Troubled Times Call For Muses Of The Same

E. J. Dionne Jr. – The Street on Welfare – washingtonpost.com

Never do I want to hear again from my conservative friends about how brilliant capitalists are, how much they deserve their seven-figure salaries and how government should keep its hands off the private economy.

The Wall Street titans have turned into a bunch of welfare clients. They are desperate to be bailed out by government from their own incompetence, and from the deregulatory regime for which they lobbied so hard. They have lost “confidence” in each other, you see, because none of these oh-so-wise captains of the universe have any idea what kinds of devalued securities sit in one another’s portfolios.

And then…

The Bailout Artists – New York Times

Who’s not to blame? The mortgage brokers were out of control. Regulators were asleep. Home buyers thought they were entitled to Corian counters and a two-story great room. Everybody from Norwegian town elders to financial geniuses decided that house prices would always go up. This was an episode of mass idiocy.

Our economic system is based on the idea that people take responsibility for their own decisions. It would be ruinous if people felt free to take horrendous risks knowing that the government would bail them out if those decisions didn’t pan out.

Nonetheless, individual responsibility is not absolute…

And Paul Krugman has this to say…

Paul Krugman – Op-Ed Columnist – New York Times Blog

I’ve been worried for a while about the fact that, according to financial reporters, the freezing up of the credit markets is causing a financial meltdown. The world is ending in ice and fire, simultaneously. But this is true cause for alarm:

“The self-feeding downturn now in place shows signs of becoming deeply entrenched,” economists at Citigroup wrote Friday.

Uh oh. we’ve got a downturn that can feed itself and, at the same time, dig trenches.

And the weather outside is threatenin to boot…Have a great day y’all.

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