitely within a realm of possibility that the Congress acts to push for more “debt relief” and “homeowner rescues” in the months ahead, especially since it’s very much likely that Democrats will be controlling the House, the Senate, and the White House next year. In that case, it’s more likely that such plan would involve the government forcing banks to rewrite the mortgage terms before foreclosing on the property (because it would be politically easy and acceptable to say something like “it’s their turn to help out struggling homeowners after the 700 bln bailout!”) That would raise even more issues than the bailout since it would just be very unfair to majority of non-delinquent homeowners. However, people may be had at “help” and “homeowners”, just like how they can be easily had at “taxcut” and “rebates”.

    Bank of America press release:

  36. 36
    what goes up must come down says:

    little off topic, but I keep seeing houses on redfin that are being relisted with zero days on the market. I thought the law had changed so it was required to show cumalative days and this was supposed to fix the relisting game, any info would be appreciated.

  37. 37
    Buceri says:

    From 1976 movie “Network”; great film…rent it.


  38. 38
    Sniglet says:

    an individual who relies on FDIC insurance to “bail them out” is being responsible and additional diligence to make sure the bank remains viable is, or should be, unnecessary.

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that the FDIC is not a private insurer, it lacks the capitalization or cost structures that make the private insurers function. For example, banks that have riskier lending policies DO NOT pay more in premiums to the FDIC than those that are prudent. A private insurer would never allow this to occur (i.e. they would charge riskier policy holders much more in premiums).

    Consequently, consumers generally only care about picking the banks with the best customer service or interest rates rather than making their decision based on how prudent the institution manages its money. I call this irresponsible saving, and it has been encouraged by the existence of the FDIC.

    I am not against deposit insurance, I just believe that it should be structured quite differently, with better capital reserves and real penalties for lenders who decide to engage in risky behaviour.

  39. 39
    Sniglet says:

    Wow! It looks like those of us who predicted the Dow would hit 10,000 in 2008 were actually too bullish…

    I did, however, say that we’d be in 8500 range in 2009. I guess things are just moving along faster than anticipated.

    Oh, my prediction of only a 5% YoY house price decline for the Puget Sound looks a tad optomistic now too. I am thinking more like an 18% or 20% YoY drop by year end now (with much more to come in 2009).


  40. 40
    David McManus says:

    Yeah, when Jim Cramer is saying get out, you know it must be hitting the fan.


  41. 41
    anony says:

    So way back in July, 70% of readers thought the DOW would dip below 10000 within 11 months. The others, including myself, thought 10000 seemed insanely low. It took a whopping 2.5 months to get there. Dropping house prices are good, this seems bad. Stupid bankers.

  42. 42
    david losh says:

    I for one think the United States is in great shape financially and economically.
    Today you are seeing the global, world, reaction to a credit crisis.

    Let’s look at China, the economy built on manufacturing. Real Estate prices have gone much higher in metropolitain areas than that wage force could ever afford. I was in Barcelona this year and Real Estate prices there have tripled in ten years with forty year mortgages. Barcelona is trying to find an economy, they are pushing to be the fore front of the “digital economy” in Spain, whatever that means.

    The United States by comparison to the rest of the world is fairly stable. We do have things called the FDIC, whatever that means, OK I know what it means.
    We have the strongest economy, the most ability to recoup loss, or to make money out of nothing.

    Without this blog none of this would register with me. This is just information that I don’t see it in the main stream press.

  43. 43
    Sniglet says:

    I think David is absolutely correct in saying that the US will weather this downturn better than most other nations. The bubble grew even bigger elsewhere. It wasn’t just US real-estate that was bid into the stratosphere. Sure, we will experience greater than 80% price drops in Puget Sound real-estate before all is said and done, but most people will still have jobs. By contrast, I expect unemployment rates in places like China and India to far exceed 30%, with outright starvation becoming a normal occurance once again in some regions.

    And this doesn’t count the bloody revolutions and civil wars that will break out in many developing nations.

    Emerging market stocks fell the most in at least two decades and exchanges in Brazil and Russia were forced to halt trading as the global banking crisis escalated in Europe and oil fell below $90 a barrel.

    Brazil’s Bovespa index tumbled 10 percent, while Russia’s Micex Index plunged 18 percent before trading was halted for a second time today. Indonesia and Saudi Arabia lost the most in at least six years. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slumped 10.5 percent, the biggest intraday loss since 1987 when Bloomberg records began.


  44. 44
    Ron says:

    Hey Dan.. I was already there, way before this became a trend here then again I dont think anything will look like the great depression, We will be Driving Hummers and some pretty sweet rides arround, heck those guys back in the Great Depression couldnt do that.

    Also Guns have improved A-LOT.. Just think we could stock up on Blackmarket Granades and Semi Automatics, now those guys in the Depression couldnt do that… Plus IPODS- Computers well be all hooked up to Seattle Bubble and helping tim out with donations of food and Bullets…hahaha THINGS ARE GOING TO BE SWEET..

    Im going to shoot the Bum next to me if he doesnt keep his hands off my 30 inch LCD Apple Cinema display.

  45. 45
    Dan says:


    You are right. Talking about and trying to understand the current economic situation is something that is useful. However, when a sizable portion of the posters here are trolls saying, “it’s time to stock up on guns, blah blah blah”, it doesn’t make for very interesting reading. Dear survivalists, please move to your compound in Idaho and leave civilization to the rest of us.

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