April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Former head of Treasury's Office of Financial Stability, Neel T. Kashkari, was named today as the director of the new Department of Homeland Economic Stimulus. The 35 year old Kashkari said in his first statement to reporters that the much needed stimulus cards will be in the mail as soon as May 1.
"People will be able to spend the entire $400 billion stimulus into the economy by Memorial Day", said the giddy Kashkari, "and the lottery system will ensure that they do."
The emergency stimulus bill rushed through Congress last Tuesday included the creation of the National Stimulus Lottery System, in which specially earmarked 20 year Treasury notes will be sold to the Federal Reserve Bank in order to finance the new $1 billion dollar lottery. 1,000 lucky Americans will have $1 million credited to their new Stimulus Debit Cards as early as July 4, 2009.
In order to qualify for the lottery, one must be in the top 25% of the fastest people to spend all of their $1,500 stimulus money. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a statement Friday that this incentive should significantly improve the velocity with which this stimulus impacts the economy. He noted that last year's $600 stimulus checks were slow and in some cases invisible to the economy as people either hoarded the money or paid down their debt.
Bernanke explained that the control available through the use of debit cards instead of checks combined with the added incentive of the lottery will totally eliminate this problem.
Included in the stimulus bill was a list of restrictions to the use of the Stimulus Debit Cards. Banks will be blocked from receiving deposits or administering cash through ATM machines with the new cards. Mortgage companies and credit card companies will also be blocked from receiving payments from the cards. "The idea is that we want this money to be spent into the system, not to be hoarded, saved, or used to pay down debt. These things are simply not healthy in our consumer driven economy", said Kashkari.
Bloomberg has figured that the most enterprising recipients should be able to spend their $1,500 within 30 minutes of receiving the cards in order to qualify for the lottery. The recent deflation has brought the price of 52 inch LCD televisions down to only $1,499, which are expect to be a hot item in May.
The new Stimulus Cards will be issued to every adult over the age of 18 with a Social Security number. People without a current mailing address on file with the IRS will have to wait in line at their local post office beginning on May 10. The cards will be imprinted with the recipients name and social security number and are non-transferable.
All recipients are being told to retain the cards even after the $1,500 is spent. If another stimulus is required to jump start the economy, new cards will not be issued. Instead, the Director of Homeland Stimulus will be able to credit new money directly to the original cards. The idea has also been floating through the halls of Congress that the new Stimulus Debit Cards would be a great way to strategically inject stimulus money into very specific areas of the economy that need the money most, like the unemployed, the homeless, and the inner cities.
Critics of the program say that it opens the door to hyper-inflation. But proponents argue that countries like Zimbabwe don't even have this kind of cutting edge technology available to them. They also say that the US dollar cannot be hyper-inflated because there are simply too many of them out there in the world, it is already "too big to fail".
Reported by Karl Shedlock in Washington
Email at KShedlock3@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: April 19, 2009 10:16 EDT
Attention: The above story is not a real news story. It is satire, and it is dated in the future. It is not meant to be a prediction, only to make a couple points and to make you think about the possibilities for hyperinflation.