We may have witnessed the final implosion of the Bush administration with the rejection of the president's $700 billion bailout package.
Repudiation doesn't come much stronger than having 133 House Republicans ignore President Bush's plea that "our entire economy is in danger" if the bailout didn't pass. Brushing aside also the pleas of the administration's two top economic spokesmen, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Republicans provided the bulk of the 228 "no" votes.Read More
The current financial crisis and proposed bailout remind me of Jubilee, the Jewish ritual year described in the 25th chapter of Leviticus.
Jubilee occurred every 50 years, and it represented a sort of return to a financial Square One for the Jews: debts were forgiven, property that had been sold was returned to its original owner, and any Jew who had fallen into indentured servitude because of debt was released of his obligations.
In short, everyone got a fresh start every 50 years. Needless to say, it's been a long time since this ancient ceremonial year was observed.Read More
Under normal circumstances corporate boards set the compensation of their chief executive officers and stockholders have an opportunity to voice their opinions about the fairness of their actions. But these are not normal times, at least for the nation's financial institutions, and a whole new set of rules seems to apply.Read More
Do you know what a credit default swap is? Neither does Wall Street apparently, even though the investment banks and brokerages sliced and diced them, traded them, loaded down their customers with them and -- who knows? -- perhaps converted them into nutritious, high fiber snacks and sold them to the public schools.Read More