When the banking crisis is completely wrapped up, several years from now, we are going to be looking at another trillion dollars in U.S. debt, at least. That’s money coming out of everyone’s pockets to pay for the losses generated by a very small, very rich group of people. I do think it is high time the U.S. government step in, but we would not have gotten to this point if the Bush administration and Republican economic policy over the past 28 years hadn’t drastically reduced the government’s oversight of markets. Earlier, the energy markets proved this, but the Republicans pushed on with deregulation, a la Glass-Steagall, which set the stage for this banking meltdown.
The cost of intelligent regulation is far lower than the social insurance for billionaires we’re paying today. President Bush and his supporters, including Senator McCain, despite his howling and growling about the markets as “casinos” during the past couple days (not to mention his idea that we need yet another U.S. agency to handle this crisis—the essence of short-term thinking), should acknowledge that they got us into this and that they are borrowing on our children’s futures to get their rich friends out of it.
We’re at a point where capitalism is only a seeming capitalism, like the communism of the Soviet Union, where the rich get all the benefits of shared risk, while the rest of us simply go back to work to pay off their debts.
If this were a real marketplace under the rule of law, lots of bankers would be led out in handcuffs and the perpetrators of these financial disasters would be broke and begging on the street, just as they’ve said “economic failures” need to do all these years. Let’s see these fatcats bootstrap their existence for a change.