Monday, March 17, 2008

Welfare for Wall Street? That's BS isn't it?

Dr. Dean Baker's The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer is yet another book I've missed. I've been reading him from time to time over at TPMCafe and American Prospect's Beat the Press and ... I really like what I'm getting. His Center for Economic and Policy Research is one place I need to spend some serious time visiting. Dr. Baker's recent A Stock Transfer Tax: The Right Medicine for Wall Street makes tons of sense in that idea alone plus it also provides a sweet alternative to a bailout for Bear Stearns that would work for most Americans even if not so well for the Wall Street fatcats.

Of course, Bu$hCo and The Fed have already jumped in to save the Wall Street bankers. They might have been late on Katrina and ... but be sure they will look after the Big Mules.

Also at TPMCafe, Dr. Jared Bernstein's Total BS on Wall St. is serving up some good stuff. Describing the Bear Stearns mess as a classic run on the bank, he wrote today:
... And lest we forget, none of this had to happen. Market capitalism, once again, totally overshot, taking a fine idea—providing credit so that folks who aren’t rich can own homes—and slicing and dicing it until no one understood the financial Frankenstein they’d created. The government and the Fed turned a blind eye, which was fine with the “innovators.” Now that the monster has turned on them, they’re running back to the gov’t to bail them out. ...
Amen! Paul Krugman thinks a bailout, a big one no less, is inevitable yet he's blunt in making sure we bail out the system not the people that got us in this mess. He writes:
As I said, the important thing is to bail out the system, not the people who got us into this mess. That means cleaning out the shareholders in failed institutions, making bondholders take a haircut, and canceling the stock options of executives who got rich playing heads I win, tails you lose.
Amen! Why "we privatize the profits and socialize the risks" is a question worth asking to some of these unreconstructed free marketeers that seem to so often run things in our country. I've used "knock the rough edges off the markets" for some time now as my bottom line. I suppose the idea of a bail out can at least give Progressives an opportunity to advance their ideas and to wallop some of the GOP's old reliables like whining about welfare, regulation, free enterprise, ...

The dollar is in a downward spiral. Oil is out of sight and heading higher I fear. The housing market is battered. A "credit crunch" may very loom to boot. Here's hoping for a FDR for our times. John Gunn

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