I am a conservative. I believe that the Government is a necessary partner in the operation of our country. I also believe it is, or should be, a minor partner. Every day people and businesses make choices and those choices have consequences, for better or worse. When those consequences are good, we celebrate and cheer. When those consequences are bad, we suffer and hopefully, get back up to try again.
You know....I can't be real considered in this post. I am spitting mad. For the last 18 months I, and a lot of other people have been warning that the financial markets are in deep trouble and unless something changes, the consequences of years of bad choices were going make hash of our financial institutions. Well, every time some official told the world everything was ok and that the few doomsayers were part of the lunatic fringe, fewer and fewer people paid attention. The damage continued to grow every time a little effort was made to put a bandaid on a fatal wound. Fatal you question? Bear Stearns died and people congratulated the financial system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been put on life support and people cheered. This past week, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch died and the markets were concerned; AIG needed a heart transplant and a few stutter-stepped. And then, in a perfectly healthy, strong economy, the Federal Government promised an entire market that their stupid, bad choices would have no consequences. And in reality, the only thing that happened was that every warning about doing the wrong thing was seen to be a laugh line in a comedy routine.
Too big to fail means that you need to make as many choices as possible to get big enough that no one will make you pay for your mistakes.
I have been told this week that we have no choice. The consequences of letting those institutions that made bad choice on top of bad choice is too much for the American Taxpayer to bear. So, the United States Government is going to make the American Taxpayer PAY....
We have no choice, we can not punish the stupid choices of firms and government because the cost to our economy is too much. The damage would be too great.
So, we will fire some people, trim around the edges of the wound, use a bigger bandaid. As one of the lunatic fringe, I am sorry to say, the patient might be alive, but only because the machines are keeping him that way. Soon enough....say January or February, the plug will not be pulled, the electricity will fail.