New Fed doctrine emerges on bailing out pet stores

We won’t back you if you put dogs and cats in the same day-care room, or sell gluton-based derivatives in place of kibbles.

From: Ben Bernanke, chairman Federal Reserve Board
To: Lucille DePew, owner Pawtisserie Pet Bistro
Re: Federal assistance

Ms. DePew:

We regret to inform you that the Federal Reserve Board of Governors has rejected your request for a government bailout of your animal-oriented food provision business.

We accept your contention that the Pawtisserie Pet Bistro is the linchpin of the canine entrée economy of Waukamule, N.J. However, both Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and I believe that the impending bankruptcy of your store does not, as you contend, “threaten a collapse of the world financial order so bad it will blot out the sun.”

We understand that the possible loss of an entity that has been a fixture of the community for almost a month is upsetting to you and Mr. Blister, your beagle/bichon frisé mix. And we admired the creativity of your application. The use of “gluten-based calorie derivative” in place of “kibble” was a particularly nice touch.

However, we did not find the phrase “too weepy to fail” convincing. Visa and MasterCard are credit cards – not financial “counterparties.” And George Soros says he is not your aunt’s second cousin.

Other points from our analysis:

1. At $35, your Duck a l’Orange for Doggies may have been overpriced. Do dogs even want French cuisine? Ours eat sticks.

2. Dog day care – good idea. Cat day care – bad idea. Dog and cat day care in same room – certain police call.

3. Sponsoring a team in the Tour de France was not the best use of your marketing dollars.

Moving forward, the good news is that you may have more time than you think to reorder your finances. Your credit provider, The Third National Bank of Waukamule, invested too heavily in euro-denominated double salchow credit swaps.

They’ll be busy – they’re being absorbed by Disney on Ice. Plus, if you count the pallets of rain-damaged kitty litter in the back, your net worth at the moment is greater than that of GM. Only in America!

cc: Barney, White House Chief of Canines

• Peter Grier is a Monitor staff writer in Washington.

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