Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Question: Is it a bailout or bail out?
The pending Wall Street bailout looks like a $700 billion dollar public works program for Wall Street investment bankers and fat cats. For instance, who's going to manage all of the foreclosed property while the government is holding the paper and the situation slowly (ostensibly) works itself out? According to the Paulson plan, the same Wall Street firms that got us into this mess in the first place.
Do you get the picture? Led by a Treasury Secretary who until very recently was one of those Wall Street fat cats, Capital Hill (wonderfully ineffectual institution that they are) is about to risk our tax dollars, and the financial future of generations, and become an angel investor with the same greedy profiteering firms that flushed billions of investor dollars down the toilet with absolutely no qualms (collecting huge fees every step of the way). And it is quite possible that local businesses will get cut out of even doing the scut work in favor of the few merged commercial/investment banks left standing.
Congress is being sold on doing this to create liquidity so that credit will be freed up for the entire economy. But it's clear that the entire economy is being viewed based on the health of Wall Street, i.e. big banks, big funds with big corporate shareholders and big international interests. The effects of this deal will reach down to Main Street alright, but instead of trickle-down benefits, it will be the tendrils of greed. Has there ever been a clearer indication of the status of small business in Washington D.C. and than this?