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Bill Moyers talks with Gretchen Morgenson about the financial crisis and its likely return

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Whenever you have a credit crisis, the banker who was, in the go-go good times so willing to lend to a person who didn't even have a pulse, so that they could buy a home (that "will surely appreciate in value"), will not now lend even to someone who has a very good business and simply needs money to make payments for inventory, for example.

In sunny economic weather the banker readily lends you an umbrella -- but then asks for it back when it rains. So now it's raining, and they're asking for the umbrella back. Yes, there are small business people who are in a terrible condition. And our heart should out to them and to all the people who depend on them for employment. America is very dependent on these small business owners to create jobs, and our government is dependent on them to provide tax receipts. But the business owners can't get the loans they need from JP Morgan, from Citibank, from all of these banks that made all these mistakes. What it boils down to is that the taxpayers can't get any of their money back -- after putting up so many billions to bail out the very banks that now give them the cold shoulder.

The frustration that a lot of people feel about this lack of real reform, and about the banks being in control to the point of lording it over Washington, comes from the realization that there's no effective outlet for their rage and anger. They don't have a lobbying organization to go to Congress for them and say, "What about these millions of people who have lost so much because of these bankster shenanigans? Look at these millions who have lost their jobs. Look at the millions who've lost their homes. Look at the millions who have credit card bills on which they're paying at a 28% interest rate." So people are voiceless and they feel powerless. And they're getting angrier by the day.

Senator Chris Dodd who chairs the key Senate Committee on Banking has taken so long to move any legislation toward reform that Jon Stewart's been having some fun with it:

SEN. DODD, speaking on a video clip: First the legislation will end too big to fail bailouts.

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)
 

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