Monday, October 6, 2008

Burn Baby Burn

I have been silent on the Bush - "Hey I Wrecked the Economy with my Lack of Leadership, but damn I have a nice White Cape Bail Out!" dog and pony show - but I think the tumble in the market reflects a number of things. Let's examine them, shall we! (see serious news story here...)

1. The stock market is not the economy. The stock market is both more important than the actual economy and simultaneously less so.

The market or actually Markets in all fairness - are a place to exchange stock. Stock is paper ownership in a company with limited control. Control of the company is on a percentage basis and trust me the company set it up SO THEY HAVE the MAJORITY share - THEREFORE CONTROL.

The market is like a being of its own. It is fed on rumor, speculation - investing in stock is always about speculation. Sometimes the market trend leads the economy and somethimes they lag or are reflective.

The market can be going like gangbusters and the economy can be for shit. Or the market can be doing lousy and the economy can be booming.

At the moment - well they are both for shit.

2. House of Cards.

For the most part the entire banking and brokerage industry is a house of cards. The problem is THEY need us little guys. We bring in our paychecks and then the BANK gleefully plays fast and loose with our money. Same with the brokerage houses.

The problem is - the Banks and Brokerages have been playing fast and loose with each other and making bad loans and bad choices and well it is a big knot which cannot be easily untied and FRANKLY the simpleton we call our President and his addled HENCHMAN cooked up a plan that was a GREAT sound bite but fundamentally flawed. (I think while we are letting people hang we should add the entire government machine - bloated and needs a house cleaning - an overhaul maybe.)

I normally am loathed to agree with anything the far right has to say but I was excited when House Republicans stood up and defeated this BILL the 1st time (I will explain why later...)

Had the SEC and NASD and Banking Regulators been enforcing the rules on the books already some of this might have been mitigated. But when those agencies are stock full of ex-bankers and ex-brokers and they are now policing their buddies - well it is a bit like the FOX guarding the HEN HOUSE is it not?

3. One Man's Collapse is Another Man's Break

I think we can say that the Great Depression was horrible for people. People lost their homes and their life savings and their security - not to mention terrible job loses. I am not saying that we need to experience that again.

HOWEVER - I think that instead of giving Wall Street another dime - the Government should do its job and protect the people. Give me my tax money back. Make it easier for me - while I weather the storm. Freeze credit. We can all live without a new car. Ease the crunch by having a borrowing holiday.

I would not give those greedy rat bastards on Wall Street a piece of chewed gum - let alone billions of dollars. They fucked up - they should pay. They should lose their big houses and big bonus and their golden parachutes.

After the market collapse in 1929 and a period of terrible austerity for most Americans - we had a period of enormous economic expansion. Granted a War helped - but I would argue that when the chips fall - SOMEONE picks them up.

The government should not bail out companies they should protect citizens and they should enforce the rules we have and they should stop accepting corporate campaign dollars and they should throw these cheats and frauds in jail and lose the key.

Maybe if we went after White Collar Criminals the same way we did drug dealers (who by the way run a CASH business... mmmm) people might make better business decisions.

4. Capitalism is organic - kinda like the Hunting Lion

Would you step in front of a hungry Lion about to take down a gazelle. Yeah, me neither. Capitalism is alot like that. It is ugly in its raw organic form. I would argue that of any economic system it is the most organic in that it follows the laws of nature. Survival of the fittest and all of that - BUT it works.

What does not work is all this intervention and rule breaking and all of that. We either have a free market or we do not. We either want a capitalist state or we do not. We either let the cards fall where they may or we reward bad behavior and encourage it to be repeated.

Our economy is built almost completely on NOW NOW NOW and more credit and more credit.

The House Republicans actually asked some of these questions and I applaud that (regardless of their reasons.) The entire mess is a mess of our own gerrymandering and frankly no bail out is going to solve the root of the problem. The problem is cultural and systemic and deep and goes back about 4 generations. We are a culture of greedy Me-First - Gimme, Gimme, Gimme - people - who have lost site of important things - like honor, dignity, community, and compassion.

So I ask you - What really is that House of Cards?

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