Santa Claus, speaking for the elves and the rest of this reality impaired nation has a few questions for the bail out bandits and their enablers in Washinton, DC.
When it comes to the ongoing bailout, bridge loans and bumbling catastrophe on Wall Street and in the automotive industry, if we have any sense at all, we have to ask the question. If we "invest" in these industries, do we as "stakeholders" now have both a vested interest and a voice in how these people will be allowed to do business? And, most importantly, if what they have been doing is either illegal, immoral, or both, then why should we subsidize their economic self-destruction?
When it comes to bailouts, there are a lot of people out there who don't think pouring more money into failing industries is a good idea. Many believe that some industries, Wall Street institutions and automotive manufacturers, are so far down the road of no return that pouring money into them is a waste of time. Others think these companies are literally "too big to fail" and if we don't bail them out, their failure will suck the entire economy down the same black hole.
What is scary, is that the substantive security and rational exuberance of many of the institutions and industries that we have bailed out, or are about to bail out with taxpayer dollars is ephemeral, as fragile as gossamer threads. In short, the risk is often immeasurable.
These institutions continue to play host to massive security problems, from internal speculation in dubious investment "instruments", to endemic vulnerability to fraud, hacker intrusion and black market sales of stolen data. That's not counting outmoded plants, equipment and manufacturing processes.
Some of the industries are exposed to such risk, that underwriters simply can not calculate the exposure. How do you calculate the true value of bundled mortgages ('securitized mortgages') when you don't know what is or isn't collectible. And, if the note is in someway collectible, how much is the property worth when property values are dropping-particularly foreclosed properties?
Long before "securitized debt" was a gleam in a greedy banker's eye, credit card fraudsters were stealing billions from banks and individuals around the world. In 2007, the London Daily Mail reported that:
Plastic card fraud has soared to its highest ever level as foreign-based criminal gangs target British consumers. (10/07)
Way back in 2004 The Fraud Lawyer blog reported that consumers with high debt were at major risk of being victimized by fraudsters and con artists:
The group of consumers with high levels of debt was more likely to be the victims of consumer fraud. Consumers with debt categorized as being greater than they could comfortably handle had more than seven times the risk of falling victim to consumer fraud than those without any current debt. (fraudlawyer.com)