Monday, September 29, 2008
On the road most of the day today on the first leg of a short trip up the Oregon Coast, we had the pleasure of learning about all of the day's financial market developments via AM talk radio.
It was a sobering experience - one that was not corrected until much later in the day at dinner when some mediocre seafood was drowned with some mediocre wine.
There is genuine outrage in this country - it's too bad that it remains focused on all the wrong things.
The problem with the bailout bill is not the cost to the taxpayers - we'll never repay these debts. The "taxpayer" will never be forced to shell out a penny for this $700 billion bailout (if it is passed) as there are so many trillions waiting in line ahead of it.
And the problem isn't executive pay - a couple hundred million is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions of dollars that are going up in smoke as part of the current deleveraging on Wall Street and on Main Street. But it sure does make some people feel good to be able to so cleanly identify the bad guys.
Turning the defeated bailout bill into just another finger-pointing episode in the continuing story of a dysfunctional political system makes the situation all the more pathetic. The timing of the financial crisis relative to the November election could not been more perfect - that is, if the intent was to show the nation's policymakers and their constituents in the most unfavorable light.
Occasionally, a few wise words are heard, such as this paraphrasing of some unknown interview subject, "It really doesn't matter whether they pass the bailout bill or not. The result will be the same, it's just a matter of the timing."
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers was interviewed on one talk show and never before were so many uhs.... and ums..... heard in one three minute segment - it was if he was recovering from a lobotomy.
Not having caught up on the latest news, one can only imagine what tomorrow will bring.
This YouTube video was mentioned more than once during the day: