Tag Archives: Wall Street

Time to Channel Lincoln: There Really is a Crisis


$1.2 trillion was taken out of people’s pocket’s yesterday — not Wall Street Titans, but nurses, union laborers, teachers, carpenters — anyone who has a retirement account or an IRA. You lost money. You got screwed by Congress’ sheepish inability to see past the next election. To make matters worse, read the following story about how rates are soaring and banks aren’t lending money. In addition, the financial cancer is spreading globally and banks are now starting to fail in Europe. Meanwhile, in order to stay afloat and protect their own balance sheets, banks are calling loans. Not just mortgage loans, but business loans. I know. I’m seeing it happen in my own family. In order to meet those loans, businesses are starting to lay off people. Again, not just Wall Street Titans, but regular folks like you and me.

Congress had the opportunity to do something that was necessary but unpopular. Real leadership involves leading people — explaining to us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear. This is unpopular because we have a Congress that talks of bipartisanship but doesn’t practice it, and we have Congressmen who are more willing to save their own backside than take a risk and really explain this. In addition, we have a President who is so unpopular and whose policies led us into this mess in the first place (Nancy Pelosi was right, just not right to say what she did when she did) that he can’t even convince his own party to do the right thing.

This reminds me of another moment in time: the abolition of slavery. What if Lincoln thought it was just too hard, too politically risky to confront a crisis facing our nation? Where is the political will? Where is the outrage? Where are those who will stand up and lead us?  Where is the President? What if Lincoln gave a couple speeches in the rose garden and just kind of mailed the rest in? Why isn’t the President out there fighting for this — visiting the districts of the two thirds of Republicans who voted against him complaining of this. This is his legacy. The Dow is now lower than it was when he took office. This is primarily a failure of Republican philosophy and Republican deregulatory infatuation. So now that we’re in this mess, they have a responsibility to help get us out of it. They, and everyone else who holds a vote in Congress. — Jeff

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It’s the Economy Stupid


I don’t want to take valuable real estate which would result in visitors possibly missing Glenn’s excellent posts — you’ve got to hear Letterman! But I just can’t let a day pass without commenting on John McCain’s bizarre stunt, and it must be seen for what it is. If he had a true interest in the economy — what amounts to Foreign Relations for him — he would have been involved in the policy discussions from the start. By every account and every person I’ve talked to in the Senate — where I used to work — he has had zero involvement. So then he decides to suspend his campaign, but he didn’t tell his running mate that, who was out negatively attacking Obama yesterday. So what gives? I think the best answer to that question comes from Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), when he said, “all of a sudden, now that we are on the verge of making a deal, John McCain drops himself in to help us make a deal. We are trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign.”  What he’s really trying to do is pull a political stunt while seeming to take the high moral ground and buy more time to figure out just exactly how that economy thing works. But pulling stunts and negatively attacking your opponent may make good debate tactics, but it’s no way to get us out of this mess.  — Jeff

Focus on Main St. not just Wall St


There’s no doubt action must be taken to deal with this banking crisis, as we talked about in our last two episodes. But what do you tell the factory worker or nurse or carpenter barely making ends meet who is struggling to pay the mortgage? Wall St. gets a bailout, but you have to keep making that mortgage payment or this whole house of cards comes falling down…

And if I hear John McCain blame this on Barack Obama and his advisers one more time I’m going to puke. What about Rick Davis, his campaign manager, who received $20,000 per month, yes, that’s right, $20,000 per month, to lobby for Fannie and Freddie?

Whoever is our next Commander in Chief, don’t forget those of us on Main Street — Jeff