5/31/2009

Restoring Perspective: Damn You Baby Boomers

The root of the 'too big to fail' argument extends back to the Bear Stearns fire sale to Chase and the subsequent liquidity injections for Freddie and Fannie. This should have been evident to everyone when Dick Fuld, CEO of Lehman Brothers, clearly expected to receive a bailout or forced acquisition from his former rival and fellow investment banker Hank Paulson, only to be shown the door by a devilishly righteous Treasury Secretary when zero hour struck.

The grin was wiped off Henry's face seemingly overnight, and all of a sudden we had TARP and 'toxic' aka 'distressed' aka 'legacy' assests that the Federal government desperately needed $700B overnight to purchase all of these rotten investments from the banks before the world was going to end. You can, and should, read documents recently made public in a Freedom of Information Act challenge by Judicial Watch to get a full appreciation for the both the tremendously historic nature of the TARP program, as well as the cavalier attitudes taken by those charged with its design.

Here we find our selves in retrospect with the terms 'too big to fail' or 'systemically critical' becoming matters of daily business in DC, I think everyone needs to watch this FRONTLINE episodes "Inside the Meltdown" and "Ten Trillion and Counting" to get a refresher on exactly the extent of our obligations and the blatant disregard for long-term sustainability demonstrated by policymakers. As it turns out failure during tough times is every bit as critical to survival of our capitalist system as success and prosperity during boom times.

I blame it all on the irresponsible and self-absorbed baby boomers. I look forward to the day when our parent's generation can no longer find a job because their skills are useless, which should be around the same time our government finally acknowledges that Social Security is gone and never coming back just like their 401k and eTrade account.

As long as the members of the UAW don't suffer hard times today, the rest of us won't be too pissed off at the government when that inevitable day does arrive, right?? Screw the unions, screw the banks, screw the newspapers; let them fail and hope they drag their irresponsible middle-aged managers right out of the workforce with them because their salvation is coming at the expense of our civilization's slow and painful demise.
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