It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trying to stop the bleeding.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is not looking well these days. As someone described as being an authority on The Great Depression, he would have been wise to bail out himself after inheriting the mess Alan Greenspan left him. Or could it be he wants a ringside seat at the next one?

It's clear that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act let slip the dogs of commerce. Having spent some $200 million to lobby on its behalf, bankers had to have had some inkling as to what could happen. Any oversight after its passing was consistently blocked by Alan Greenspan. History will likely judge Mr. Greenspan in the same light as Neville Chamberlain or Goebbels.

Another thing clear is that until there is some kind of national forensic audit on all investment banks, insurers, and commercial banks, no amount of money will restore trust in institutions that have failed to maintain any kind of ethical or moral standard. Paulson's appointment of a former crony from Goldman Sachs to oversee the $700 billion handout is repulsive. And GOP candidate John McCain, a notorious champion of deregulation, is taking his advice from Phil Gramm, the architect of the legislation that repealed Glass-Steagall?

For the past 60 years people have been asking how the German people could have stood silent in the face of Nazism. Perhaps they will be saying the same thing about the American people in the future. In this age of open and free information they should be judged by a more rigorous standard than the German people. What exacerbates any logical thinker is how, come the second Tuesday this November, a Republican could have any chance of getting elected. It boggles the mind.

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