Friday, September 19, 2008

Financial Insanity

So here is what I understand [with spelling corrected from last night].

GREED: Various 'banks' were taking subprime mortgages and bundling them with other more and less solid securities to sell to investors at a more or less guaranteed return on investment, all made safe by what everyone, including buyer and seller, knew was a real estate bubble. But everyone was making loads of money and their ethos was 'buy low, sell high.' They were kings and queens of the world

DOUBT: Home prices started to sag in certain high growth markets. I saw someone wanted to blame Miami and South Florida again, but it was more Central Florida and Las Vegas. A rise in adjustable rate mortgages and weakening economy caused more erosion. People who had bought these packages began to worry, and neither they nor the packager knew how much debt was bad, how much good.

FEAR: Rather than figure their exposure, the institutions that understood this absurdity early on began to dump those packages. When that word got out, more and more people panicked, and that fear has by now, a year later turned to screams for a government assumption of all that bad debt.

SANITY: If a bailout is necessary make it hurt those responsible for this mess. Here's what we should demand. All assets go to the government, that is the taxpayer to hold and to run. If they are sold, all profit goes to the taxpayer, that is the government for paying off debt. People in policy making positions in those institutions will sacrifice all of their assets to the public, in return for modest pensions and health care--and that's more than they deserve. Investors in those companies will have to pay a surcharge on whatever of the assets they buy on sale from the government, say up to 200 percent, for obvious reasons. Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, and company are wrapped in orange jump suits, manacled wrist to ankle, bagged, and shipped to The Hague for war crimes.

We;re going to hear the Obama tomorrow at the University of Miami, but I've said before, and I say again: the sole and singular question of this campaign is whether America will elect a black man--a mixed race man president. "True that," as Omar, The Wire, says--said before he got offed.

No comments: