I’ve been trying to come up with the right words to say how I feel about the $700B giveaway to Wall Street. It is clear that measures to increase confidence in the markets are necessary and that the alternative – hanging all those Wall Street dealers by their balls – would not be civil (although it might make for good reality TV). It is unclear to me that a monetary bailout is either prudent or effective.
What bothers me greatly is that the issue of a housing market and lending bubble has been obvious for years, yet nothing was done to oversee or regulate those that were taking advantage of it. Even a television show was created to profit from the hysteria surrounding unsustainable home price escalation.
Wall Street and personal greed notwithstanding, this was a preventable calamity had Congress chosen not to look the other way until the crisis was upon us. Indeed, it appears that that the U.S. governs by crisis, that politicians have only enough political will to hope the problems away – until they are, too late, already in the belly of the beast (and us along with them).
To make it worse, bailouts create the expectation of future bailouts. This is an ever-tightening spiral that has us already circling the drain. We saw it in the 80′s with the S&L bailout and the creation of Resolution Trust; we see it today with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. Tomorrow it will be the airlines and automotive industries, and then the medical system.
I am so steamed about this because the people who are supposed to be leading this country have contorted the definition of leadership to the very exclusion of it. They bloviate whenever a camera is rolling, bicker about the other party throwing up roadblocks, pass pork-filled budgets and then have the gall to run for office based on proven leadership.
It’s time to throw the bums out. All of them. Every. Single. Incumbent. Maybe, just maybe, the next group of politicians will get the message that we’re fed up and just won’t take it anymore.