President Obama announced today that the nation's toxic assets will be stored at Yucca Mountain Repository, to remain undisturbed for tens of thousand of years. "It is hoped," Obama said, "That by that time somebody will have developed the ways and means to deal with them."
The toxic assets, a formidable mountain of troubled loans and mortgage securities from the real estate boom earlier this decade, will be encapsulated in the same type of containers originally designed to haul nuclear waste.
These strong, massive metallic cylinders are designed to retain their contents under the most unlikely accident conditions. The containers will be shipped by train-usually in the dead of night-along the same routes trains carrying nuclear waste would have traveled to Yucca Mountain in Utah.
The plan drew the immediate ire of bankers and environmentalists.
The bankers are worried that the toxic assets might leak out somehow, either in transit or once they are sealed within the mountain and contaminate the banking system again. Environmentalists, who once feared the transport, storage or even the handling of radioactive materials, think that toxic assets could do even worse damage if they escape.
Mr. Obama dismissed such worries saying "Those environmentalist-banker whacko's always need something to worry about. Everything's going to be fine. Just fine!"