From agriculture, to Main Street, from the hundreds of factory town still kept afloat by heavy industry, automotive manufacture and production, to the burgeoning foreclosure-driven ghost towns and suburbs of the northeast and west, the nation is looking for relief. Demanding relief. Praying for relief.
The question is: will relief come in November from whomever wins, or will it be more of the same, as we slide into economic catastrophe? Even more important, by the time President Whoever assumes office in January, will there be anything left of the so-called private sector banks, or will the slide toward corporatism have nationalized bank debt, privatized bank profits, and left the next few generations of desperate American taxpayers holding the bag?
As the year winds down, D-Day approaches. No one knows how much economic damage we will sustain in 2009, but one thing is for certain. We are nowhere near being prepared to ride out the storm. Some of us will drown.
While most of the Bush Administration appears to be walking in lock step when it comes to policy these days, a few are breaking rank. Not everyone believes that the worst is over and they'll even voice their dissent with reporters.
It appears that there are massive cracks within the Lame Duck Bush administration as Bush bank regulators break ranks with the Administration over the size, substance and direction of bank bailouts and various rescue packages. The Chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reportedly told Reuters that she doesn't understand "Why there's been such a political focus on making sure we're not unduly helping borrowers but then we're providing all this massive assistance at the institutional level."- (Reuters 10-16-08)
According to several publications, there is a growing unrest within the Bush administration over exactly how to apply policy to an increasingly volatile economy. While many within the administration continue to pat themselves on the back for their "massive bill that does a lot for homeowners"-, they do not admit that the "assistance"- is a drop in the bucket and leaves millions of homeowners holding the bag, or rather, holding the eviction notice.
As the nation continues to reel from the results of toxic investments, bank failure and credit scarcity, the very banks and institutions whose reckless policies generated the "crisis"- from the get go continue to make off with the nation's Treasury, thanks to an overly-industry friendly government bail out.
The bailout, which rescued institutional investors and leaves consumers, homeowners and retirement plan holders out in the cold, comes at a critical time--just before an election. Many look at what was passed and wonder how long it will take before the black hole that is the derivatives market, sucks up the bailout money and turns the entire economy into a slag pile.
But the Bush Band keeps on playing. Despite increased evidence of economic catastrophe, Lame Duck, Inc. remains a bastion of deregulation, denial and dogged refusal to see the handwriting on the wall.
The problem with the bail out is not only does it fail to bring relief to more stressed out homeowners, but that it is geared to the institutional investors--the bankers and speculators who tried to create wealth out of thin air and who are now reaping the rewards of their toxic investments.
Today, those "financial instruments"-, the risky investments called securitized mortgages, are little more than bookmaker's slips--with a lot less value than a betting slip. Speculators and banks speculated, and lost, and now the American taxpayer is stuck with the bill. This is a bill which will cross several generations, yet, those whose grandchildren and perhaps great-grand children will be burdened by this bailout, are themselves losing their jobs, homes, investments and retirement funds.
College funds, annuities, pension plans and retirement investments are tanking faster than a hurricane can sink a leaky boat. Many are now worth a fraction of their former value, while retirees and recipients of annuities and pensions wonder how to make ends meet with less money, higher food, gas and utility payments.
As Congress wimped out and sailed into pirate waters with the latest financial Trojan Horse, economic terrorists have finally unleashed a weapon of economic distraction worthy of Machiavelli at his finest. Our Mayberry Machiavellis are doing their very best to walk off with the store, while the nation's bank regulators dance around this bonfire and pay homage to the gods of financial chaos.
Given the more than 2,000,000 adjustable rates which will reset in 2009, given the worsening economy, job loss and out of control inflation which has become the hallmark of this economy, the question remains: how do we deal with this economic terrorism?
We continue to fight a two-front war, which has made enemies around the world, and which has not only failed to curtail terrorism, but actually fuels it. Our treasury has been sucked dry by this ill-conceived forays into nation building, yet many remain deluded into thinking that we are bringing democracy to the Middle East.
While a few Bush supporters within the administration break ranks, the course set by the neocons in the early days of the Bush White House remains unbowed and unbroken. Despite evidence to the contrary, supporters of the administration's military policies believe "the surge is working."-