Friday, September 26, 2008

Brother, can you spare a dime?

There’s a lot of hooey from Washington about the financial crisis. Political theater, political drama. Fascinating if it weren’t so frightening. Ask a Washington Mutual stockholder who just lost everything this morning.

However, for those of us who think we aren’t being told the complete truth, there’s this viewpoint from the left:

"It's more hype than real risk," said James K. Galbraith, a University of Texas economist and son of the late economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith. "A nasty recession is possible, but the bailout will not cure that. So it's mainly relevant to the financial industry."

“The Paulson plan will get some bad assets off the balance sheets of troubled Wall Street institutions and commercial banks. That may help thaw the lending freeze.

“But it wouldn't reduce the crush of homes in or near foreclosure, said Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That's a problem that will surely grow worse if the U.S. economy enters recession, leading to greater job losses, which feed a vicious downward spiral of even more foreclosures and defaults on car loans and credit-card debt.

“Americans are spooked by talk that financial Armageddon awaits.”

Mebbe. But the credit market froze up this morning. The first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Were it not for the seriousness, I would change channels. Frankly, I am weary of John McCain’s stunts. His antics are dramatic – but lacking in real, substantive leadership.

And I never thought I would say this, but I am beginning to feel sorry for Sarah Palin, who is clearly in over her head. McCain fed her into the meat grinder with but one thought in mind – winning the election.
How calloused.

C’mon. let’s go get a cup of coffee. And see if we can still cash a check.


Anonymous said...

You really said it correctly..I, too, feel sorry for the woman. You could pull ANY female top executive of a big company and she would be a better fit. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he decided to bring her to the forefront.


Anonymous said...

As a revalation it came to me that McCain was manipulating his conservative House base...diss the plan....then I will meet with you after the disastrous WH meeting (he said later he knew the plan was dead before he went there) and then I will proclaim with my leadership I saved the day. Watch it...could happen if there is a debate tonight...on the debate.


Anonymous said...

Whoa. Wait a minute. Feel sorry for Sarah Palin? Not a chance. Fixing supper last night, it flicked across my mind like the briefest of shadows that I maybe just might ought to think about perhaps feeling a smidgen bit of sorry for her. The impulse was gone before the thought had finished its sentence. Just like I'd feel sorry for anyone who makes a fool of herself/himself in public, maybe perhaps maybe I should. But no way. She'll write this all down in her memoirs (sold to National Enquirer in installments for millions) as her journey to Washington, win or lose, as a champion of all that's right and holy. She's self-righteous, embarrassing, and insulting to women like me across the nation. She does not need, deserve, or want my "sorry for her". And I can't and won't bring myself to give it.
Mystery Woman

Anonymous said...

My theory is that McBush is smarter than we think. I believe he knows that the Repubs/Neocons have so thoroughly messed up every aspect of our country (financial ruin, housing meltdown, thousands of US lives lost for an ego war, corporate greed gone crazy, U.S. debt in overdrive, ignoring and trashing of the US Constitution -- need I continue?) that McBush feels this country is in too big of a mess and his 72-yr-old brain can't figure out how to get us out of it. So he puts a Uber NeoCon Helicopter-Hunting Twit on his ticket (pls don't give me that "sexist" BS, I am a femi-Nazi from wayyyyy back) and that kicked off his campaign of self-destruction. Then he leaves President Obama to clean up all of this mess, which is so bad that who knows is President Obama can even fix it in 4 years . . .then the REALLY old and really forgetful 'maverick' will try to blame everything on President Obama and try to swoop into the rescue. That's my theory and I am sticking to it.

Or . . . .maybe McBush is just a drama queen and he has no ideas and no real plans to get us out of the mess his GOP put us in and he really is self-destructing.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JohnSBoles said...

Probably not McCains best move to suggest he was unwilling (unable) to do two important things at once.

The South Plainsman said...

Well, I don't feel sorry for Palin, nor for the stockholders of all those financial institutions. I feel sorry for all the good folks who are going to be out of work or out of money over this.

Most of them didn't see this coming, but all of us should have. This was inevitable once we in the United States started consuming on credit 40 years ago. That was when our balance of trade began to be a deficit. This was mostly caused by paying all that money for oil.

As time progressed, virtually our entire population started doing the same. Consuming on credit! Credit cards became ubiquitous, and people charged several up to the limits. National savings rates went down until they reached zero so then we had to start funding all of our deficits overseas. Because credit card bills were so high people started tapping into their home equity. And the beat has gone on....and on....and on.

Now its payback time and everyone wants to spread the blame. We can blame Congress, we can blame whichever President we wish, we can blame all the greedy bankers. And we would be right.

But if we really want to place the blame correctly, we can just look in the mirror. Just like Pogo says: We have met the enemy and he is us.

We were all the ones who were too greedy and in too much of a hurry for the good things in life that instead of working and saving for them, we borrowed. A new HDTV...just charge it and pay later.

Most all of us with Depression Era parents were taught better than that. Some people never learn. Like Santayana said: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Hopefully not. But I would get ready for it.

Max Fischer said...

great stuff, SP. In fact, I blog'd about the prospect of a recession this morning (not sure if I've earned a spot on the GP blog roll yet) and threw it out there that a recession might be, in the long run, the very thing we need. Of course my (many of our) retirement account weeps and shrinks as I type, so this isn't what I'm rootin' for, mind you. I'm just wondering if the best thing for all of us is one long purge and a colon cleanse. Let's see what we're all made of. The irony is (I feel) that the demographic that will roll up their sleeves first and get bustin without complaining is the 75-and up crowd that grew up as children of the recession. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I know that this is a supposedly liberal blog,other than the SouthPlainsman and myself, I guess that's why we never hear about how far back this mess actually was born. Clinton,Kennedy,Franks,Dobbs, were all responsible for refusing to consider legislation when it was obvious that shennegans were taking place.
Do I feel sorry for Sarah Palin?Yes! because the liberals have done everything possible to drag her through the mud.Thank God she has the character to stand up to the malicious stories about her.he libs can't stand her because she has turned the election around. I feel very comfortable about her and yes she is more of a woman than the liberals who malign her.
Can't wait for the debate and watch Obama stumble over his tongue.-------Goose

Max Fischer said...

Sarah Palin can stand and fall on her own, and she does both very well. Conservative writer Kathleen Parker said it best today though. This was pure political pandering to the fractured base of a wobbling party.

The South Plainsman said...

Max, I just bookmarked your blog. I suspect we agree on a lot of things.

I would never want another Depression. Having said that, if we pass the bailout as proposed by Paulson as amended in the Congress so far, we will get all those big institutions off the hook, and not solve the basic problem. The House Republicans are trying to change it so that the system is saved, but not all of the institution, and at far less cost to the taxpayers.

I don't know if that will get done. Those rich guys have spread many many millions around the Congress to get their way.

I guess all we can do is cross our fingers and hope.

And be as prepared for whatever might happen as we can be.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the posters who state this problem started a long time ago. We want what we want and we'll just swipe, swipe, swipe and borrow, borrow, borrow until we get what we want. We talked with someone from California and asked how people afforded $4 million for a three-bedroom, one-bath home that would go for $75,000 in any other place. They said they only paid the interest on the house, never the principal. They knew that sad fact going into the house -- they wanted to get in on the escalating appreciation and it didn't matter to them they were overpaying for what they were getting and that bubble would burst. I don't think my grandparents would have ever bought into that logic. As far as Palin, Kathleen Parker from The Washington Post had an article about Palin and Obama and it's not cutthroat nor is it bitchy nor is it in the same mean vein I've seen lately. Palin takes the heat away from McCain which allows the media to overlook some things he says and/or stands for. Biden does not do that to Obama -- he is a known commodity. Even though I wasn't a big Hillary Clinton fan, I give her tremendous credit for her accomplishments. I do the same for Palin. She is a governor of a state, perhaps not the biggest nor most profitable state, but a governor nonetheless. If she is not qualified for the office, then that's legitimate. But to string her up as if we're at the Salem Witch Trials puts us in the same league as those who go after Obama for the color of his skin. Politics and policies matter. Intelligence and common sense matter. Ability and leadership matter. Not sex. Not race. And it saddens me to see my fellow females attacking her because she is a woman they don't like (and that goes for the Hillary bashers as well). Dislike her politics, I'll go for that. But leave the rest of the drama out of it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry George -- that was me posting, Denise.

The South Plainsman said...

Its apparent that liberals and conservatives can agree on things. I see this morning that the negotiations are "back on track." Hopefully they can work it out so that taxpayers don't get stuck with bailing out the financial institutions, but they accomplish the goal of shoring up the credit markets.

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