Speaking to the issue of regulators and the crash of Wall Street, “They just haven’t done a particularly good job,” said James Barth, a senior finance fellow at the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan research group based in Los Angeles. The same can be said for the entire Bush administration.
Recently I saw a comment that said Bush always leaves a trail of disaster and disarray when he leaves an assignment. That certainly looks to be true with United States and world finance. Bush just hasn’t done a particularly good job.
Speaking to the issue of excesses and self-serving capitalists, you and I have seen people promoted beyond their capabilities. Others were hired and within days or weeks it became obvious they were in over their heads. Missing the expertise, or overcome with personal problems, these people should be fired.
Rather than paying part of their unemployment, companies should charge the individuals with fraud. In reality most companies have a 60 or 90 day trial period. Education systems can dismiss people without cause in the first year. Some cities hire “at will” employees.
The federal government is totally different. If a person is totally lost they are using the “hands off approach to management.” If a person is incompetent they are “letting a free market economy do what it does best.” If a person fails to see excesses, greed, graft and corruption they are “seeing bipartisan politics.” Excuses are endless. “Democrats blocked us every step of the way” or “congress failed to act” or “the economy is strong and resilient.” Americans don”t want excuses. Instead they want regulators that regulate, and lawmakers that make good laws.
Events of 2004 through 2008 on Wall Street look like a scene from an old western, where cowboy Dick Tater rides into town shouting “the predators are coming.” The town builds defenses by toughening bankruptcy laws, collateralizing all debt, and piling the furniture in front of the doors and windows. When the people can”t see anything because of the high defensive perimeter, cowboy Dick Tater sneaks away. He rides back to the predators and says, “OK boys, go attack that town.”
When predatory lending became main stream the defenses were already in place. Protection for banks, finance companies and investment banks were inadequate, but they provided a false sense of security. Regulators were lulled to sleep. Mathematicians thought they could control and analyze the beast. Some people ran from the impending disaster. Former fed chief Greenspan retired. Many of Bush”s cabinet members did not stay for a second term. These people knew a wreck when they saw one.
When predatory lending became socially acceptable mainstream business there was a problem. The amount of debt distortion directly correlates to the amount of the impending crash. It is basic economics. The system was flawed. The “hands off approach to management” was nothing more than an attempt at plausible deniability. Very few in oversight positions protected the American people.
In the movie George Bush played the part of Dick Tater. Shooting scenes were supervised by Dick Chaney. The defensive perimeter was constructed by Ben Bernanke. Alcohol and drugs were provided by the guys overseeing the oil industry. Housing for the cast and crew was furnished by FEMA. Financing was provided by Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns.