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Friday, September 19, 2008

Literally Nothing Good Will Come of Any of This

[Found via TPM]
The Bush administration sketched out a multi-faceted effort on Friday to confront the worst U.S. financial crisis in decades, outlining a program that could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars to buy up bad mortgages and other toxic debt. Relief washed over Wall Street with a surge of buying.

Anybody else hearing shrieking warning bells here? Let's see…
President Bush, flanked by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, acknowledged that the program will put a "significant amount of taxpayers' money on the line."

Everyday law-abiding people to be completely screwed? Check!
Markets unhinged by anxiety in recent months greeted the plan enthusiastically. The Dow Jones industrials shot up over 400 points and stayed in that territory into the afternoon. Global stock markets soared, too.

Rich misbehaving fucks to be completely let off the hook? Check!
The administration is asking Congress to give it sweeping new powers to execute the plan. Paulson said it "needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get to the heart of the problem."

Sweeping new powers demanded by the very people responsible for every mistake, deception, and crime at the root of the catastrophe at hand? Check!
Paulson gave few details….

Few actual details provided as to what we are actually agreeing to in the way of new costs, new rules, new powers, new reforms, new players, new responsibilities? Check!
but said he would work through the weekend with leaders of Congress from both parties to flesh out the program, the biggest proposed government intervention in financial markets since the Great Depression.

Democrats timidly hanging their heads and bleating like sheep while the Republicans literally turn everything to blood stained shit before our eyes? Check!

I give up.

6 comments:

Marc_Geddes said...

Dale,

It's ironic that the free-market cheer-leaders are the first rushing to get a big hand-out from the US government when their billion dollar incomes are threatened. A huge , instant big hand-out to them via Bush government socialism.

Believe it or not, the libertarians on the 'Overcoming Bias' blog are blaming...

(I'm not making this up)

'government regulations'...

for the crises. (Despite the fact that there were even bigger booms and busts in the days prior to much government regulations).

Dale Carrico said...

Believe it or not, the libertarians on the 'Overcoming Bias' blog are blaming...

(I'm not making this up)

'government regulations'...


Of course they are. They are religious fundamentalists.

There will never not be regulations and so the question is what are the kinds of regulation that is driven by calls for deregulation without end.

Market fundamentalists could literally be stumbling around blind in a swirling thick shit storm unleashed by their free marketeer pieties and blame the stink on the fact that people who listened only to them weren't listening to them enough. (Come to think of it, this describes our present state of affairs more literally than figuratively.)

Enough will never happen with these neoliberal zealots. These are True Believers, whatever their sputtering denials to the contrary, utterly cut off from reality, and should be written off as a lost cause, most of them.

The "enough" in this case has to come from the rest of us.

"Overcoming Bias," indeed. No doubt the Robot God will solve everything come the Singularity anyway, so why worry? Idiots.

Dale Carrico said...

"Bush government socialism"

By the way -- and definitely I do not mean to seem to pick on you here -- I am getting really tired of the pleased way people on the mainstream left keep calling these bailouts "socialism." Neoliberalism has been socializing risks and costs for a generation -- that wasn't socialism and neither is this. If benefits or profits from these bailouts are socialized then it would make marginally more sense to describe the impulse as socialist. As is, this is just feudalism, the same old boring heartless immoral exploitation that has passed for global industrial capitalism in most of its incarnations for over a century (admittedly, some more than others).

eyu said...

I read that blog, and Eliezer only criticized one specific regulation (no short selling). I searched for "government regulations" on the two posts related to that regulation, and I didn't find anything (of course, commenters might have said that in other ways, but I don't remember reading anything criticizing government regulations in general).

Also, I think that (real, historical) feudalism was better than any other form of government I can think of for that time period.

Dale Carrico said...

Uh, okay. Point taken, I guess, but also, there is a rather classically peco-like missing the pointness afoot in your comment as well. I wonder...

Marc_Geddes said...

eyu,

The thread I was referring to was 'Who To Blame?', posted by Libertarian economist Robin Hanson:

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/09/who-to-blame.html