As seems to be my way I've been absent for a few weeks. Not writing atrophy's my skills and it gets harder and harder to get back on the horse, so I'm going to start with a short piece to get my thoughts in order.
I've been watching the stock market going up and down like a yo-yo and I can't help but think that we aren't looking at the right things here. It's starting to smack of market manipulation and worse that the U.S. government is planning delivering a broad spectrum "fix" to the issue that involves a lot of money and know one really knows who's getting it or what it's going to be spent on.
Just look at the Bear Sterns buyout that happened earlier. The Fed buys them spends a ton of taxpayer money and then JP Morgan sweeps in to buy Bear off of the Fed. What happened to that taxpayer money? Who got it? It was certainly a tidy deal for JP Morgan, they got to buy out a huge firm for pennies on the dollar, but still one wonders how they gathered $237 Million in a handful of days during a slow economic year… perhaps they had a 'buy-other-firms-at-huge-discount' slush-fund?
And then we have AIG, an insurance firm that's beyond monolithic. A huge giant with billions and billions of dollars in assets all over the world that one day clutches it's tummy and falls into the waiting arms of the Federal Reserve. WTF? If the economy is so fucked then why aren't the little firms dying first? In nature as well as economics the largest are always the last to fall, they could just shuffle some finance reports shift some assets and borrow against them from any bank in the world… but nooo, they get to fail spectacularly and be shown on the news all across the globe as a very large spectacle that things are really bad.
So in swoops George Bush like a white knight from some fantasy realm riding Congress it's glorious golden steed waving a huge bill like a magical sword to "save" the economy from certain doom. Barack Obama seems to echo him on this saying big solutions are needed and fast! Even McCain the deregulation king has changed his tune saying the government had to intervene.
Me though, I can't help but see similarities to a previous crisis that happened this month 7 years ago. When the world trade center fell the shock and awe the american people felt allowed the American government to enact the PATRIOT act and some of the most invasive and despicable pieces of legislation any democracy has ever seen. During that time the American people sacrificed liberty for security by the boatload. Now we're seeing the same thing, and it seems like no one has a memory. We don't have the faintest idea what this huge bill will do, but they say it will fix things so we should believe them right? After all, they've never steered us wrong in the past…