Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Levity is needed

In light of news like this, it seems to me that Josh Marshall's take on this closely parallels mine ...

But as I watch this unfold I feel increasingly concerned that the people controlling the money are using the complexity of the situation and the public's difficulty in understanding it to use public money to shield very wealthy institutions and individuals from the inherent risks of their chosen line of work. ...

What I think we all recognize though, at least in principle, is that there's a strong public interest in preventing major disruptions in the financial sector that could hobble the rest of the economy. But I keep hearing more and more examples that sound a lot more like trying to socialize the losses of the major investment houses and hedge funds and their owners than trying to achieve any reasonable public purpose.

Regarding commercial development, one of the primary driving forces behind some of the more lucrative deals in that industry come from the amount risk one takes on. If we remove the risk from this particular line of work, aren't we also removing the incentive to actually pursue said risks to garner the reward?

I'm not saying I can't be reasoned into seeing why a bailout for the commercial development industry is a good thing or a necessary thing, but it just seems that we're now just throwing insane amounts of money at bad investments or poor business decisions. And that this money, particularly in the financial industry, is casually given out with no questions asked (unlike, say, a dramatically smaller bridge-loan program that would have protected three- to five-million working class jobs and had a substantially more profound impact on the nation's economy).


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