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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Above my pay grade and in over my head

I admit I don't understand the plan advanced by Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke to save Wall Street, or whatever it is that they are saving. The Senators who are questioning them also seem skeptical. It seems I heard a figure bandied about of 7 billion $, that's 7 with a whole lot of zeroes after it.

I don't understand how the government taking over the entire economy is going to save capitalism, but heck, these guys went to prestigious colleges and won impressive degrees so they should know what they are doing. I hope.

The fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donated oodles of money to various members of Congress was a big coincidence.

Another thing, if Freddie and Fannie both did the same thing, lend money foolishly, why did we need two of them? I would think that one quasi-governmental agency could mismanage very well all by itself, saving the government the cost of two buildings, two chief executives, two charwomen, and so on. I mean, the student loan agency manages to rip off the public just fine with only one agency mismanaging it.

But the ways of American politics are very exotic to me, more so than the rituals of some esoteric, remote tribe in the Amazon. I've never been able to understand the finer points of political activity. For instance, what was Watergate all about. I know what happened, but I fail to understand the reasoning behind it. Was Nixon afraid he wouldn't win the election because he was only 20 percent ahead?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The figure is $700 bln. That's whole lot more zeroes.

And note they didn't say it's the absolute, end-of-story, final, honest-to-god top figure. Oh no. It's the ceiling on this particular transaction, that's all.

Prepare for loads of worthless multichrome paper with dollar signs printed.