Archive for the ‘Lehman’ Category

McCain: Most Worthy Candidate Ever To Lose

November 7, 2008

In my previous life, I witnessed far more difficult postmortems. This one is easy. The patient was fatally stricken on Sept. 15 — caught in the rubble when the roof fell in (at Lehman Brothers, according to the police report) — although he did linger until his final, rather quiet demise on Nov. 4.

In the excitement and decisiveness of Barack Obama‘s victory, we forget that in the first weeks of September, John McCain was actually ahead. Then Lehman collapsed, and the financial system went off a cliff.

By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
Friday, November 7, 2008; Page A19

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election ... 
Above: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election night rally in Phoenix Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

This was not just a meltdown but a panic. For an agonizing few days, there was a collapse of faith in the entire financial system — a run on banks, panicky money-market withdrawals, flights to safety, the impulse to hide one’s savings under a mattress.

This did not just have the obvious effect of turning people against the incumbent party, however great or tenuous its responsibility for the crisis. It had the more profound effect of making people seek shelter in government.

After all, if even Goldman Sachs was getting government protection, why not you? And offering the comfort and safety of government is the Democratic Party‘s vocation. With a Republican White House having partially nationalized the banks and just about everything else, McCain’s final anti-Obama maneuver — Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth charges of socialism — became almost comical.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/06
/AR2008110602570.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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Wall Street, Congressional Smart Guys Pretty Stupid

October 12, 2008

“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, ...
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….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct
/12/correction-wall-street-101/