In 1929, They Were At Least Good Enough to Jump off Ledges

Economics, Ethics, Politics, Society, The Economic Beat
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson after talking with Congress, last Thursday.  

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson after talking with Congress, last Thursday.

Not ask for another hand-out.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Take away economic regulation, and let “conservative” financial players run things, and you wind up with over-extended, over-leveraged economies, just waiting to collapse.   Add in the Fed keeping interest rates low to fuel the housing bubble, just to convince everyone that they too can become rich in the superheated housing market.

The only problem with superheated markets, is people get burned.  

People got mortgages that they couldn’t afford, just to put money into the hands of the mortgage brokers, the investment bankers, and the credit rating agencies.  

When the housing bubble cooled, it started to collapse under it’s own weight, and the people least able to own their own homes, were the first hurt by it.  The fast shuffle to make those sub-prime mortgages look like some hot new derivative helped to offload some of the pain overseas, but now our trading partners can’t trust us anymore.

And now, since we can’t unload the “sub-prime” debt packages, the investment bankers are stumbling, collapsing, dying of corporate heart attacks down on Wall Street.  The government has been forced to step in and rescue those companies who have made the riskiest deals while those who tried to maintain some level of sanity were left to fail, and burn-out on their own.

So let’s look at this planned bailout.  

The gentleman who’s come up with the bail-out plan is Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.  He’s an investment banking insider, who left Goldman Sachs after over 20 years to serve as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury.

The Paulson Rescue Plan is receiving flack from both parties, while the Fed Chairman is pushing hard to get it approved as quickly as possible.  

The plan would spend between $700 billion and $1 trillion (on top of the $600 billion already spent in the past year) to avoid the ongoing meltdown of the US financial system.

The Treasury, rather than creating a new government entity to manage the recovery, plans to seek additional authority to deal with this crisis.

Paulson’s plan calls for “temporary asset relief” to take bad mortgages off the books, by having the treasury department buy them from ailing and failing financial institutions.  And frankly, speaks of granting the Secretary of the Treasury unbelievable carte-blanche to take whatever actions he feels are necessary, with no other government oversight.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama fears that the Bush administration is basically just “…lurching from one crisis to another…” and said the administration doesn’t “…have a superplan to deal with this. … We want to see the plan.”  He indicated that the Paulson bailout package isn’t a done deal yet, but recognizes “…there’s a crisis, there’s stress, in the financial markets we haven’t seen in, say, 70 years.

Senator Jim DeMint told the Los Angeles Times “What is missing from it and the recent string of bailouts is a committment to return to a free enterprise economy… What we need now is not what could be nearly a trillion dollars in new taxpayer bailouts, but pro-growth policies that allow our markets to correct and start growing again.

That all sounds fine and good gentlemen, but frankly without some regulation on all those pro-growth policies, we’ll be in the same mud-hole, again, in short order.

I personally can’t see where a bail-out without fiscal responsibility, and seriously scaled back escape clauses for the corporate Pirates (uhm, I think the word is CEOs?) who caused this mess, will not do anything more than funnel more and more money into the hands of those who willingly, eagerly, caused this economic nightmare.

2 Responses

  1. [...] Mike Cane makes 16 points that should frighten you, and help you to see why some bail-out package is essential, even if the current bail out package isn’t an acceptable solution. [...]

  2. Adam  •  October 4, 2008 @9:29 am

    Here’s a video that explains it all!

    Dr. ‘Evil’ Paulson - A Really big number

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