Washington D.C.--No kidding? Really? I wasn't aware of this, and neither were all the firms that pushed for it...then crashed, went bankrupt, and are either asking for a hand-out from the government or no longer exist anymore (the latter being the best).
It seems that no matter what this administration does, nobody has any will or desire to hold them accountable. That's because it isn't all about them.
The administration's blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.
"We're going to be feeling the effects of the regulators' failure to address these mortgages for the next several years," said Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition, who warned regulators to tighten lending rules before it was too late. ("AP IMPACT: Under pressure, US eased lending rules," AP, 12.01.2008)
Yes, it's a good thing we have AP and the rest of the soon-to-be former scions of this order to tell us this. Notably, it was Allen Greenspan who advocated much of this deregulation--you remember him, the man everyone listened raptly to just a year ago, genuflecting to every utterance he made. They love you when you're making them rich, but they'll think less of you when yours and their ideas don't work anymore.
These are the rewards of getting your way almost every time. The temporal universe has a way of correcting any organism (or institution) when it's running amok, and we're seeing this writ large now in the developed world. Like emotions, stupidity and delusion are highly-contagious in human society.
When people are riding high and making so much money, they falsely presume what they're doing is correct because it benefits them. Academic join-in on this game, playing along and keeping the horrible truths from us as much as they humanly can. We didn't need them to tell us what they're telling us today: "The NBER says its group of academic economists who determine business cycles met and decided that the U.S. recession began in December 2007." ("Panel says US has been in recession since December 2007," AP, 12.01.2008)
Who could have told them that a pre-1929 approach to the American economy would result in a collapse? Besides the few ten-year-olds I know as neighbors, nearly anyone with a clue. But most Americans don't know their history, and the general attitude is that it's irrelevant, unimportant, and--most importantly--a lot of work and boring to explore. Additionally, there is the contention that it's "worthless knowledge." How worthless is it today, and how much would it have saved the public had we all been more informed and vigilant? More than $1 trillion USD.
Is understanding the last Depression so "worthless" today? It took us almost eighty years to forget what led to the last collapse. How long will it take next time? Probably not very long, since we're bound to keep doing the same things that led to this problem, which works for me.
At that point, history isn't going to let us repeat the same mistakes any longer and this order will be permanently dead. Market rule will be over for good. There are forces stronger than the human race, and we should be glad for it. In sum, whether we learn from it this time is irrelevant: the world trumps the powerful and the groundswell is coming, the general strikes are coming, and modest reforms aren't going to cut it.
In that sense, we have little to worry about with President-elect Barack Obama (at least he's qualified and actually won the election legally), because he's not going to have any choice but to create change with substance in America. That doesn't mean we won't be pushing him--we will--but events have a way of pushing everyone out of the narcotized inaction we've all been in for far too long. Now things affect those who always said, "If it doesn't affect me, I don't care." The fun is over, even for the comfortable these days.
Now things affect those who always said, "If it doesn't affect me, I don't care." The fun is over, even for the comfortable these days. Of course the Bush II administration went well beyond deregulation. They told the business and financial sectors that they could do whatever they wanted to, that nobody was watching.
Today is just a corroboration of what we all knew. Regardless of how many exposes, breaking stories, and general revelations of misconduct, nobody's going to seriously go after the members of the lame duck Bush II administration when they're just as guilty, the problems are systemic. Watch--with glee--as the whores run for cover, even when there ultimately won't be anywhere to run.
We're a strange species, but at least we're beginning to confront power again. Welcome to the end of Reaganism.
"Panel says US has been in recession since December 2007," AP, 12.01.2008: http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20081201/49336f50_3ca6_15526200812011563214544
"AP IMPACT: Under pressure, US eased lending rules," AP, 12.01.2008: http://enews.earthlink.net/article/bus?guid=20081201/49336f50_3ca6_1552620081201459265956