Thursday, September 25, 2008

(Wall) Streets paved with gold (it's really plastic, but who cares until the paint chips?)

My mom called me yesterday. She said my dad was stressed out because Merrill Lynch declared bankruptcy. I was driving (please don't hurt me mom). I almost hit the guy in front of me. I felt the need to confirm. My mom repeated: "Dad's really stressed out." Me: "THAT'S nothing new, I meant the other part." Mom: "Merrill Lynch declared bankruptcy." scccreeeeeechhh (my brakes).

Of course, my mom, being the bread maker instead of earner in the family, got it wrong. Merrill Lynch did not declare bankruptcy...they were bought by Bank of America. I guess I can see how that works: bankruptcy, Bank of America, what's the difference? A lot less than first meets the eye. 

So I rushed back to my apartment, called my dad. No answer. Called again. No answer. Called again. Got yelled at by my dad. Realized there were other places to get information. Turned on the computer. Internet was broken (serves me right for trying to get free internet). Screamed in frustration. Picked up my Time Magazine. Thank God for Time Magazine. On the cover, in bold letters, were the exact words I wanted to see: How Wall Street Sold Out America. I read the article. I didn't understand very much, so I read it again. I'll let you read it for yourself because it's too much to explain here.

Basically, add hubris to greed, pinch of ignorance (or handful, really) and bake it all in a governmental laissez-faire plan and you've got the heart of the current financial crisis. The government bailed AIG out, but watch Lehman Bros. collapse. How far are they going to let this go? Who's the next one to fall? More importantly, who's the next one that's going to get bailed out and how much is it going to cost America this time around?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Freakonomics blog has been featuring some interesting posts on the bailout. I particularly enjoyed this one.