The forced march of bankers and Wall Street insurance men to Washington this past Wednesday, to issue their mea culpa regarding last years banking and mortgage market meltdown yielded expected results; nothin! From expected answers like, “we never saw it coming,” to unbelievable answers such as “it seemed like a good investment at the time,” we the general public come away with more questions than we do answers of relevance. Called before a committee set up to investigate the financial debacle, the bankers and such, were also there to justify the large bonus checks waiting for them when they returned to New York as well. Given that their explanations for the crisis hardly justified car fare home one quickly thinks of Ricky Ricardo, “ Lucy, you got a lot of explaining to do!”
The fact that the government acted as an accomplice to the whole debacle under the former treasury secretary seems to be an issue forgotten. If you have forgotten as well, it was Paulson prior to returning to his financial roots, that set in motion a flood of money into the bank vaults of these shaky institutions consisting of billions of tax payer monies that had to in large part be borrowed at interest rates you and I would never sign a loan agreement for. To hear these financial wizards tell the story that money is just water under the bridge and the focus should be on all the money they made last year; not lost the year before.
Never mind that the, “good investments” they made last year were on your tab, with your money. Borrowing money at zero percent interest without any worry of having to pay it back! Talk about a reverse Ponzi scheme; all the money comes in at the top from the Feds, and the bankers all take their turn dividing it to the levels beneath them. Each level of course getting smaller and smaller!! You barely got a quarter percent interest on your savings.
Current Treasury Secretary Geithner, whom I must admit instills little or no confidence in the lamest of laymen about what he has been doing this last year, seems to be more than willing to appease his fellow bosses than to be evoking any kind of turnaround in banking policy. Vetted and hired for the job with the full knowledge that he hadn’t paid his own taxes, for sure he got off on the wrong start and has yet to make any turnarounds that in the long run will prove beneficial to the little guy’s investments. For sure he is not the only one to come up lacking. Larry Summers isn’t moving any great pile of earth in getting our economy back on solid ground either. One might say, “What did you expect to happen”; both of these men come from the well-healed financial community that got us into the mess in the first place. Why would we suppose they would have the answer to all our problems? Just having the desire to set things straight isn’t necessarily going to help make it so!
Without doubt, the ultimate blame for the malaise surrounding any real action to bringing Wall Street and the banking industry under any kind of control falls with our lawmakers. The lackadaisical Democrats that have buried their heads in health care reform as if they could only handle one issue at a time and the Republicans for their adversarial attitudes on everything. Failure starts with the letter, “Obama” according to them. As long as we continually seek solutions to our problems by using the very people who created them we all can forget any turnaround any time soon.