(Click here to watch the highly rated Charles Ferguson documentary, Inside Job, narrated by Matt Damon. It provides a very comprehensive explanation of the origins of the mortgage meltdown and the financial crisis that ensued. )
So yes, the mortgage meltdown added to our woes, and was largely a matter of outright theft -- theft from the gullible by the clever -- theft that is, so far, still unmitigated by policy changes from Washington. And this one fact alone justifies the hammering that politicians like Obama, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank take, from disappointed progressives.
As Bill Sardi recently said at LewRockwell.com, "The government wants Americans to believe that the greatest economic collapse in history was the result of "ineptness and mistakes," and yet still have confidence in their financial institutions."
So, should American bankers be let off the hook because they self-declare, before an investigational panel, that the failure of their new and cleverly-invented "risk swaps" and other highly leveraged investment schemes were simply due to "mistakes"? Not malfeasance -- just every-day mistakes? Bankers just fell asleep at the helm at a critical juncture in American history? Is that what they want us to believe?
Oh well, it's just 18 million American homes that now lay empty in the wake of unprecedented numbers of foreclosures, with the bankers having collected obscene bonuses for reckless lending of their depositors' money. It's like the captain and crew of a ship saying not to worry: twenty-percent of the passengers may have been lost overboard, but this was due to unavoidable mistakes that simply couldn't be helped -- and then the captain and crew are rewarded with bonuses when they reach port? How much sense does that make?! And yet that's what we are being asked to swallow when it comes to the banksters, and those in government regulatory agencies, and in Congress, who allowed if not abetted their crimes.
Specifically, Americans are now being asked to believe that while:
- the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to create a bubble in the economy, and
- the credit rating agencies (Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's) handed out sterling A+ credit ratings on risky mortgage-backed securities, and
- the US Treasury Department stood by and chose to do nothing about any of this?!
Only the most credulous observer could believe that all this was done by pure accident. Yet this is what Americans are being asked to believe and accept, as many try to put their shattered lives back together in an economy where, as a result of all this larceny and swindling:
- 25 million people are desperately looking for full time jobs that don't exist,
- 50 million Americans are now living in poverty,
- including an unprecedented (since the Great Depression) 22% of all of America's children, now living below the poverty line!
Are Americans really supposed to believe that the world's largest economy is beyond the management skills and regulation of virtually every financial arm of government and the private sector?