Why Do We Assume No One Is Fixing The Financial Crisis?

from the things-are-happening... dept

While some keep insisting that the government needs to step in, in a big way, to fix the financial crisis, Paul Kedrosky posits an interesting and worthwhile theory, as well: lots of folks within the industry are scrambling to fix things every day, and if we just gave them a chance they might get stuff done. He’s not saying this is definitely happening, but he uses the Y2K crisis as an analogy. Many people were totally freaked out about it, insisting that there was no possible way all the problems could get fixed in time. But they did. They did because a lot of people worked really hard to get things done and solve most of the problems. And he’s wondering if the same sort of thing is happening today with the financial markets:

I hear too many naive projections, too many scenarios constructed via extrapolating early failures forward and assuming the same thing can happen in the same way, so systemic collapse is ahead. While that is possible, and this time is different ™, it’s at least worth wondering what if the Y2K lesson matters more than we might have thought. Government aside, independent and fiercely survival-minded actors are doing what they can throughout the economy and the financial system to mitigate the risks they face from the current depression. Credit default swaps are being netted and torn up; banks are trying to unwind swaps and other derivatives. Some financial institutions are accidentally healing, at least a little, under the flood of savings pouring into them from petrified and security-seeking citizens. There are myriad other examples, but the point is that the bell has been rung, people are acting, and communication networks are afire — and history says these are circumstances in which people can, by protecting themselves, surprise us all with the outcome.

It’s definitely a point worth thinking about. We’ve been told over and over again that only the government can help us out of this mess, but people seem to think that the rest of the financial world is sitting around picking their noses as the world collapses — and there’s little reason to believe that’s actually true. In fact, if you listen to this week’s This American Life “Act 2” (starting about 45 minutes in) covers a couple of entrepreneurial guys who are doing their part: buying up “toxic” mortgages on their own and restructuring them — and they’re making decent money doing so. While even they’re a bit skeptical about that on a larger scale, as Kedrosky noted, the same was true of the individuals working on solving the Y2K crisis as well.

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Comments on “Why Do We Assume No One Is Fixing The Financial Crisis?”

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59 Comments
R. Miles says:

Blame the media for this one!

Turn on any news program, and it’s a story over the woes of a business having to close due to the “crisis”. I don’t believe I’ve heard anything positive in months.

All I know is this:
1) Gas prices are back to being reasonable.
2) Businesses in my area are still going strong.
3) This crisis hasn’t affected me as of yet.
4) A loaf of bread still costs more than $1 despite the lowered cost of distribution.

That being said, what’s really in “crisis” right now? AIG needing more money? The “Big 3” hurting due to loss of sales?

Come on, surely this can’t be the reason the country is still in a “crisis”.

LadyGrey says:

Re: Blame the media for this one!

Well, I’m glad for you, really, but some of us are still having issues – I had to move to another state (well away from everyone I know) because of my husband’s job, yay, and I STILL, despite excellent experience, great qualifications, and fabulous references, still can’t get a job – mostly because there are no jobs to be had in my field of expertise. Not to mention the fact that there are hiring freezes in all venues through which I can be employed. I’m an academic librarian (could also work in the public or business sectors), and all of my potential employment areas, in an exceptionally promising geographical area, have dried up in the space of 6 months. So, don’t tell me that everything is just peachy – think about someone other than yourself for once, or there just might be no one to help you when things get bad enough to dump you on your rear…

R. Miles says:

Re: Re: Blame the media for this one!

So, don’t tell me that everything is just peachy – think about someone other than yourself for once, or there just might be no one to help you when things get bad enough to dump you on your rear…
I see I touched a nerve. No offense, but I’m about to slap the hell out of it now all thanks to this comment: “mostly because there are no jobs to be had in my field of expertise.”

No offense, but when I hear the word “librarian”, I think of an obsolete profession. Could it be you didn’t anticipate your job skills were no longer necessary?

Maybe you feel they are, but it seems to me they aren’t due to the scarcity of availability of this skill set.

Don’t be mad. It’s just the way the world is. Buggy whip makers used to feel the same way, until their job was also made obsolete.

And did you stop to think why it was your company let you go?

Think real hard, because your comment about me not thinking of others is way off the mark. This is what I think about. I ponder why in hell a loaf of bread costs more than $1, given its the most abundant staple in the world.

Think about that. Wonder this. Then understand why this crisis isn’t a crisis. It’s an expectation because businesses wanted more profit with little regard to its employees.

This is Capitalism at work. You mean nothing to a business, who will continue to cut you on your next job when times get tough.

And if you think this crisis is bad, just wait. It’s going to get MUCH worse because the first thing businesses are going to do when they think things are better: They’re going to raise prices to make up for the losses.

I feel for your position because I’ve been there. It’s up to YOU to prepare for your future and take advantage while you can.

My advice to you (and others): live within your means. Your husband still has his job. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Don’t answer. I already know the answer which is more food for thought to you.

Good luck to you, LadyGrey. You’re going to need it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Blame the media for this one!

The nation is in crisis so the socialists can scare the shit out the masses and get their evil agenda passed. Why do you think the market has lost half it’s value since the Democrats took over, yet the pricks in the media continually blamed Bush. The markets were doing fine until the Democrats took over, they screwed us every way they could, from buying up oil futures, to letting in as many illegals as possible, and making sure that there were no restrictions on imports from foreign countries, while making sure that there were high export tariffs on stuff we tried to sell overseas.

We will be very, very lucky if we survive the anointed one.

fprintf says:

Tell that to my 401(k)

Sure, the financial crisis is going to be solved. But at what personal cost to all of us? My 401(k) was down by 30%, and now based on the DOW/S&P500 I suspect it’ll be down 40% or more as of today. My house, bought 12 years ago for lots less than its paper value in 2007, has lost $100K in equity. Both of these reductions in perceived wealth is what is making people nervous that the system isn’t getting fixed quickly enough.

Compound this will message after message from the news, from the web, from neighbors etc. about how bad the economy is, it seems like the perfect situation for a continued downward spiral.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Indeed.

CastorTroy-Libertarian says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

THank you for proving a point.

Most of the failures in “Capitalism” you are so happy to point at, have been forced on companies that did not want them, and fought against them, but the “All knowing Liberals” stepped in and forced Bad loans so the poor and pretty much anyone who can sign thier name could get a loan if they could afford it or not, and due to regulations ever company is so tied together when one falls they all do.

So now Capitalism didnt fail, it was forced out of working into something that could not hold forever, by Liberals in Government Power (both sides) so take your self-pity, and want for Government hand outs and blow it out your ass.

OH and 50 Million lost their Livelihood? Citation, or just hysteria and hoping for more “free Money”…. Try this work hard and have something people want… People will pay… its a novel approach compared to sit on your ass and wait for a check from the government…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I assume by the use of the word “mate” that you live in a socialist society, so I don’t expect you to understand the meaning of freedom.

The U.S. has survived just fine on a free enterprise economy and it would rebound (like it always has) if the morons running the government let it go. What you are seeing is the socialist media riding their socialist ponies around Washington like they just one the lottery.

Punish the idiots who game the system then move on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Every time the government gets involved we see another drastic fall in the stocks. They are trying to “fix” things by encouraging the same kind of behavior that got us into this mess.

We won’t jump right back to where we were. However right when things seem to be stabilizing we need another bail out to cause more market turmoil. The economy will not recover back to where it was, it was falsely inflated with fake money. Trying to get us back there means setting us up for another failure down the road.

Bobby McDoogle says:

My grandkids bought me this computer.

My grandkids bought me this computer for my 80th birthday. I am still pretty sharp, but it has taken me quite some time to get used to how I use it. There are a few times that the screen part will stay on something but I want something else.

The government is helping us, they are not trying to hurt us. They make sure i get a check every month so that it is easy to pay for food and such. They are the only ones that are going to be able to fix this econimuc problem. Let’s let them do their jobn, then when they get it done, we can let them know what we thought of how they did it. Leave them alone.

TasMot (profile) says:

Fixing the Economy

When I read the stories about the basic economy, they say that 2/3’s of the economy are driven by consumers (yes, everyday people). So, how does the government plan to fix the economy, give money to business, the other 1/3. To actually stimulate the economy, why not give more money to the 2/3s that actually spends it? How about a tax break of about $100 per week to the average consumer so that it gets spent. If it gets “saved” it goes into a bank where they can begin lending it. After all, they say they are worried about cashflow. If it is used to pay charge card bills then the banks have more cashflow. If, heaven forbid, a mortgage payment is made, then there is one less “toxic mortgage”. Giving businesses money doesn’t stimulate the economy, it throws away taxpayer money. Reduce the tax burden, and people will have more money to spend. THAT will stimulate the economy.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Re: Fixing the Economy

The problem with your idea is that you can only give tax break money to people who actually earn money. What the Democrat government wants to do is take the money from those who make it and give it to those too (you fill in the blank) to make it themselves.

NullOp says:

Fixing...

The crisis is being fixed. One thing you can be sure of in America is greed. And, for certain, this crisis is impacting the greedy bastards! Not all of them, but a good number of them. One of these days I hope we will curtail the greedy bastards. One thing the American people don’t realize is they are the fourth, and greatest, pillar of government. We don’t work for the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government: THEY WORK FOR US! I sincerely hope there is a revolution coming in this country. Hopefully, a peaceful revolution.

Ops McPrime says:

It is a shame that we hear about 1 new fraudulent billionaire a week, that definitely isn’t helping the public’s perception of things. I don’t think the problem is going to be solved by a tax break either, how much tax does an unemployed person pay?

I believe that there are people out there trying to fix this thing…a lot of people. I also believe though there are people who fight kicking and screaming against possible fixes because they’ve been gaming the system. There are also a lot of people out there that want this to fail simply because they hate democrats, or are pure market capitalists. People who say things like “The nation is in crisis so the socialists can scare the shit out the masses and get their evil agenda passed.” Obviously this guys owns his own security force, fire brigade, delivers his own mail and home schools his kids.

Can the market correct itself? Possibly, but the market needs to be purged of people gaming it. Does the market and business need to be regulated? At this point I’m leaning towards an emphatic yes. Simply because when you have cases like Enron, the S&L scandals and the current housing fiasco, it’s obvious that there needs to be a watchdog. How else can you keep these people in line? We only seem to find out about after it’s too late to do anything about it and thousands upon thousands of people lose their job, house, retirement…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“but the market needs to be purged of people gaming it”

Absolutely.
We need to be allowed/encouraged to shoot bankers on sight.
Then lawyers, politicians, used car…. scratch that, car salesmen, online posters, artists…..

Maybe we should just put them all on a spaceship and send them to another planet or something…..

John Dole says:

trust those who got us in this trouble

I have a problem with relying on people who were smart enough to get us in this mess to begin with to get us out.
Will they keep digging to get us out of this hole?

Greenspan admitted this:
Greenspan, 82, acknowledged under questioning that he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks, operating in their own self-interest, would do what was necessary to protect their shareholders and institutions. Greenspan called that “a flaw in the model … that defines how the world works.”

Once we stop trusting banks will act in their own best interest and start regulating them appropriately, that will help us get out of the hole they’ve gotten us into.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: trust those who got us in this trouble

Exactly. Greenspan recently said he didn’t understand how CDOs worked. He also didn’t see how they needed to be regulated, instead preferring the route that allowed for the bubble to burst.

He’s 82, has access to 100s or PHd economists and didn’t understand how CDOs worked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Nice RMiles, the one comment you reply to is this woman.

Never mind the fact that capitalism isn’t at work at all. Capitalism would have let the bad companies fail. Nevermind the fact that capitalism would be against the redistribution of wealth, but that is what is happening.

Live within her means? Hey, I would love to live within my means. Let me keep what I earn instead of giving it out to those that don’t earn it.

But I guess your goal is to have the govt. be the employer to everyone.

R. Miles says:

Re: Re:

Capitalism would have let the bad companies fail.
Hear that, LadyGrey? Capitalism caused you to become a victim like so many more.

“AC”, capitalism IS at work which is why SO MANY people are losing their jobs. This is what happens when “Business A” relies heavily (or solely in many cases) on “Business B”.

Why in hell do you think so much money was given to the “Big 3”? It wasn’t to save the “Big 3” but those businesses relying on them to survive.

I agree they should have failed.

Let me keep what I earn instead of giving it out to those that don’t earn it.
Why are you stupid enough to give it away to people who don’t earn it? Oh, right. You had no choice because the elected official you helped put into office made that choice for you, but instead, you sit and whine about it instead of voicing your opinion (with others).

That’s the problem with this country. You people just don’t get it. YOU control the government. Not the other way around. I can’t fathom why people just sit and do nothing, and worse, re-elect the idiots in the first place.

You, and so many others, have only yourselves to blame for not really wanting your money back.

But I guess your goal is to have the govt. be the employer to everyone.
This remark is way off. Never once have I, nor will I, state Americans should live under government rule.

I expect the government to protect us, whether it be by laws to prevent greedy people from taking advantage of others or with military force. I don’t expect them to tell us how to live our lives. That’s not their job and it never has been.

When politicians cross this expectation, I try to make a difference. Emails. Phone calls. Letters. Something. What the hell have you and others done since this bailout bullshit began?

Oh, yes. You just sit and whine while attacking people on websites. I feel better knowing you’re helping to make a difference in change. /sarcasm

Just so you know: I’m against capitalism. Always have been. Always will be. I’m sure some people will assume (incorrectly) this means I favor socialism or communism. Wrong. I favor a system that’s not out there and never will be.

Why? Because people are greedy in this country. They want more. They’ll always want more. Damn, every day I listen to people “wishing” they had more money.

And Americans wonder why the rest of the world dislikes them. Such idiocy.

JS says:

This isn't Y2K

The difference in this crisis and the Y2K panic is a big one. The Y2K crisis was solved by IT and techno types who are well known for doing the right thing regardless of personal, financial benefit while we’re depending on the economic and financial crisis to be solved by politicians and finance gurus who have proven throughout time that they are self serving and greedy and purely motivated by self interest.

Anonymous Coward says:

SOMALI PIRATES TO ACQUIRE CITIBANK

DJIBOUTI – The Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.

The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today.

The negotiations have entered the final stage. Ali stated, “You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything at all.”

The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities. The PRBS’s are backed by future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden. Moody’s and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS’s.

Head pirate Ubu Kalid Shandu said, “We need a bank so that we have a place to keep all of our ransom money. Thankfully, the dislocations in the capital markets have allowed us to purchase Citigroup at an attractive valuation and to take advantage of TARP capital to grow the business even faster.”

Shandu added, “We don’t call ourselves pirates. We’re coast guards. This will just allow us to guard our coasts better.”

Clueby4 says:

Lack of Regulations

Please lack of oversight and regulations created this problem. Yes our system is corrupt hence flawed regulations, usually written by those it purports to regulate.

Fix the system first, the lack of that happening is why there is an assumption of nothing being done. Start with the FED, anything less is just smoke and mirrors to conceal the next scheme that will occur in the next decade.

Michael (profile) says:

Reform regulations first

The money we’re putting out might be going in to a deep dark pit of no good unless we change regulations first. I’m no expert in this field but it’s clear even to me that the incentives and regulations have failed to produce the desired outcome.

Fix the regulations and incentives to make the system responsible.

I’m for scaling back the lost value so that the same percent of the house is paid off as was before.

I’m for the option of a forced ‘sale’ of the house at whatever it’s current market value is to the lending institution, and profit to those who were buying it from the bank before that sale of whatever is leftover between the remaining debt and the value of the house. With the worst case scenario for the buyer being no more house and no more debt.

kantill says:

It will only get better when.....

It will only get better when we stop giving hand outs to multi-billion dollar companies.
It will only get better when we stop paying the same wage to a 16 year old kids as people trying to raise a family.
It will only get better when people homes are worth more now than it did 10 years ago.
It will only get better when we stop blaming one person aka the new president and start looking at all of the government.

On a side note to all the people saying it was the democrats fault have a very short term memory since all of this crap started when the republicans where still in office.

As I have said so many times before please read up on what you are saying, so the rest of us don’t have to step in your crap.

R. Miles says:

Re: It will only get better when.....

On a side note to all the people saying it was the democrats fault have a very short term memory since all of this crap started when the republicans where still in office.
This remark will only instill arguments, not change. Please forgive my rewriting to make an even better statement:

“to all the people saying it was the democrats fault have a very short term memory since all of this crap started when clueless politicians where still in office.”

There. Much better. This way, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents won’t feel their personal preference is attacked and may begin working on understanding the government process to fight against stupid decisions politicians have been making of late.

His Shadow says:

Neo-Con Retards

The markets were doing fine until the Democrats took over,

Pardon my French, but you are a fucking idiot. AIG and others have been in free fall for over 9 months, and the stock market collapse started in October. Of last year. But the groundwork for that collapse was set years before. The Chimp in Chief and his fundy administrations saw none of this coming and turned a blind eye to whistleblowers and warning signs.

But now that the full extent of the crisis is obvious, it really only happened in the last two years and is somehow Obama’s fault?

Get your head out of your ass.

R. Miles says:

Re: Neo-Con Retards

And you call this person a fucking idiot?

…and is somehow Obama’s fault
Yes, and every other politician who spent more time with public appearances than understanding the events leading to the crisis while wasting no time in voting for the bailout plan. In case you don’t realize this, Obama was a “Yes” vote. Here’s the list:

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Craig (R-ID), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Nay
Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (R-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Now, please get your head out of your ass.

R. Miles says:

Re: Neo-Con Retards

And you call this person a fucking idiot?

…and is somehow Obama’s fault
Yes, and every other politician who spent more time with public appearances than understanding the events leading to the crisis while wasting no time in voting for the bailout plan. In case you don’t realize this, Obama was a “Yes” vote. Here’s the list:

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Craig (R-ID), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Nay
Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (R-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Now, please get your head out of your ass.

Anonymous Coward says:

RMiles, so you are for a system that is not out there and never will be?

Gee, maybe you should move to a different planet?

Here is the catch kids, even if you love Obama. He gave a pretty good speech. Healthcare for all, education for all, build America. Damm, GWB gave the same speech (just not as well) as did Clinton (twice) the other Bush and Reagan.

Guess what? Pretty much the same guys that were sitting in the room were sitting in the same room listening to the other speeches. The president doesn’t run things, he doesn’t hold the purse strings.

How long did it take Obama to back off of no earmarks? What, a day?

anymouse says:

If you think GWB didn't have a clue this was coming, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you

His Shadow said “The Chimp in Chief and his fundy administrations saw none of this coming and turned a blind eye to whistleblowers and warning signs.”

If you really believe that they you really are clueless. GWB and his fundy buddies saw this coming from a mile away, and made sure that they raped every penny they could from the taxpayers while the ship was going down. There was a ‘secret’ session of congress about a year before the ‘collapse’ and while we’ll never know the full extent of the discussion that took place it’s easy enough to verify that the secret session did happen, rumor has it that it was warning of a pending financial crisis the likes of which the USA had never seen. If you were to go back and look at the financial ‘wrangling’ of GWB and his buddies around that time (about a year before the crisis became public), I’m sure you would see a pattern in their financial activities (if you could trace all their ‘shell’ games within their phony shell companies) that put them in place to leverage the ‘crisis’ to their benefit before things collapsed (and to collect from the government after the collapse).

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Fixing the economy

Excellent article, Michael. However, it is not that simple. We had a long period of extravagantly “good” times, where many people got “fat and lazy”, followed by a cowboy “bring it on” era where bullying, arguably illegal behavior was encouraged. I know personally of lawyers, realtors, etc., who victimize their clients “because everyone does it”.
So, for the good people in our economy (and there are a lot of them), yes, they will lead the recovery. For the parasites (and if you look, they are increasing at an alarming rate – and I don’t mean just invading countries for their oil) we can expect they will continue to drag us down until we swat them down.

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