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Linkmeister

I'm puzzled as to whether it's Bush or Paulson playing the Captain Renault role here: "I'm Shocked that my friends mismanaged the securities industry and raked off billions at the expense of the poor average homebuyer!"

Jennifer

Call my cynical, but I just don't trust them to fix anything.

That is exactly what Grizzled and I said when we heard that on the news.

Belvoir

Lance, don't you know that the free market is self-correcting, and all-knowing? Really, how dare you even question that!

This latest market meltdown reminds me of a line I've never forgotten, from John Ralston Saul's "Voltaire's Bastards" (1993 or so). Paraphrasing:

"So look at our captains of industry, the ones telling us all to buck up, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, extolling the virtues of individualism and hard work. But look closer: these CEOs show nothing of the wear and tear of true mavericks, true visionaries and eccentrics who actually do create- they are paper pushers and courtesans of power, diplomats schooled to game a well-oiled system, cynically taking their luxuries while exhorting the hard pressed masses to just work harder, as if their cushy sinecures and business lunches were comparable to a 12-hour shift in a steel mill."

This is an EXTREME paraphrase of the essence of Ralston-Saul's point in "Voltaire's Bastards": in America, we're constantly lectured that this is the best of all worlds, and the corporate courtesans of power keep telling us that they have EARNED their billions, and the rest of us just better shape up. We're just not trying hard enough it seems.

Barry Diller personally took home $469 million in 2006 alone. Those of us who worry about caring for our families, the future: well, it's all our own fault for not being go-getting enough. This is Bush World- spoilt cretins who've never had to earn anything lecturing the rest of us.

Can't recommend "Voltaire's Bastards" enough. Aside from economics, his essays on "stardom" are fascinating. He posits that Marie Antoinette was the first modern "star", the first to confuse her role (Queen of France) with reality, with disastrous results.

Linkmeister

Belvoir, that sounds fascinating (all 640pp of it!). On your recommendation I just reserved one of the three copies the Hawai'i State Library has.

Adorable Girlfriend

I am curious to learn more about their ideas. I too have concerns given the state of this current adminstration.

The good thing is that when we go through a depression - we can have our phones wiretapped and waterboarding is permitted.

Thank you, voters of 2000 and 2004.

actor212

Lance,

The Fed is not part of the executive branch.

It is not part of the legislative branch.

The Fed is an independent private quasi-agency. The President's SOLE power in the Fed is to recommend governors. The Congress' SOLE power in the Fed is to ratify governors.

Guess who picks the governors?

The six money center banks who run the damn thing!

You read that correctly: the money center banks draw up a list of people they would like to see as governors and Fed chairman. By statute, the President is required to choose governors from only that list.

The banks would run the stock markets, in other words.

Uncle Merlin

Now I don't feel so bad for being worth less than $10 million.
Great post!

-damn 10 millionaires!

UM

mikefromtexas

A couple months ago I ran across a post somewhere listing just who all the players are, CEOs, CFOs, etc. One name kept showing up, almost every bank. Goldman Sachs. Their alumni are everywhere, including Sec of Treasury. I suspect this may be a complete set up.

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