Tuesday, September 23, 2008


John Cole notices the latest word verbiage spin for the Wall Street bailout.

The fix is in, and the bailout is going to be passed in one form or another in the near future.

How do I know?

Because it is now being marketed as a “Rescue plan.

Bailout was apparently too unpalatable for main street. So take solace that when you, as a taxpayer, take part in this ginormous game of kick the shitpile down the road until after 20 January 2009, you aren’t really “bailing out” greedy Wall Street types, you are rescuing America. Don’t you feel patriotic? Maybe we can put green ribbons on our car next to the yellow support our troops ribbons that are beginning to fade.


There's a lot that's alarming about all of this, among which is no real sign from either party that what is essential here is to prevent the same problems from happening again. Buying up the garbage debt or injecting financial institutions with new capital could very well, absent other significant structural changes, result in the same dangerous things happening all over again.

The conversion of the two remaining investment banks to commercial bank status (and the bankruptcy or selling of the others) may provide this essential recalibration. But financial institutions and big money players are going to, by nature, seek the biggests profits in the shortest amount of time by the easiest means possible. The bailout doesn't appear to address these concerns at all. There's no certainty that the $700 bill will be enough or the end of it.

Update: Kos sums up my thinking pretty well.

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