Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Many of You have a Rich Relative or a Degenerate Gambler in the Family?

Man, I woke up writing Obama's speech to the nation on the economy, with charts, graphs and folksy aphorisms. If only. I think McCain will, indeed, turn up at the last minute for the debate and I know he doesn't want the debate or the discussion to turn on the economy because he's just spent the last two days grandstanding and probably isn't prepared. What I'd love to see is for Obama to get the chance to do a Bill Clinton style take it to the people discussion. And I'd love to hear him rip into the deregulators and give a list of previous incidents (keating five!, S and L! AIG! Sweden's Bank Meltdown!) and I'd love to hear him take the accusation that this is all down to mortgage fraud by consumers head on. He should compare responsible lending and borrowing and explain how and why the banks and the investment banks started making money by fraudulently loaning stuff out knowing they'd make money, for a while, anyway. And I'd like to hear him bring it down to our level by pointing out that the banks are going insolvent now not merely because people aren't paying their mortages but because they overvalued their assets and the stock sellers are demanding back money that isn't backed by assets. The line reverberating in my head is
"anyone have a rich relative or a degenerate gambler in the family? Well, you know you can't tell those people a thing. When they've got the money, or they are winning, they are too arrogant to want your help or your advice or any regulation of their behavior. When they are losing, suddenly they are all over you for help but they still won't take your advice. That's Paulson and Bernake and the whole of Wall Street in a Nutshell. They need a twelve step program for fiscal sobriety before we can help them."