Tuesday, September 30, 2008

READ: Well, At Least It Wasn't 666

Perhaps the only good news yesterday was that the DOW dropped 777 points and not 666.  Then it would have seemed like this was some sort of devilish act of wrath.  Like this, it is only a complete disaster.

Many are pointing fingers at the House Republicans or Nancy Pelosi's remarks at the 11th hour (as a sidenote:  Seriously?  Grow the hell up!), while McCain wants have his cake and eat it too by both blaming Obama and Democrats and saying "Now is not the time to fix the blame; it's time to fix the problem."  Whatever John, you've done quite enough.

In reality, the failure of the rescue package can be traced back to the incompetence of the administration which first refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the problems in the credit markets and then tried to bully everyone into a fast approval of a massive package combined with dictatorial powers and a non-sensical unwillingness to compromise on any detail that would make it more palatable to the public (compensation, oversight, size, etc).  Did they really believe that this approach would fly the second time around after the WMD/Iraq disaster?  How could they neglect public opinion 5 weeks before an election that puts many house and senate seats on the line?  Why was there no concerted effort from minute 1 to explain the urgency in simple non-threatening terms and how this trickles down to the average person, before the package became labeled as a "Wall Street bailout", the most absurd misnomer?

Naturally, witnessing the magnitude of the market drop after the bill's failure made everyone uneasy and alarmed.  CNN is now suddenly dedicating prime time minutes to explaining the impact of the credit crisis to the average Joe, something they could have done a bit more of before Joe, Mary and Jane called their representatives to tell them not to expect to be reelected unless they kill the bill.  Meanwhile, much of the $1.2 trillion in market value lost yesterday will hit people's investment and retirement accounts immediately.  That is real money though that can be reversed in a few days.  What can't be taken back is the shock this could create throughout the system.  Will this uncertainty accelerate the "invisible bank run" that Cramer is talking about?  This isn't just some crazy theory, as Washington Mutual and Wachovia have demonstrated.  What all can happen in the two days before we get another vote, if it seemingly took a few days for Lehman to go from troubled to bankrupt?  Did anyone pause to think about that?

1 comment:

Jeni Treehugger said...

But 7 is the number of God so could be seen as a divine act!

*I'll get me coat*

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