The big topic of conversation around the coffeepot at work is The Bailout. Seems like everyone wants to know what I think about the Fed Gummint's proposal to spend $700 billion dollars to rescue a bunch of financial-type folks.
Before I start opining, allow me to be perfectly clear:
As far as I'm concerned "Economics" is as much a science as phrenology -- for the same reason. Where one claimed to be able to decypher the mysteries of personality by reading bumps on the head, the other claims to be able to decypher the mysteries of the economy by reading bumps in the market.
Frankly, once you get past the basic, "I have this. You want this. What will you give me in trade?" into more complicated stuff, I strongly suspect most economists are making it up as they go along.
However, since economics bores me to tears, I could be greatly mistaken.
Anyhoo, two things come to mind as I read about the Great American Bail-Out.
In my line of work (law enforcement) I have become very suspicious about deals involving money in which one party insists upon rushing the other party(ies) through the process. Folks, if there's a great deal of money on the table (and there is ... about $700 billion) and the other guy says that there either isn't enough time to read the fine print; or don't bother reading the contract because you won't understand it -- well, the odds are jolly good that somebody is probably about to get scammed.
The second thing that comes to mind is the plain and simple fact that this financial crisis -- for lack of a better word -- is the result of a whole bunch of conscious decisions made by a whole bunch of alleged adults.
Somebody had to make the conscious decision to apply for a loan that they couldn't possibly afford. Somebody had to make the conscious decision that approving that loan was a Good Idea. Somebody had to make the conscious decision that buying up a whole bunch of these bad loans Made Perfect Sense.
They were wrong. Those conscious decisions they made were bad decisions, and Bad Decision Have Consequences.
Unless, of course, the Federal Government gets involved.
So, my personal feeling about The Great Bailout is that Congress is about to go through my wallet at gunpoint (again) and give (more) of my hard-earned money to a whole bunch of alleged adults (not me) who monumentally -- and with their eyes wide open -- cocked things over.
And -- quite frankly -- I'm getting bloody tired of my tax dollars paying for screw-ups that I didn't make.
It grows ... irksome.