December 2nd, 2009
07:15 AM ET

Dear President Obama #317: Look! I'm huge!

Reporter's Note: President Obama unveiled his plans for Afghanistan last night, to mixed reviews. I, however, have moved on to a different subject in my daily letter to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/BUSINESS/12/01/dubai.cast.adrift.ft/story.dubai.traders.gi.jpg caption="Emirati traders follow the market's movements in Dubai as the stock market plunged Monday." width=300 height=169]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, the international markets continue to roil in the wake of news from Dubai that Dubai World (which, I was surprised to learn is not a leisure-wear company…go figure!) is struggling with 60 billion dollars in debt. No doubt this is a matter of some concern to you, what with your efforts to right the economy.

“Rahm, fire off a memo to the United Arab Emirates, stat: ‘Thanks a lot, pals.’”

This is of some concern to me too, however, as now my entire Christmas card motif must be redesigned, since I was going with a “Wishing you the wealth of Dubai this holiday season,” theme. That said, once again I find the news rife with another cheery phrase that seems to have become awfully popular this past year, “too big to fail.” That’s what they are saying of Dubai World.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but as best I can tell, if Dubai World collapses the global economy will sink even lower, dogs will start living with cats, the oceans will rise forty feet, and there will never be another Brady Family reunion show.

All of which got me thinking, maybe I’m too big to fail too. Consider this: I am the primary breadwinner for a family of four with two kids heading into college. I have a mortgage that needs paying; cars that need gas, phones that need texting, and a dog that needs kibble. I buy clothing, go to movies, and eat in restaurants (granted, not as often as I once did) where waiters need tipping. I purchase old T-Rex songs on iTunes. We have cable. Sometimes I give the guy outside Union Station a dollar. See how many people are relying on the economy of me? Why if my job went south, an entire microsphere of economics would collapse and hundreds of people would gnash their teeth, crying in the fiscal wilderness, “What has happened? Where is Tom with his wondrous wallet?”

Not to mention that my daughters may well get married one day, and I’m pretty sure there is an entire lost tribe of folks out there awaiting my messianic arrival at that event at which, lore has it, I will be a veritable fountain of money to others.

I’m not sure precisely who should bail me out if I borrow too much, or lose my job, or fritter away my savings on investments in sheep futures, but I’m pretty certain someone will have to come to my rescue. Of course, I was pretty certain that the whole point of a free-market economy was that everyone assumed responsibility for his or her own risk, that anyone could rise to the top, and that no one was too big to fail; that’s what spurred competition and greater wealth for all. But apparently I was wrong about that.

The more I think of it, the more I like this idea and I may carry it out even further. Some day down the line when I lie on my deathbed, consumed by ennui; or when I find myself mowed down by a cross town bus as I absentmindedly step into the street amid daydreams of milkshakes, I will turn my eyes to the sky, raise a defiant fist and shake it at the heavens as I shout “I’m too big to fail!”

Anyway, nice speech last night. Best of luck with those plans, because all kidding aside, we all know how terribly important it is for all of us and especially our military families.

Anyway, call if you want to discuss the terms of my pending bailout; but be forewarned, I’m a tough negotiator. Ha!



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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