Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout Schmailout

Right now, there seems to be a dearth of writers AGAINST the bailout. Everyone just assumes that we must do SOMETHING, but we cannot seem to agree on what that something is. Further, we don't even really understand any of it.

As much as I watch the news, I cannot find anybody who can explain to me why we need a bailout without using banal analogies like "The economy is the car, and the credit market is the engine. And the engine is broken!" Makes me sick. Nobody, even Henry Paulson, I'm convinced, is smart enough to figure out what is really wrong here. That's why I'm not in favor of giving a one trillion dollar blank-check to a single man who was never elected, and who doesn't fully understand the problem at hand.

How can we apply a solution without first understanding the problem? We cannot, without wasting enormous amounts of money due to poor oversight and inadequate planning.

Neither political candidate has any real 'skin' in this game. Both are sideline watchers (despite McCain's recent antics) simply trying to land on the right side of whatever happens--so they can claim victory and get elected. Neither candidate knows anything more about this bailout than I do, which is truly frightening, because I don't know JACK. And George Bush's approach on this is "Trust us. You have to act now." George Bush lost my trust a long time ago.

So it was refreshing to see the main stream media come out with one well-reasoned, apolitical article against the bailout:

Time: Let Risk-Taking Financial Institutions Fail

I'm not asking which party has the better solution to this, or which party is the root cause of all this trouble. Both parties are complicit in this mess, if for nothing else than lack of oversight. But, most importantly, what is the correct solution going forward? I believe the writers in that Time article are more onto the solution than any others I've read.

We're starting to see banks fail, to be bought up by stronger banks--most recently, Wachovia's purchase by Citigroup. Actually, I view the consolidation of the banking sector as the ultimate solution to this problem. The weak and foolhardy banks will be ultimately consumed by the larger, more stable banks. I believe this is ultimately what capitalism is all about. In the meantime, get ready for a wild ride in your 401(k)s and IRAs.

What do you think?

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