What it feels like to be conned

Rick Santelli of CNBC kicked up some dust with his recent rant about President Obama’s proposal to bail out homeowners at risk. He picked the wrong target:

The Fed refused yesterday to disclose the names of the borrowers and the loans, alleging that it would cast “a stigma” on recipients of more than $1.9 trillion of emergency credit from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

The secrecy around this program casts a pall on the markets. Investors don’t know who is taking money (i.e., which of the big banks and/or their debtors are at risk), so they’ll be especially cautious about lending to anybody.

And because the world’s recovery hinges on what happens here in the U.S., it appears that the global economy is being sacrificed to save a few Friends of Bernanke.

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