Over a working weekend for Federal Reserve and US Treasury officials, they ordered Chinese take-out and fresh-laundered shirts to argue over over free market principles: should we bail, or should we not? Lehman Brothers doesn't deserve it, Mr. Paulson argues, because $50 billion is just too much of the taxpayers' money. That, and his personal dislike for Lehman's CEO has nothing to do with it. Absolving Bear Stearns on the other hand was "visionary" I suppose, but since when has Wall Street worried about the American taxpayer?
Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac tally half of all US residential mortgage value, the Fed is about to own it, and has already held the discount door open for a cool electronic trillion of crisis borrowings by banks. Secret borrowings, good for any bank which felt like the sun needed to shine on its back door. But hit the road, Lehman, you communard trolls, we're in a free market! And don't distract me while I'm bailing out the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation!
Merrill Lynch was marked to market by Bank of America at $44 billion. No one knows what AIG is worth yet, Washington Mutual is coining Indian Head nickels now, and Citibank is selling its body (i.e., our mortgages) off in exotic parts of the world that Americans couldn't spell even if they were contestants buying vowels on Wheel of Fortune.
In his position as chief economic advisor to Dubai, Dr. Alan Greenspan said "these economic events are as extraordinary as I've ever seen." Well call Doctor Watson, Sherlock, 'cuz somebody ran out of his cocaine! Alan Greenspan was president of the Federal Reserve Bank for 19 fricking years out of the last 21. He's like a meth cooker who moves in and makes product across the street, rolls industrial kilo-gs, finances dealers and crack-houses around me. Customers walk down the street stealing cars, bricks through my windows, formed up on the corners flashing out gang signs and won't say hello. Now we got gunfire coming through the house and Doctor Alan says, "Man, your neighborhood's too dangerous."
Hypocricsy much? Tomorrow's going to be rough, and this week won't be better. Got an IRA, a Mutual Fund or pension, it's going to hurt and probably not as much as me. Time to go into small stocks, selected tech stocks with good chances for= organic growth. And oh, Alan, from beyond the grave, Ayn Rand is calling you, calling you with your personal epithet: "where is that little shit?"
(Note: in his late teens and early twenties, Greenspan was a member of novelist Ayn Rand's 'Collective' for a time in the 1960s. The last line above is not merely the ranting of a blogger-lunatic, it is also how Rand, still famous for having written free-marketeer musings in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, referred to Greenspan on at least one occasion. As I recall the full quote, she said, "Where's Alan? Tell that little shit to get his ass over here." As a student of free market capitalism, Randian or otherwise, Alan Greenspan failed.)