“If these guys are our best and brightest, then it is about time we rethink what constitutes wisdom….”
By Victor Davis Hanson
The Washington Times
October 12, 2008
Until the last few weeks, the financial panic was still mostly far away on Wall Street. But not now.
Car loans, mortgages and college financing are suddenly harder to come by. Millions are stuck in houses not worth what is owed on them. Cash-strapped consumers are cutting back. The economy slows. Jobs disappear. Who wants to open quarterly 401(k) statements only to learn everything they put away in retirement accounts the last two or three years is gone?
House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., talks with reporters after meeting with fellow Democrats about the financial bailout package Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008 in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
There is plenty of blame to go around. Greedy Wall Street speculators took mega-bonuses even when they knew their leveraged companies were tottering – and someone else would pick up the tab. Crooked or stupid politicians allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to squander billions, as they raked in campaign donations and crowed about their politically correct support for millions of shaky – and now mostly defaulting – buyers.
The new national gospel became charge now/pay later and speculate, rather than put something away in case of a downturn. To provide more goodies we hadn’t earned, politicians ignored soaring annual budget deficits and staggering national debt and kept spending.
But amid the gloom, there are some valuable….
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