Thursday, March 20, 2008

The So-Called Liberal Media: All the News That's Fit to Print and Broadcast?

With the BBC serving as one of the few media outlets airing footage about the growing tent city in the California desert, no wonder American's fail to grasp the extent of the housing crisis. Instead we are fed continuing footage about the necessity to bail out Bear Sterns (BS). It would be naive, however, to suggest that allowing BS to collapse of its own evildoing would do anyone any good. It's a whole lot more complex than that.

But while the well-heeled continue to concoct new ways to game the market (and this time-dishonored tendency did not begin in the current administration), Americans continue to suffer. The Clinton administration did ease regulations against the banking (and other) industries. Indeed, Robert Rubin got enacted rules to ease the transition of administration figures into the companies they once regulated. Despite this, however, it's important to note that the Clinton administration, despite its appetite for deregulation, did not tolerate such malfeasance as the sub-prime predators have unleashed. It may have paved the way for abuses, but the real ugliness came at the hands of a public-be-damned George W. Bush administration, which uses every opportunity to mis-serve the public and enrich its cronies. For more on this subject, and for the link between the Eliot Spitzer takedown and the sub-prime collapse, go to here.

Those of us who are cautious concerning borrowing (and, I might add, lucky)have tended to "throw stones" mostly at gullible purchasers, rather than at a system which ensnared, manipulated and ultimately exploited them. And that's our nation's shame.
We have met the enemy and he is us. We've, at least most of us, trotted out the shopworn cliches about red-tape and over-regulation too. And now, we see what that has wrought. Re-regulation cannot come soon enough.

A nearly unfettered market imperils us all. So too do the ideologues who, in their "market" worship, care little about the soundness of our nation's economy, but only what they personally can extract from it. John F. Kennedy urged us to ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. The Bear Sterns crowd sure failed that citizenship test. How many more do not get it?