Are We Still in a Financial Crisis?

The week ends with no deal in sight. We essentially have the White House, Senate Democrats and Republicans (or at least a sufficient number of them), and House Democrats willing to make a deal. John McCain came to town, met with the rebellious House Democrats, and other than that has done nothing substantial. A debate is scheduled for this evening, though Barack Obama may be doing a town hall rather than a debate.

There's been lots of drama but nothing concrete. Barack Obama was there yesterday, asked good questions, and was told by Hank Paulson that the House Republican "plan," what Barney Frank called this morning a one page set of bullet points, was unworkable. Obama has stood steady, conferring with the Democratic leaders and negotiators. He didn't make a grand entrance in the capital like McCain, didn't say he was riding to the rescue, but he showed, in my mind a steady hand, letting the designated powers do their job.

Now, perhaps McCain will rescue us by the end of the day, but right now it almost seems as if McCain is using this as a stunt to distance himself from Bush -- to undermine Obama's claim that McCain is more of the same.

As for the "bailout," no one is thrilled about this. In fact, it seems odd that the Congressional Democrats are the ones working hardest to bail out a failed President from the opposing party. Why? I guess because they're convinced that as unpalatable and unpopular this is -- the welfare of the country comes first. Could that be?

Last night Washington Mutual was taken over and its banking operations sold. I banked with Washington Mutual for years -- in fact Cheryl and I banked with Great Western Bank, which WaMu bought out. We had stock in the company until recently. It was an excellent bank, served us well, and seemed strong and steady, until the bottom fell out of California's housing market. Today we'll watch the markets to see what they do. We rail against Wall Street, but almost all of us are touched by Wall Street. We have loans and investments and 401Ks that are related. To suggest that it's Wall Street versus Main Street is a bit simplistic. Everything is related.

What we need right now are adults willing to do what might seem unpopular to right the ship -- a ship captained by GW Bush and crewed by these same House Republicans that are now in revolt.


Nick said…
Contrary to what the main stream media says, wall street as a whole (capitalism) should not be blamed for the actions and policies set forth by OUR congress. There are, in fact, corrupt men in wall street who partnered with corrupt men in government to engineer a win-win situation at the expense of the taxpayer. Capitalism (and our nation or any nation) will only survive when the good and virtuous people are running it. Which means, come this November, you must vote for good men and women who stand by principle and uphold our constitution and not just give lip service to causes that seem noble and just.

The problem is: who is the virtuous candidate? I would say here, as I've done before, the American people almost always assume that their guy is virtuous and everyone else's isn't. When I was in California, I thought highly of my Congressional Representative. Now that I'm in Michigan -- that may change. But since incumbents win most of the time I'm not sure how we'll end up throwing out the bad guys and insert the good guys!
Anonymous said…
Sadly, many begin "good", but then turn bad. Also.. what often makes someone electable is the very thing we detest. Its through ear marks, special projects, etc. Think about it.. the presidential campaign will cost ONE BILLION dollars.. for a job where you earn less than $400k a year?? We are all smart enough to know that with the job come kick backs that make it worth "investing" the billion.

As they say.. absolute power corrupts absolutely. Maybe the Lord knew what he was talking about when he first refused, then reluctantly gave Israel an earthly king.

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