Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Financial Crisis

Excerpts from the NY Times today:
Bob Herbert's "When Madmen Reign" blames conservative Republican philosophy for the collapse of banks, and, while I tend to agree, I think blame rests more strongly on the greedy, criminal, but-now-billionaire CEOs. How else can we stop them except let their companies fail?

Here's Herbert: "The tone-deaf remarks [of McCain's Phil Gramm "we're in a 'mental recession'" and "America is a nation of whiners"] in the midst of severe economic hard times undermined Senator McCain’s convoluted efforts to reinvent himself as some kind of populist. But they were wholly in keeping with the economic worldview of conservative Republicans.

"The inescapable disconnect between rhetoric and reality is often stark. Senator McCain has been ranting recently about the excessive pay and “bloated golden parachutes” of failed corporate executives. And yet one of his closest advisers on economic matters is Carly Fiorina, who was forced out as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Her golden parachute was an estimated $42 million.

"Voters have to shoulder a great deal of the blame for the economic mess the country is in. Too many were willing, for whatever reasons, to support politicians who spat in the eye of economic common sense. Now the voodoo that permeated conservative economic policies for so many years has come back to haunt us big-time."

And from David Brooks n "Revolt of the Nihilist":
"Now [Republicans] have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they’ve taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.

"I’ve spoken with several House Republicans over the past few days and most admirably believe in free-market principles. What’s sad is that they still think it’s 1984. They still think the biggest threat comes from socialism and Walter Mondale liberalism. They seem not to have noticed how global capital flows have transformed our political economy."

Ron Paul sounds most knowledgeable about the financial crisis. He's against running an empire, and he's against the war. He believes our financial institutions should fail and their assets should be liquified. It's worth a hearing.

Wall Street protest with information on CEO bonuses:

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