Though, according to Dante, I confuse "slow" with "grow" when it comes to the economy, I rarely associate a growing economy with one of the largest financial instituions in America filing for bankruptcy. I rarely associate a growing economy when Merril Lynch gets sold off to Bank of America at a loss. As I'm writing this, the Dow Industrials are fluctuating wildly.
These are not one time happenings, and we have had years of stuff like this. From Enron and Worldcom, to the real estate bubble to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and now this. These are not accidents. Like coughing up green phlegm, fever and vomiting are symptoms of someone being sick; our headlines today are even more symptoms of our economy being sick. That would be my analogy.
Oyster uses a shoes metaphor: "They [your shoes] were on Wall Street, but you got a little drunk, and you scuffed 'em up, and stepped in a puddle of blood, and now they're ruined and you have to sell them for pennies on the dollar." He's got a fine write up on this morning's financial news, as well.
A huge part of the American dream, after homeownership, is being able to take care of your own family financially for both medical expenses, sending your kids to college and saving for retirement. The way a lot of Americans do this is through buying in to a small part of the financial markets, so their money can begin working for them. When the market gets sick because of irresponsible decsions by CEO's and the speculator class, aided by the deregulations that are philosophically supported by the Republicans, that keeps the middle class at more financial risk.
And I shouldn't need to remind anyone that the philosophical "fix" for Social Security from the Bush administration and any future Republican administration is to use private accounts tied to the stock markets.
"The situation with Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions is the latest in a wave of crises that are generating enormous uncertainty about the future of our financial markets. This turmoil is a major threat to our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills, save for their future, and make their mortgage payments.
The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems, but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to. It’s a philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years – one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise, and one that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crises.
Well now, instead of prosperity trickling down, the pain has trickled up – from the struggles of hardworking Americans on Main Street to the largest firms of Wall Street.
This country can’t afford another four years of this failed philosophy."
The above quote I got from a statement released by the Obama campaign. (Hat tip: Humid Haney)