The Keystone Kops of Wall Street

I get the sense that the Lord High Executioner of the Bailout doesn’t know what to do:

Urgently shifting course, the Bush administration is abandoning the centerpiece of its massive $700 billion economic rescue plan and exploring new ways to shore up not only banks but credit-card, auto-loan and other huge nonbank businesses. Democrats are pressing hard to include a multibillion-dollar bailout for faltering automakers, too — over administration objections. Unimpressed by any of the talk on Wednesday, Wall Street dove ever lower.

  1. Credit card companies, who’ve been charging usurious rates of interest while their own costs of borrowing were reduced to artificially low rates by the Fed, should be told to stick it. They get no sympathy from me.
  2. Extending the bailout to nonbank businesses opens the floodgates. After automakers, then who? One could make a case for a number of industries: oil, coal, steel, farmers, airlines, health care, day care, Internet service providers… where does it end? The government can’t bail out the entire economy, and by trying, it makes things worse. The artificially inflated money supply must contract, the prices of everything from houses to pork bellies must correct, and anything that gets in the way of the process only prolongs the depression.
  3. “Abandoning the centerpiece” of the bailout means it was a botched job from the start. The lack of transparency confirms it, and the whole thing smells like a con, a setup. Either that, or the guys charged with somehow containing this economic tsunami — the same guys who helped to set it in motion — really are flummoxed, in which case the trillions of tax dollars we’re throwing into this watery grave will serve only to float a handful of corporate CEOs to safety while the rest of us fight for air.

And Lord help us, Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sits as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. With everything that you’d think he’d have on his plate this week, he’s taken time out of his schedule to criticize the Bush administration for implementing a new ban on Internet gambling.

Why? Because, Frank says, “adults are entitled to do with their money what they want to do.” Unless, of course, what we want is not to give it to JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citi, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ford, Chrysler, GM, et al, ad nauseum. (I know, I could have made a snarky comment there about Frank’s former partner running a homosexual prostitution ring out of his D.C. apartment, but… oh, I guess I just did.)

What we’re seeing unfold is concrete proof that citizens of the United States are now merely tax slaves for our financial plantation masters in New York and Washington, D.C.

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