I was born in 1956 and my parents have only distant memories of the Great Depression when they were children. But what has happened recently is remarkable - not a real depression, something maybe like a recession but not yet, but nonetheless ... interesting. Let's go over the last month or so, when all the "bail-outs" occurred:
- Bear Stern
- Merill Lynch
- Freddie Mac
- Fannie Mae
- Washington Mutual
- 700 Billion US Congress Bail-Out
- 250 Billion Federal Reserve Bail-Out to Partly Nationalize Nine Banks
I'm sure people will write books about it, when it's all said and done, with expert opinions, theories, insights, and the veil of sounding authentic. To the man on a little sandbar in South Texas, it sure sounds rather baffling right now.
But do you remember when this all started, and the bloggers got all over the Lehman bail-out, saying 85 billion should not be paid by the taxpayers, and doing so would be a socialistic, un-American thing to do; not only that, it would promote bad morals by rescuing a company that lost its butt, clear and simple. Free market, laisezz-faire economies envisioned by Ronald Reagan and most every American means personal responsibility. Government was supposed to be small and not intrusive. Gosh, now we have big government and some really big nationalized banks. And by the way, these nationalized banks and trusts are good for us! Been doing it since the days of George Washington!
Well I guess it beats working for a few bucks a day in the potato, rutabaga, and onion fields but gosh, that's an incomprehensible amount of moolah. That's a good question: if we didn't save this global banking community from their brand of wayward capitalism, would the economy be so bad we'd all have to become proverbial field workers?
I think the answer, as always, is "it ain't all that bad, Sam, but sorta."