I’m no rocket scientist.  Nor, for that matter,  much of a mathematician.  Honestly, I know virtually nothing about economics.   I’m just a grandma who can almost see Wall Street from my bedroom window.  If I squint.  Proximity makes me qualified to comment, right?   I mean the effects of this horrific meltdown of our financial markets, our entire monetary system, our simple services and small pleasures, is going to impact even the lives of my grandchildren – when they’re my age.

I hadn’t really paid much attention to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson until last week.  Just now I read on the Department of Treasury web site that Paulson “is the President’s leading policy advisor on a broad range of domestic and international economic issues.”   The Financial Times said this morning that Paulson was “dead wrong” about nationalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  And then he let Lehman Brothers sink, creating outflows (a new word, for me, anyway, but I get the drift) of more than $3,400bn from the money market fund industry. 
Did you catch Secretary Paulson when he testified today in Washington?  “This is all about the American taxpayer,” he said.  He’s demanding $700bn to hand out to financial institutions.  That’s taxpayer money, our money, he wants to turn over to his cronies on Wall Street.  He’s not talking, at least so far, about seeing that the poor folk who were lured into buying subprime mortgages (I wouldn’t have; I have a lawyer), get to keep their houses.  Oh, no.  He’s talking about the Street getting to keep their companies.  With no oversight, no limitations.  Anything he wants to do.  Because he’s had such good judgement so far where we’re concerned?  Ha!  
Did you hear that the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, has just declared itself a trust bank, which will submit to Federal oversight.  As a trust bank it will be eligible for Federal Deposit Insurance.  All their bad loans will be covered by the United States taxpayers.  They all get to keep their money. 
The Department of Treasury web site goes on about Henry Paulson.  “Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs since the firm’s initial pubic offering in 1999.  Does this seem fishy to you?  It does to me.   ABC news just announced that the FBI has opened 24 investigations into possible criminal activity tied to the debacle on Wall Street
I’m not saying Henry Paulson’s a criminal, though he might have more than a passing acquaintance with some of these Wall Street folks who are now under investigation.  But I don’t feel all that good about him either, thinking the future of my five grandchildren depends on his very busy brain.   Let’s keep our eyes on Secretary Paulson, see what he comes up with tomorrow.  If we don’t like it, if it doesn’t ring true, we’re going to have to speak up.  It might not be much, but if we all raise our voices, we’ll make a lot of noise.

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  • dana September 27, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I have not seen any evidence of a block in credit for business people that I know nor home buyers with decent credit. Until I see that I do not believe that this bail out is necessary. Supposedly they will pay it back, however, with what money? They already squeezed $$ out of every automobile owner with gas more than doubling in price. Now they are trying to hold all taxpayers money hostage with no sure re-payment plan. I say “no” to this bail-out. What will be the next scam that wall street and the government try. Its about time people take a stand on this problem.

  • Charlotte September 27, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I am really not into politics, but this bailout stuff really gets me. I am so tired of hearing about the big companies and their woes. They are making such large profits. It seems the harder I work the less I can afford these days, but the more they make. Why? Instead of making the quick bailout of the corporations, why not figure out why it is happening and fix it instead for a long term fix. This is just short term and I don’t believe that it will help.

  • Faith Childs September 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Grambo is on the money!
    Two things I do know:
    1. One should never make financial decisions, particularly big ones, quickly.
    2. Our government must respect the separation of powers–i.e., the division of government into three separate functional areas: legislative, executive, and judicial.
    Hasty decisions premised on faulty evidence resulted in the Iraq quagmire. Expanded presidential power has led to legal and legislative controversies as well. We need not continue to overreach.
    We should all be watchful and ask our elected officials to be mindful of our concerns.