Daily Podcast: All of the Responsibility, All of the Blame

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
daily podcast all of the responsibility all of the blame

President Richard Nixon’s transcripts of the missing 18.5 minutes on the Watergate Tapes admitted that he’d contemplated the possibility of suborning evidence. “We could do that,” the words read. “But it would be wrong.” Of course, Tricky Dicky said no such thing. As we all know, politicians are sleaze-bags who’d steal $700b of your children’s taxes just for one more shot at re-election. But it’s a nice thought: a man of power contemplating a quick fix– who pulls back at the last second because of moral qualms. I’m sure there was an occasion when Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac’s guardians faced a similar [real] moment of truth. “We could write billions of sub-prime mortgages to people who can’t afford them… but it would be wrong.” By the same token, GM didn’t have to rely on “Zero Percent Financing for Anyone with a Pulse” to keep factories chugging along. (Ditto Ford and Chrysler.) They chose to do so. If American automakers didn’t understand the implications of their actions, we should not protect them from the consequences of their decisions. If they did, we should still stay out of it. Responsible companies find new ways to make mistakes. Irresponsible ones adhere to Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. More than that, enabling Motown to “have another go” at doling-out easy money will only hasten their destruction, not prevent it.

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  • Gottleib Gottleib on Oct 08, 2008

    "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." ever hear that one? well we now see that helping the marginal buy houses is what has led us to this hell, that and making credit the solution to our economic problems. Now is the time to get real, begin working on solutions to our economic problems and realize that the consumerism is not the answer.

  • Geeber Geeber on Oct 08, 2008
    mel23: The seizing of credit goes beyond the US of course, but we’re champs in inflated housing prices and huge credit card debt. There has been a great deal of speculation in European housing, too (particularly in Great Britain and the Netherlands), and their governments are facing debt problems even worse than ours. So I wouldn't say that they have ncecessarily been more prudent or responsible than the U.S.

  • Menno Menno on Oct 08, 2008

    "Someone just blinked" The South Koreans have stopped lending to the US. Next? BTW, I stand by my assertion that India may financially "survive" when all others fall. Indians buy physical gold, the rest of the world seems content to buy US debts (well, except for the South Koreans, now). And yes, Britain and Europe and Russia are even worse off than the US.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 08, 2008

    RF, Well said. Menno, If gold made for good economies, Spain would STILL rule the world. In fact, it was gold wealth that prevented Spain from ever building a good economy. The reason everyone buys US debt is simply a vote on our high level of private property protection and lack of socialism. That is why those loans will start to dry up as we continue to watch capitalism be voted down in the US. EDIT - I forgot the fact that we are militarily the biggest dogs on the planet. There are lots of folks who realize that means something.