We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, September 25. 2008
Rich Lowry discusses why we need something like the Paulson plan. I think people like "Kill the bailout" Michelle are way off base on both economic and political grounds: frozen credit will create a huge slowdown which will hurt everybody and turn Bush, unwillingly, into another Herbert Hoover. Furthermore, I do not believe that the Feds intend to keep these assets forever. We aren't bailing out rich bankers - we're bailing out the US economy. It's a hangover cure for the housing bubble.
Buffett: It's an economic Pearl Harbor.
Mayor Bloomberg explains how the Dems caused the financial meltdown via a corrupted and politicized Fannie and Freddie.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Good Morning Comrade BD, I agree with Michelle. I would hang them all; bring back public hanging for all these Wall Street fraudsters. I don't trust any of them. They made the problem and now they want to be put in charge. We were told a few months ago that the subprime mortgage mess was only a small percentage of loans and now we have a huge problem on our hands which has more to do with derivitives and credit default swaps. The best way I can explain what I feel is going on is that a Wall Street fraudster comes up to me, beats me up, takes my money, then goes back to the Wall Street Casino, gambles my money away then comes back to me and tells me I have to pay for his gambling debt. Derivitives are not assets! They are bets! Just like I'm betting now that you won't have your bathroom fixed for another 2 months. Talk to you later, comrade.
I think you are wrong. Fannie and Freddie supported and encouraged these marginal loans, but the banks (rightly) didn't want to keep them on their books so they packaged them and sold them to willing buyers. The swaps are nothing but a form of insurance.
I am not a socialist. I believe that govt (Clinton and Congress) created this mess, and now has to fix it.
See Walter Williams's column Sept 24:
There is a H.L. Mencken quotation that captures the essence of this year's politics: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Things are not nearly as gloomy as the pundits say. Most of today's economic problems, whether it's energy, health care costs, financial problems, budget deficits or national debt, are caused by policies pursued by the White House and Congress. As my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell suggested in a recent column, we don't look to arsonists to put out fires that they've created; neither should we look to Congress to solve the problems they've created.
May want to fix that link to Bloomberg's article. Unless you want me to be the site administrator.
Most of today's economic problems are caused by Madison Avenue. This is the information age, and the only way to get people to listen to the information pundits are spewing is to make events just a bit scary. More listeners means more advertising dollars.
"The medium is the message."
And Mencken is right on that quote .... as much as I can't stand him. He knew this country had way more than its share of morons who believe anything. There are even more morons now to get gloomy and to vote in politicians who promise hope and change.
We're missing crucial information about the bailout. First, what is the estimated total economical cost of the bailout? Second, what is the estimated total economical cost of no bailout? We, er, Congress can't make an intelligent decision without those two data points.
So far, I haven't seen either. Anywhere.
Kessler's WSJ aricle posted above is one of the more interesting analysis I've seen to date on the mortgage/credit mess. If even remotely true, than get the deal done, BUT, do without letting the Dems get their corrupt chubby littel fingers all over it. There should be no relief for consumers who greedily and foolishly bit off more than they could digest, no relief for banks who go belly up after selling off their portfolio at a huge loss, and the windfall from this deal, assuming there is one, should go to retiring as much fed debt as possible in an orderly fashion and not to be used at the whim of some bureaucrat. Once this is all cleared the Fed should close up this particular operation. This bill should also be done with some changes to current regulations such as the stupid mark to market, no more Freddies or Fannies, no more 'community re-investment' requirements and capital gains tax reductions (preferably to zero)...the rediculous (I know I have to deal with it) and useless Sarbainne/Oxley nonsense should be shut down as well. Perhaps if external auditors would do their job better they wouldn't need to hide behind the skirt of S/O and the nice pay it generates for them.
I think we an indication at these two data points:
1. Cost of bailout is hinted at hopefully at least zero as theoretically the paper has the value of the underlying mortgage/real estate. Question is the purchase price to value.
2. Unbelievably huge, great depression level disaster, i.e., no one has a clue, and most are afraid to test it, i.e., do nothing.
Iowahawk puts the financial debacle in terms I can understand... time for tequila.
I like Ron Pauls take
Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.
The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.
The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
• Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
• Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.
There goes your country.
Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.
Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.
Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.
The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?
When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?
Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.