22 September 2008


If you're one of those people that's giving the cock-eyed dog look to the plans being proposed to avert an American financial crisis, you're not alone. Nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars-worth of federal aid is being earmarked for a staggering economic intervention.

All that shitty debt that the banks couldn't sell? They finally have a buyer--the United States government.

The plan would allow the Treasury to buy up troubled assets from U.S.-based companies and foreign firms with big U.S. operations. The aim is for the government to buy the securities at a discount, hold onto them and then sell them for a profit.

Experts liken the Treasury's plan to the Home Owners' Loan Corp., put in place in 1933 to stem foreclosures and help refinance defaulting mortgages and boost banks' liquidity.

The one question I want an answer to is this: Is it worth all of this for people to own their own homes? Is it worth another near-trillion dollars of national debt to pay for the errors that these lenders have made?

Sorry, that's two questions, and I realize they're both really fundamental. Some of you will say, yes, the solvency of these institutions is essential for a capitalist society to operate. And I would agree.

But what if just a handful of these banks, you know, the ones that really fucked up, were allowed to fail? What if we (gasp) heeded to the laws of the free market and forced the owners and vendors of this debt to face the consequences of their actions?


Why are your tax payments being used as a white-collar National Guard? Why aren't these companies that dug their own graves being allowed to fall into them? Why is the government EVEN CONSIDERING ownership of such large multinational firms?

Let's ask Paul LaMonica, CNN Money's noted liberal douchebag analyst (and I say that because he opens up with this ridiculous tirade about CEO pay. YOU get over it, fuckface). He says the government has no choice, and his angle is that there are too many jobs at stake. Emphasis added:

Add that up and you've got nearly 11 million people, or just under 10% of the entire nation's labor force, working in industries that could be directly (and negatively) affected if the financial services sector and housing market were left to just sort themselves out.

"Nobody wanted this to happen. It ticks me off as a taxpayer but what were the options? Let the entire banking system go under? Then you might not have a job," Norris added.

The bailout will certainly come at a great economic price. The current estimate is $700 billion. There's no escaping the fact this will add to the nation's already sizable deficit.

Doing the math, you're spending about $63k to artificially preserve each job. Is that price not too high? Eh, the government's paying for it. Who cares? Pardon the sarcasm, but I obviously think this price is a bit steep. And that's the estimate, mind you.

Me? I blame government for getting us into this mess, and the Wall Street Journal seems to agree keeping government out of this as much as possible is the best course of action:

Washington is as deeply implicated in this meltdown as anyone on Wall Street or at Countrywide Financial. Going back decades, but especially in the past 15 or so years, our politicians have promoted housing and easy credit with a variety of subsidies and policies that helped to create and feed the mania.

Let them crash. And let the rest of the sector take notice. Nobody's gonna assume risk of shitty business decisions when the government remains waiting with a blank check, ready to save the world from problems they managed to cause in the first place.

Bailout Taking Shape [CNN Money]

Be Ticked Off, But Get Over It [CNN Money]

A Mortgage Fable [Wall Street Journal]

No comments: