Monday, September 29, 2008

Too Big Too Fail and the Future World of Bail Outs.

Do current Wall Street bailouts by our federal government make subsequent "Too Big to Fail" (TBTF) policy inevitable? Will future TBTFs, therefore, set up taxpayers and future generations of taxpayers for an imminent cycle of escalating taxes? And what about the current bank failures? First Washington Mutual, and today, Wachovia Bank whose stock plummeted 83% in the past two years through last week, failed. Will all of this lead to huge TBTF banks, with its structure created from a house-of-cards and its location centered in Tornado Alley?

If we're left with fewer and fewer bigger companies, competition is reduced, prices tend to be higher, and yes, we will have even more of this TBTF problem. How can we avoid moral hazard when we continue to rescue Wall Street from their destructive behavior? We will be giving bankers even less incentive to practice thrift and sound business practice because they know they are TBTF.

Lack of responsibility and accountability are intrinsic to this financial crisis, yet our government seems to gloss over this issue as usual. We have assumed the liability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guaranteed $5.4 trillion of mortgage debt, yet this enormous amount will not be included in the budget. Do we hear anything about the $5.4 trillion? Nope, only the $85 billion. Once again, the department of smoke and mirrors is called in to create the illusion of trustworthiness.

We have to hold our government accountable, not the other way around. The only way we can achieve this is to trust ourselves, face the reality of our own situation and that of our neighbors, recognize the imperative of living within our means, and address the fundamental imbalance of what we want and what we can afford...a tough lesson, I know first hand. Once we obliterate the smoke and mirrors in our own life, we can obliterate it from government.

2 comments:

Jack of all trades,  12:01  

I agree with all your posts so far.
This one especially.

This crisis will make people take off the rose-colored glasses and see reality much more clearly. There is an upside to all of this, if we can reform the corruption that is intrinsic to the incestuous relationship between big business and government. Big business is NOT our "friend". They have one motive and that is profit. Just as church and state should not intersect, neither should big business and state.

Roth's stepchild 22:56  

Wow! Thanks for all the comments!

I think they call it corpocracy.

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