Who is going to pay for this?
Steven Pearlstein writes in the Washington Post about the
loss of wealth that we are facing,
What we are witnessing may be the greatest destruction of financial wealth that the world has ever seen — paper losses measured in the trillions of dollars. Corporate wealth. Oil wealth. Real estate wealth. Bank wealth. Private-equity wealth. Hedge fund wealth. Pension wealth. It’s a painful reminder that, when you strip away all the complexity and trappings from the magnificent new global infrastructure, finance is still a confidence game — and once the confidence goes, there’s no telling when the selling will stop.
He also ties in the connection between foreign wealth, cheap credit (loans
and credit cards) and the housing industry. He writes,
But more than psychology is involved here. What is really going on, at the most fundamental level, is that the United States is in the process of being forced by its foreign creditors to begin living within its means.
That wasn’t always the case. In fact, for most of the past decade, foreigners seemed only too willing to provide U.S. households, corporations and governments all the cheap money they wanted — and Americans were only too happy to take them up on their offer.
The cheap money was used by households to buy houses, cars and college educations, along with more health care, extra vacations and all manner of consumer goods. Governments used the cheap money to pay for services and benefits that citizens were not willing to pay for with higher taxes. And corporations and investment vehicles — hedge funds, private-equity funds and real estate investment trusts — used the cheap financing to buy real estate and other companies.
Two important things happened as a result of the availability of all this cheap credit.
The first was that the price of residential and commercial real estate, corporate takeover targets and the stock of technology companies began to rise. The faster they rose, the more that investors were interested in buying, driving the prices even higher and creating even stronger demand. Before long, these markets could best be characterized as classic bubbles.
Welcome to “Globalization”.
Republicans sure are quick to talk about handouts, a welfare
state, welfare queens, lazy liberals, but isn’t this bailout Welfare
I have a fundamental understanding of what has happened in the housing
market. It is perfectly reasonable the government has to intervene.
BUT. The people who were responsible for monitoring this
need to be fired and there needs to be an examination
of, going forward, what kind of regulation will be taking place.
What message is the government sending if it preaches the fact
that the free market is the most efficient form of a market,
then steps in to bail out firms with our TAX MONEY without our
The roles and responsibilities of both the organizations and individuals
that profited need to be analyzed and held accountable.
The organizations need to be forced to dissolve to kick into the $700B
and the individuals need to be fired and replace by people screened
by the Office of Government Accountability or another similarly situated
What ever happened to “The Free Market”?
Why don’t we apply strict liability of No Child Left Behind to the banking/
mortgage/finance complex? No Bank Left Behind?
What if the folks acted unconscionably, who were complicit in us winding
up in this mess, were fired.
The idea of a No Child Left Behind type of accountability being applied
to the banking and housing industry would be amazing.
$700B could sure buy a whole lot of Public Montessori preschool and