Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Leaves

Today is Monday, 22 September 2008.

Happy autumnal equinox!

As of 10.45am CDT, Sol passed directly over the equator heading south, and autumn began. Finally!

But more than leaves should fall.

Over the weekend, the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, a man who makes Scrooge McDuck appear positively benign, made clear the powers he demands to implement his latest (and at least $700 billion) “solution” to the financial credit crisis: no Congressional oversight and absolute immunity from review by “any court of law or any administrative agency”. No checks or balances, simply a one-person dictatorship.

To paraphrase from the Cold War: If you don’t like it here, Henry, why don’t you move to North Korea (where they hate democracy and responsibility as much as you do)? You’ll be right at home, providing you can convince current management to grovel before you, not shoot you on sight.

Cheney-Bush, had they at long last any decency, would summarily fire Paulson for even suggesting such crap. But, of course, dictatorship by the executive branch is Cheney-Bush’s bread and butter. (The rest of us can eat cake.) Paulson should be canned in any event: for the past sixteen months he has repeatedly trumpeted that he had “contained” the crisis. (As an incompetent Treasury Secretary and former Chair and C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs, he’s part of the problem.)

Equally disgusting is Paulson’s proposed course of action. He would buy, with taxpayer dollars, $700 billion worth of poisonous mortgage-backed securities from the thieving companies which peddled same, and let taxpayers absorb the loss. If such a bailout is to be offered, each firm must issue stock to the taxpayers, through the agency of the Federal government, in amounts directly proportional to the poisons taxpayers are being asked to swallow.

(And HH isn't the only one thinking the same: see distinguished economist Paul Krugman's column in today's The New York Times:

And now, in honour of the season, a performance by Stanley Jordan. (HH once had the honour of producing him in concert. Jordan is a true gentleman as well as a great musician.)


Post a Comment

<< Home