Thursday, August 27, 2009

Financial innovation - with a dash of celebrity to spice things up!

We open today by paraphrasing The Terminator's Sarah Connor:

"Come on. Do I look like the mother governor of the future? I mean, am I tough, organized? I can't even balance my checkbook!"

Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of the beleaguered state of California, is tough, no question about that - he's the Terminator, for Christ's sake - but he is certainly having enormous and well-publicized problems balancing the checkbook of the state he runs.

What's a governor like Arnold going to do? Apparently he's borrowing an innovative financial tactic from another Sarah in his life - Sarah Palin - he's selling things on eBay.

(Of course there was no end of controversy about Palin's claims to have sold the state's plane on eBay, but that's another story for another time...)

According to Money Central on msn.com, the Governor is autographing automobiles to sell on eBay, in an attempt to close the deficit gap. Used cars. (Maybe he got a deal on all the clunkers now clogging the lots.)

eBay - the future of financing in government! That's innovation we can bank on, for sure!

Here's to hoping that Arnold has more luck selling used cars and office furniture with eBay than Sarah had with her plane.

For more, see below...

California unloads on eBay
Posted on MSN's MoneyCentral on Aug 26 2009, 12:44 PM by Kim Peterson

How bad are times for California? So bad that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now autographing used cars to sell online.

Oh yes, it has come to this. The state, in desperate need of cash, is cleaning out its storage and putting items up for sale on eBay (EBAY), Craigslist and other places, The Los Angeles Times reports. And with a signature from the Governator, maybe those things will bring in a little more cash.

A 2002 gold Ford Focus with some 108,000 miles on it, for example, had Schwarzenegger's autograph on the visor and was going for $2,125 on eBay. The state will hold a two-day auction for other items starting Friday in Sacramento.

There are other deals to be had, the Times reports. Some are unclaimed items, or stuff that has been confiscated by law enforcement. A 10-carat gold ring. Earrings. On Craigslist, seven wood coat racks going for $5 each.

You can read more about the "Great California Garage Sale" by clicking on the state's site here. And the items on eBay are listed right here.

I might be persuaded to buy this $30 office desk if Schwarzenegger personally carried it into my house and repainted it. And the way things are going, he just might agree to do to that.

1 comment:

Taunter said...

I think it is a pretty good idea - certainly beats leaving the stuff in storage, and if Arnold's signature increases the value, might as well go with it.

If CA really wants to close its funding gap, though, it should push for legalization of marijuana. Full legalization, and associated tax revenue, would create an enormous conflict with the Federal government, but in the meantime, simple decriminalization would clear overcrowded prisons and spare the $47,000/yr California spends on each inmate.

Taking care of the little things is good practice, but given the choice between the big things and the little things, hit the big ones.