Monday, September 22, 2008

Vox Clamantis in Deserto

Senator Obama enunciated the principles that he believes should be followed as the government and Congress move to do something about the current financial crisis:

First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money. - Can't argue with this "filler" comment...

Second, taxpayers shouldn’t be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street. - Is someone proposing this?

Third, taxpayers should be protected and should be able to recoup this investment. - Hello, this is not an investment in the traditional sense. True it is money you have to spend to ensure a positive outcome for the future, so could be considered an "investment" in the much broader sense of the term, but there is no way that this is going to come out a positive or at a zero overall cost to the taxpayer!

Fourth, this plan has to help homeowners stay in their homes. - Some perhaps, but all those that gambled on buying something they clearly could not afford (in the hopes that rising prices would cover them) essentially did on a small scale what Senator Obama blames the CEOs for doing on a mega-scale. So, why should taxpayers spend "... a dime to reward..." these people?

Fifth, this is a global crisis, and the United States must insist that other nations join us in helping secure the financial markets. - This is a global crisis caused by the U.S. Sure, these other countries have fed our 'habit' by loaning us money all these years, and probably will help us out if only to avoid a total loss on their investments. But "insist"? On what basis?

Sixth, we need to start putting in place the rules of the road I’ve been calling for for years to prevent this from ever happening again. - Say what? So, Senator Obama apparently anticipated this financial crisis... Must have been frustrating for him being the lone voice crying out in the wilderness! And what exactly is the "this" we need to prevent? A bubble? Sure, we can put in rules governing mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations (MBS& CDO) but the next bubble will just be something different. While we are at it why don't we put rules of the road in place to prevent the normal business cycle!

Barack in Charlotte, NC: "The stakes are too high"