Even with funny money banks refuse to take California IOUs

The name of Disney’s California Adventure park seems to have taken on ironic overtones of late. The WSJ reports:

iou A group of the biggest U.S. banks said they would stop accepting California’s IOUs on Friday … if California continues to issue the IOUs, creditors will be forced to hold on to them until they mature on Oct. 2, or find other banks to honor them. … The group of banks included Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., among others.

(Hat tip to the fine blog CalculatedRisk)

C’mon guys! It’s not like you’d be putting up your own cash. BofA, Citi and Wells Fargo have received $65 billion in fed funds. (JPMorgan has already paid back it’s $25B. It was either that or cut its CEO’s pay.)

You know things are bad when the banks won’t use their free money to buy something.

Here’s a fund raising idea: Maybe California should hold the mother of all Michael Jackson memorials and charge admission?

When helium balloons are outlawed, only outlaws will have helium balloons

California state Sen. Jack Scott doesn’t want your kids to have fun at their birthday parties! OK, so that’s not really the point of his bill to ban foil helium balloons but that sure is a better lead than he wants to prevent power outages caused when the damn things fly into power lines. There were 800 of those last year in the Golden State.

However — and I’m stealing the pun from the WSJournal here — he didn’t expect the issue to blow up in his face.

Last month, at a pro-balloon rally in a Pasadena park, protesters cheered as a group of children pounced on an effigy of Mr. Scott — made entirely of balloons. … Wedding planners, party organizers and balloon artists all rallied to the cause. The industry body, the Balloon Council, set up a Web site — www.savetheballoons.com — that urges people to contact their state representatives. Members began a grass-roots campaign to garner support.

There’s an industry group for this, who knew? What’s their magazine called, The Gas Bag?

You really should read the whole story. It’s filled (and not in a puff piece sort of way — ouch) with gems like this:

Others complained that balloon-sellers were an easy mark for legislators. “To them, we’re just the balloon people. We’ve got the big noses and the floppy shoes,” said Treb Heining, a balloon artist who began his career at 15 selling balloons at Disneyland and has since created installations for the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the professional-events services.”

Bravo to writer Amy Kaufman and the WSJ for this. Not only does the WSJ consistently produce some of the best serious journalism there is, they also produce some of the best intentionally funny journalism.