Obama 2

Bail out on the bailout

I’ve heard the present financial discombobulation blamed on a lack of fiscal regulation. It seems to me that more than 200 years of lawmaking at all levels has resulted in plenty of regulation of everything in sight. What we need is less regulation of everything, so the real nature of the system is clearer to all of us. Let ‘er rip.

Agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission lull people into thinking that the financial markets are a safe and good place for our money. Fiscal regulation is designed mostly to give investors confidence in the system, not to keep things on the up-and-up any more than absolutely necessary. Just believe, brother! Sign here.

So, one of the reasons for giving the big-money people more money from taxpayers is to keep people, mostly taxpayers, believing in this particular system of money and investment and whatnot, especially whatnot.

Once, Randy Anderson wore white pancake makeup and bloody fangs with a three-piece suit to our annual Halloween party in Minneapolis. We thought at first that he was a vampire, but he was actually a blood-sucking banker, if that’s not redundant. He got a standing ovation.

I’ve read that Jesus personally threw the money changers out of the temple. Why do you suppose he did that? It seems like it would take a lot to piss off Jesus.

For five years, I worked for what was then the third-largest bank in Chicago. I had several jobs, and one of the few impressions I still have is that the local Federal Reserve Bank was God. Everything depended on the Fed. It felt a little like the Fed owned us, or could if it wanted to. And banks are without souls, as are all corporations.

Chris Rock used to tell a joke about a professional athlete thinking he’s rich because he got a fat check, when the guy with the serious money is the guy who wrote the check, and the check belongs to a bank, which has as many as it can invent.

The way things are, though, governmental red tape could usefully slow down the giveaway. Maybe the banks would pay a little interest on the money we’re not spending. The banks have nothing to lose either way. You and I do the losing for them.

The federal government giving banks anything at all is like setting fire to the money, which of course the Fed essentially invented and then loaned out at interest. President Obama has apparently been cheerleading for the financial bailout all along and is even threatening a veto if Congress restricts his ability to pass out the money his own self, the same whiz-bang that Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tried.

I’m keeping a good thought for Obama, and I generally want him to get his way, but not this time.