The Bailout II: This Time, There's Arm-Twisting

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The House is debating the bailout now and a few members are declaring their switch from "no" votes to "yes" votes. So far:

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) [actually made this public yesterday]
John Lewis (D-GA)
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Howard Coble (R-NC)
Gresham Barrett (R-SC)
Zach Wamp (R-TN)

So as of now it still fails 222-211. But we're getting closer.

UPDATE: Elijah Cummings (D-MD) switches. 221-212.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) too. 220-213. (And bookmark the Politico's Crypt blog.)

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) switches. 219-214.

Rep. David Scott (D-GA) switches, so it's 218-215. And that's four black caucus members so far who've switched because Barack Obama told them to.

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) switches: We're at 217-216. There's no chance that this will fail.

NEXT: Friday Mini Book Review: The Pixar Touch

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  1. I predict it’s gonna pass this time.

    I don’t have too much faith that the House will do the right thing more than once. They stopped this thing once and that’s good enough for them.

    It’s like FISA all over again. The House does something right, the Senate does it poorly, and then the House goes along.

    Business as usual

  2. Thanks, B. Hussein O. That’s change Wall Street can believe in.

  3. I got lambasted on a thread a few days ago for suggesting that some kind of bail-out is going to be necessary so that frozen credit markets will not sink us into a depression, as grotesque as the bail-out is. Since then, more evidence has come in about the gathering storm in the real economy. So, naysayers, what do you suggest we do? If you demand that I surrender my libertarian decoder ring, I will. I just want to make sure I can still feed my kid this time next year.

  4. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) has also expressed support for the new bill after voting down the first one.

  5. At least my guy, Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) i still hanging tough. Er, if no news is good news that is.

  6. jbd,

    So, naysayers, what do you suggest we do?

    Deregulate and lower taxes.

    Next silly question?

  7. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  8. I wish to hell I could be drinking right now. As it is, I may take some painkillers, because if this bailout passes, I am gonna shit the hugest brick and it’s gonna hurt.

  9. jbd:
    Huh? What happened since Monday that has made the peril that much more salient? The credit markets AREN’T FROZEN. Are you suggesting (as Bush and the AP now are) that lending has ceased? There is no evidence–none–to suggest that lending has ceased. It has tightened, yes, but that means zilch–it means that banks have stopped lending to people who are bad candidates for loans.

  10. Do I drink when they say “Main Street” or “Wall Street”? I’ve lost count

  11. My guess is they will pass American Structured Securities Rescue Act for a Prudent Economy.

    Bastards.

  12. If it was a bad idea before, why isn’t it a bad idea today? What trifling piece of pork or behind-the-scenes arm twisting was adequate to change your view that the bailout was bad for America?

    I have an idea. How about some totally different legislation to change the rules a bit for the emergency, which will get some of the consumer confidence lift they’re looking for without gambling the future economy (and increasing the tax burden)? If Congress is worth anything at all, why aren’t they debating competing bills?

    I friggin’ hate Congress.

  13. jbd,

    The bailout will make things much worse. It’s like a drug addict trying to “get well” by injecting more and more heroin. We are in serious danger of overdosing.

    We need to go through the pains of withdrawal. The sooner the better. And then we’ll begin to get healthy. But if we keep on the junk we’ll only get worse.

  14. When honest debate fails, graft and pork can change minds…

  15. PL,

    If it was a bad idea before, why isn’t it a bad idea today?

    Report to room 101 and read more Orwell, RIGHT NOW!

  16. Can I take a contrarian position to every mba school and say that a properly run business doesnt NEED credit access? Grow by selling equity or out of profits instead.

    Im not favoring outlawing credit or anything, I am a libertarian after all, but lack of credit only causes problems for those who arent willing to operate in a different way.

    BTW, I came to this position the hard way. My company is finally out of debt and we would have made much smarter decisions if we had not had easy access to credit a few years back.

  17. If this bill passes it will create havoc on the capital market, because business will have to compete with the $700 billion of Treasurys that is going to flood the market. You better have no debt maturing in 2009 if you want to survive this Tsunami.

  18. Just called John Lewis. I hope he votes no.

  19. Warren,

    That is a prohibited analogy on these servers. Replace recreational drug use with a different metephor please.

  20. OK, I took the Vicodin, because this is clearly going to pass.

  21. My representative McCaul voted “nay” in the first vote. Here’s hoping he does so again.

  22. “Deregulate and lower taxes.”

    And this will get credit flowing again–how? Walk me through it, Guy Montag. And while you’re at it, explain to me how taxes and excessive regulations:

    *forced credit rating agencies to give AAA ratings to products whose value ultimately depended on speculation that housing prices would keep going up;
    *allowed the biggest i-banks to ratchet their leverage to debt-equity ratios of 30 or 40 to 1;
    *forced mortgage originators to grant no-income-no asset and stated-income-stated-asset loans.
    And so on.

    I’m not a fun of the CRA, but over-regulation and taxation cannot plausibly be blamed for this stuff. I’d actually like to hear a real answer fo what else we could do, because I think we’re in a serious situation. But hey, thanks for playing.

  23. Warren is exactly right, we’re in a heroin addict economy that’s hooked on inflationary money creation via some of the most dishonest and dangerous means in history (click on the “JMR” for only some of the details). A bailout is going to remain both morally and fiscally wrong when it’s finally passed, with a bunch of pork attached. The spending is the problem. IT NEEDS TO STOP.

  24. robc,

    I tend to agree, but at some point (and I’m not a business owner) I have to figure that sometimes a business expansion requires traditional credit. For instance, I’m very anti-debt, yet I have a car loan and a mortgage.

  25. robc,

    You seem to have a fondness for the Dark Age economic system (if one could call it that) that resulted from the Catholic Church’s ‘usury’ prohibitions.

  26. fax these guys and beg them to reconsider!

  27. If the economy were to take off like a rocket, this credit crisis could be overcome. So, what could be done to stimulate major growth, without smoke and mirrors that result in crazy inflation?

  28. But robc- leverage is the goodest thing ever! And the more you buy, the more you save.

    Surely you can’t want the whole house of cards thriving economy to collapse. Why do you hate America?

  29. ProL,

    Stabilizing our energy supply for one…

  30. Fuck, we lost Donna Edwards (MD)

  31. LIT,

    I originally read your comment as a joke about the alternative energy add-on to the Senate bill. However, it is a valid answer the way you meant it.

    Next?

  32. Well, it was fun while it lasted. (Silently consoles self with knowledge that doesn’t have children.)

  33. Okay, I understand the argument that we may make things worse in the long run without a bail-out. You may be right. But in the long run, we’re all dead.

    But for Brandon, arguing that credit markets haven’t frozen–dude, you need to get out more, or at least read the newspaper. The state of california cannot get routine credit. The commercial paper market has repeatedly shut down–and that’s a market only for the most financially secure companies. Routine business lines of credit are next.

    Do you really think the threat is just a giant scam, that Buffett and others are just making this all up? That is a tin-foil hat position.

  34. jbd,

    Sorry, I am nowhere near bright enough to explain to you how *multiple* government programs shoving money at people who should not be borrowing it to begin with would mess up a credit market, nor how theft through taxation robs available funds from the private sector of the economy.

    Wish I could help you.

  35. Silently consoles self with knowledge that doesn’t have children

    But what about the children I don’t know about from those one-night stands? What about them?!?

  36. jbd: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9685

    Care to comment? If non-Fed interbank lending (the supposed “freeze” in the credit market) is less than 5% of overall lending, how the hell is it holding up ALL lending? It makes no sense.

  37. Correction: “I understand the argument that we may make things worse in the long run WITH a bail-out.”

  38. Have they gotten to the Montag Hybrid Charger provision yet for hybrids that burn gas and rubber?

  39. I thought there were some Blue Dogs that might switch from yea to nay. That isn’t happening?

  40. jbd,

    Using the captain obvious metric, we can all agree that markets are more regulated than ever (certainly compared to say, 1909) and we’re taxed higher than ever, and yet we have this crisis. So one could reasonably ask: How did regulation and higher taxation stop this from happening?

    But I also admit and recognize that that’s an oversimplified analysis.

    *forced credit rating agencies to give AAA ratings to products whose value ultimately depended on speculation that housing prices would keep going up;

    I don’t have an answer for this, but to dream the impossible dream that more regulation will fix every market excess is a pipe dream. The market fixes its own excesses– you know, kind of like it is was before government stuck $700 billion of bailout money in it, right now.

    *allowed the biggest i-banks to ratchet their leverage to debt-equity ratios of 30 or 40 to 1;

    Well, they asked the fed to allow them to do this– in the dark of night, and the Fed said “Yes!” One could certainly argue that the Fed’s allowance of these leverage ratios weren’t ‘regulation’ but it certainly shows how the regulating agency– the Fed– is completely useless.

    *forced mortgage originators to grant no-income-no asset and stated-income-stated-asset loans.

    Welcome to the mandate for the GSE’s. Get more low-income people into homes. Period. Profit should be the motive, not community activism.

    And so on.

    And so on. Read Reason’s coverage of this– some of the best in the nation.

    Also, yes, there is a commercial credit slowdown. Oh, and the state of California not being able to get credit is a bad thing why? Do you have any idea how the U.S. government is going to get the $1 trillion to bail this thing out? Yep, credit. They’re going to get international credit to pay for this thing. Crerdit markets are merely pulling back as a safety measure. This too, shall pass.

  41. I’m not a fun of the CRA, but over-regulation and taxation cannot plausibly be blamed for this stuff.

    Was anybody blaming taxation? Or even over-regulation (that much)?

    The point, I think, is that there ought to be a better way of dealing with the short-term problem than trying to spend our way out of it; for example, by reducing government-imposed costs of business. Like, legislation and stuff, rather than handing over our future earnings to our new economic overlord.

  42. BTW, what the hell happened to that Senate that was supposed to be the saucer for cooling coffee?

    They turned into a gas-plasma heater over night!

  43. Silently consoles self with knowledge that doesn’t have children

    If you had children, at least you’d be able to eat them when the really desperate times come. But as it stands, you’ve got nothing.

    So I don’t see that as being consoling.

  44. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! My condo!!!!

  45. Pro L.

    The whole notion that growth can be stimulated is wrong. What the government does can have a major effect on the economy but the economy doesn’t grow because of anything the government does. The economy grows because people figure out how to best increase their own wealth by buying and selling stuff. What the government can do to encourage this is limited, but crucial.
    1) Rule of Law
    2) Property rights
    3) Contract Law
    4) Get the fuck out of the way

    Lowering lending rates, deficient spending, liquidity injections, and especially bailing out failed institutions, all have a counter productive effect on the economy because they distort market forces.

  46. Warren,

    Right on brother!

    Government can’t “grow” an economy, but they sure can induce shrinkage quicker than an ice bath.

  47. Do you really think the threat is just a giant scam

    Yes. Yes I do.

    that Buffett and others are just making this all up?

    No, they’re not “making this all up”. The crisis is real, but the ones shouting THE SKY IS FALLING! WE MUST ACT NOW! are the ones who will benefit from this bailout. The rest of us will get fucked that much harder.

  48. Can someone on the “it’s all deregulation’s fault” side explain for me why they can say that in light of Bush’s unprecedented-in-US-history spending levels on…(wait for it…) financial Regulation? I’m jealous, and I wish I could get away with unmitigated political bullshit like that, so I need to learn from the masters. Thanks.

  49. If you read carefully, jbd’s point was that he knows this isn’t good long term, so let’s just kick the can up the road a bit and let people deal with it after we’re all dead.

    Problem is (in addition to that being immoral), the feds probably can’t keep all those plates spinning that long.

  50. in defense of the badly battered jbd: Don, the point is that if banks wont lend to each other more and more will go bankrupt. You’d probably argue, “fine, let the weak links fail” but the more that fail, the more shotgun wedding style consolidation will occur, and the weaker the overall banking system gets as the poor balance sheets get absorbed weaking the good. So far, a lot of this has occurred with govt backing as in Bear and Wachovia. So the bailout will happen one way or another, whether the money comes from the TARP or the FDIC or get printed by the fed as the treasury lets them expand their balance sheet further to take on ever more non-treasury assets directly.

  51. Deregulate and lower taxes isn’t exactly the answer I would give. I’d say more like regulate intelligently, efficiently, and uniformly, and lower government spending. (Yeah, I know. No chance of Congress doing that.) Even so:

    * “forced credit rating agencies to give AAA ratings to products whose value…”

    First part of answer: We can’t trust regulators as watchdogs of proper ratings, either. There is no magic bullet. Ultimately, you can only trust ratings companies who have established a reputation for trustworthiness.

    * “allowed the biggest i-banks to ratchet their leverage to debt-equity ratios of 30 or 40 to 1”

    That was regulation. Poor regulation, but it was regulation nonetheless. Goes to show that you can’t automatically trust government regulators to be more honest or wise than anybody else.

    * “forced mortgage originators to grant no-income-no asset and stated-income-stated-asset loans.”

    It wasn’t regulation, but Fannie Mac and Freddy Mac did encourage such loans by offering to buy up the risk on them.

    Second part of answer: With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backing the securities, their full risk was not perceived. This is because there’s a tradition in financial analysis of considering anything backed by the government as rock solid risk-wise. How many times have you heard some financial article describe T-bills, the FDIC, dollars, Social Security as safe because “backed by the government”?

  52. Do you really think the threat is just a giant scam, that Buffett and others are just making this all up? That is a tin-foil hat position.

    No its not a conspiracy. But if your whole life revolves around the financial market and it starts to tank, you might start to think everything else is going with it. Because you can’t possibly conceive that anyone can function without you. So you panic and tell everyone that the whole sector needs to be bailed out or the world will burn.

    It’s just many are being myopic. They can’t see the forest from the trees.

  53. Okay, I understand the argument that we may make things worse in the long run without a bail-out. You may be right. But in the long run, we’re all dead.

    Dunno ’bout you, but I plan on hanging around for a few decades yet. And those chickens will be coming home well before my anticipated demise.

    Warren’s analogy is soooo fuckin’ apt. Junkies call their heroin fix “medicine”.

  54. Who’s battering jbd? He asked a good question, I thought everyone was pretty civil. I never read into his message that he thought this was a ‘good thing’.

    It’s not my fault.

    She looked at least 16 to me.

    Etc.

  55. So, what could be done to stimulate major growth, without smoke and mirrors that result in crazy inflation?

    Cut government spending. A good starting place would be bringing the troops home from Iraq.

  56. “battered” might have been poorly chosen. but anyway I wanted to support his point.

  57. Warren,

    Actually, that was my point. Reduce the tax burden and take some threads out of the regulatory net. How about suspending capital gains taxes and going with a flat corporate and individual tax structure?

    Also, the political motivations that helped create this crisis–getting everyone an “affordable” mortgage, playing footsies with industry, etc.–need to be addressed. The government has no business using taxation or regulation to create desired market results. I could live with indirect policies to encourage more available credit and maybe disclosure regulations with more teeth in them, but manipulating the economy is a dangerous practice that should be done very rarely (if at all).

  58. My guess is they will pass American Structured Securities Rescue Act for a Prudent Economy.

    Wow, not even a well-crafted acronym can cheer me up about this shit. Vicodin sounds good right now.

    (At least I have my street cred to console me. Which street, Wall or Main, I’m not certain.)

  59. Unfortunately “the long run” has arrived. Getting rich by printing money isn’t working anymore. We’re either going to have to stop the presses or drive it to zero. If we do the former, we’re in for a bitter-cold harsh winter. If the latter, we won’t survive to see the spring.

  60. News flying under the radar today:

    Wells Fargo did an end-run around regulators today and offered $15billion for Wachovia. No government intervention req’d.

  61. Dagny, I was hurt that no one said anything. Too subtle? Thanks for the props.

  62. Actually printing money would work pretty well right now – the market thinks we are going into a deflationary spiral for the next 5 years – and is not charging them anything for inflation protection. The treasury should surely take advantage of this ridiculous sentiment by borrowing s-loads of money at all maturities.

  63. Thanks, B. Hussein O.

    You’ve got to love it when The Worst President in American History and Change We Can Believe In are fully together on the same page.

  64. “allowed the biggest i-banks to ratchet their leverage to debt-equity ratios of 30 or 40 to 1″
    That was regulation. Poor regulation, but it was regulation nonetheless. Goes to show that you can’t automatically trust government regulators to be more honest or wise than anybody else.”

    The guys calling for de-regulation as a solution would presumably say that there should have been no regulatory limits at all on the net capital positions of the i-banks. Would that have improved the situation? It seems to me that free-market purism, while it leads to great results in many areas, runs into trouble when it comes to the financial system, because the failure of one bad financial insitution can bring down many good ones.

    When you make this point, what you get back is a lot of abstract theory (if all of them are allowed to fail, then such institutions won’t deal with shaky counterparties in the future–etc.) But theories and practical reality don’t always match up.

  65. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) switches: We’re at 217-216. There’s no chance that this will fail.

    ARRRGH! FUCKITY FUCK FUCK
    God Damn It.
    Is this the beginning of the end? Winter’s coming.
    Holy Christ this is depressing.
    God I need a drink. I can’t remember the last time I’ve needed one this bad.
    FUCK!

  66. We need an American Guy Fawkes.

    One that succeeds.

  67. I need to leave the country for someplace safer.

    Any chance the rotation schedule for Army Reserve units could be accelerated by a few months?

  68. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) switches: We’re at 217-216. There’s no chance that this will fail.

    Damn, we’re gonna get A.S.S.R.A.P.E’d for sure.

  69. Ravac,

    I think Guy Fawkes day is not until next month. What we need is a greater pumpkin.

  70. I need to leave the country for someplace safer.

    Any chance the rotation schedule for Army Reserve units could be accelerated by a few months?

    I hear the violence in Iraq is down.

  71. The guys calling for de-regulation as a solution would presumably say that there should have been no regulatory limits…

    I can’t speak to this. I’m not an anarchist/purist libertarian.

  72. Citizens,

    If we are to believe the timbre of the informational ether, we are at a crook in the mixed shit creek economy. There is, we are lectured, finally and unfortunately, no choice remaining. We must bail out…Congress. Also the Bush administration, the red and blue Presidential hopefuls, and the respectable media. The epochal legislation under consideration has simply been made to seem too important not to pass. Credit is obviously frozen because members of Congress and the mainstream Presidential candidates are getting nary a trickle. Furthermore, talking news heads and experts (and ex-experts) went balls out for the Wall Street welfare tsunami and, after being flabbergasted by popular opposition (which temporarily increased liquidity in most commentators’ collective pants), find themselves in need of a rescue plan. Clearly, this cannot stand. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is impolite to point out that when the wisdom of the entire governing industry and its 24-hour PR wing proves to be of the sub-prime variety, the public personas of the pro-bailout, bi-partisan, bi-cameral Centristocracy must receive from their subjects the approbatory absolution that only a geyser of U.S. Mint ink can deliver. They are, you must understand, too big to fail.

  73. I’m voting against anyone who voted for the bailout. No exceptions.

  74. News flying under the radar today:

    Wells Fargo did an end-run around regulators today and offered $15billion for Wachovia. No government intervention req’d.

    The feds are very upset, though, and are backing Citi here. I’d be amazed if Citi gets anything more than a payout from Wells, but it’s great to see our custodians of taxpayer money in action.

  75. I’m voting against anyone who voted for the bailout. No exceptions.

    *sigh*

    I guess I’d better register to vote, now.

  76. Well, I did my part, FWIW. I actually called Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (who voted ‘no’ last time) and told the drone I wanted her to vote no again. I guess he put a check mark down, or something, but he was abrupt. On the other hand, it took me ages to send an e-mail–the automated e-mail system was being battered (I assume).

  77. I guess I’d better register to vote, now.

    Do it. The moral satisfaction I will get from voting against every for-the-children prop here in California is worth it. Then I have to drink, but still.

  78. I hear the violence in Iraq is down.

    Will settle for anyplace in the USCENTCOM AOR.

  79. could this do anything positive for Barr?

    – i have done the five stages and at acceptance for this bill

  80. Some news to cheer you all up. No seriously. Totally SFW. I want to throw a parade.

  81. Wow, not even a well-crafted acronym can cheer me up about this shit. Vicodin sounds good right now.

    That’s why I took one! Holy shit am I hyper. I really cannot handle caffeine.

  82. Any chance of this being declared unConstitutional?

  83. votes on

    83-32
    yea-nay

    -bullet to head

  84. robc,

    I’m with you on the distaste for debt in the business, or personal debt, for that matter.

    I was having dinner with a couple of buddies the other night, and they were talking about there plan to start an in-home recording studio construction company. Most of the plan involved becoming a dealer for several audio companies, and financing the purchase of all their equipment.

    That to me sounded like a surefire method to setting one’s financial capabilities back about 20 years. Debt is like arsenic. It can serve a purpose, but it’s generally just not very pleasant.

  85. Very nice, Paul.

  86. Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

  87. NutraSweet, as good as that news is, why are you listening to her? You can just change the channel. Her staring at you from every single non-Cosmo mag in the checkout line won’t change.

  88. Fuck these spineless fuckshits. Argh.

  89. This is unEnglish! This is unAmerican! This is unAcceptable! It’s french!

  90. No, it’s merely the knowledge that she can’t speak that thrills me.

    Mini-Cheeseburger Salad

  91. jbd: deregulation will work in theory and in practice. Once banks figure out they can’t trust another banks estimates of values and don’t trust ratings agencies they will take less risk and stop leveraging themselves 40:1. But now the gov has bailed them out and they will continue the same crap that has gotten them in this mess, and next time they can blame the regulators who oversaw and let it happen. Same shit different day. Nothing will change until it collapses.

  92. repubs still voting against it. impressive.

  93. 1. That was me in the 1:21pm post.

    2. I watch Rachael Ray with the sound off, the same way I watch Shania Twain.

  94. Watching the scumbags applaud as this passed made me puke.

  95. Bill is in, Dow still tanks – yay!

  96. NutraSweet, you need to go more Mediterranean.

  97. Why the heck can’t the anti-bailout folks turn some former yes-votes into no-votes? If all the lobbying is going the other way, then the bailout will pass for sure.

    Yeah, we all know it’s gonna pass. Oh well.

  98. Now, I was pointing out here recipes are, most the most part, vomitous. The only thing good she cooks like stuff ripped off of her Portuguese relatives.

  99. The Dow fell about 150 points between the start of the vote and a minute after it passed. Went down about 80 points immediately after it passed.

  100. Motion to suspend the rules (of capitalism)…passes! I’m thinking the ones who switched their votes to Yep are worse than the ones who voted Yep both times.

  101. 263 – 171. It passes.

    I think the claim that the last voted failed by accident is true, and they are made damn sure they didn’t make that mistake this time.

  102. Now I’m freeeeeee.. freee-fallin!

  103. Now down about 220. How do the bailout proponents explain this?

  104. Yea! We can keep lending to people who can’t really afford it. The world is saved!!!!!!

  105. voxpo,

    It doesn’t matter what the Dow does. If it goes up: We cured the economy! If it goes down: The bailout wasn’t strong enough!

  106. Why the heck can’t the anti-bailout folks turn some former yes-votes into no-votes? If all the lobbying is going the other way, then the bailout will pass for sure.

    Interesting point. Yeah, why were the NO’s defending in a bunker with limited supplies and dwindling ammunition. Who was making the calls and pressing the flesh to convince the Yea’s to be Nay’s?

  107. And the biggest fiscal con job in American history is complete. Rarely have I ever been more disgusted.

  108. Paul:

    The party leadership of both parties. It’s sickening.

  109. Heads they win, tails we lose. It’s a sucker’s game. I’d rather blow my money in Vegas before they can steal it; at least I’ll have some fun.

  110. Whoops misread your statement. Basically it was the Nay’s bill to lose when the heads of the parties are going around telling everyone to vote yes.

  111. they’ll blame the market going down on Congress not acting soon enough. This is the internet age we need immediate congressional action.

  112. Guy,

    Rachael Ray? Ugh.

  113. Why do they hate us?

  114. Perhaps it is the EvilRichStockTraders feeling guilty and tossing away their excessive profits?

  115. PL,

    I find her to be a cutie.

  116. So why did Wall Street head south the moment the vote was taken?

  117. I see Ammonium already asked my question, and others have provided answers.

  118. Pork greases the wheels!!! Personal responsibilty shrugged!!

    Didn’t Palin say McCain was anti-pork and believed in personal responsibilty last night?

  119. jbd:

    I’m not a fun of the CRA, but over-regulation and taxation cannot plausibly be blamed for this stuff. I’d actually like to hear a real answer fo what else we could do, because I think we’re in a serious situation. But hey, thanks for playing.

    Right now the supply (and hence the price) of loanable funds is pretty much discretionary, and determined by a board of supposedely benevolent experts. I don’t think they did that great of a job, their bias is to always make it easy to get money, even when interest rates should be going up. And when things should be getting cheaper, then and only then their bias is towards price “stability”. Well, actually now that this bill has passed it looks like we have two boards of benovelent experts (at least until the Treasury spends their 700 billion).

    If only we libertarians could think of some way to allocate scarce resources in an efficient manner without a central board of experts. Maybe some economist will come up with something.

  120. ChanceH,

    It is really hard to show someone an invisible hand and convince them that it is real.

  121. Part of me was surprised, but I guess maybe none of me should have been. In some of the articles I read after the first vote, representatives were saying things like “I want this bill to pass, but I want you to vote for it instead of me”.

    I think this is worse than the first bill – since now they have all that pork and whatnot.

  122. What’s next?

    I suggest we:

    1- Watch this gargantuan new government program closely and report on it frequently. I’m sure Reason will do its part.

    2- Start over with our thinking about economics education. We need to start…over. Most people have almost no grasp of the very most fundamental economics concepts (e.g., resources are limited; saving labor is good, etc.). Many are quite confident in the truth of falsehoods. But, I submit that this is because basic economics is non-intuitive and society–even the portion that should have known better–has largely ignored economic literacy as a priority. I am convinced that there are ways of turning this around that have not been tried. The potential payoff is great. The risk of not doing so is…well…read the headlines.

  123. Didn’t Palin say McCain was anti-pork and believed in personal responsibilty last night?

    Yeah, but her lips were moving. Ergo . . .

  124. She has dreamy lips.

  125. Today, the invisible hand has it’s middle finger fully extended.

  126. Dude, I think the invisible hand just got turned into a fist and we all just bent over, if you catch my drift.

  127. The stock market doesn’t love the bailout – it hates the absence of a bailout. not like payrolls were great this morning either.

  128. It’s done. So who has some good investment advice to make some cash by investing in those Wall Street firms that will be raping the taxpayer? No sense us taking the kind of screwing that average Joe and Jill Taxpayer will take.

  129. Buy bank preferred stock. they mostly yield between 9-15%. they cant get wiped out since now it’s not possible to go bankrupt. like super high yielding longterm debt underwritten by gov.

  130. I’d say the invisible hand got rapped hard across the knuckles by a giant steel ruler wielded by a deranged nun with only the best intentions.

  131. Nah, it’s the invisible hand that does the rapping. The deranged nuns (Congress) took the steel ruler away and is attempting to use Positive Discipline to fix the bad kid (Wall Street).

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