Monday, 29 September 2008


I had the following quote ready to publish when the bill passed. The vote against the bailout bill was a pleasant surprise, but the House still has until Thursday to be bought off or to cave to pressure. Or maybe democracy is still alive in America?

"The bank was saved, but the people were ruined."
- Henry M. Gouge, circa 1830


Independent Accountant said...

I've e-mailed my senators and congressman, twice. "No bailout. Hell no. No way".

Detlef Guertler said...

Yes, Sir, democracy seems to be alive over there. It sounds strange for European ears, but a bill that was pushed by the President, by his administration, by both presidential candidates, by the leaders of all parties in parliament and by the overwhelming majority of the mass media - fell through.
If someone had told me before that things like that can happen in the US political system, I wouldn't have believed him - it sounded like walking on water. Now I've seen it. And am more confused than ever.

London Banker said...

Maybe with 35 million Americans not having enough to eat, and 70 million Americans lacking healthcare coverage, and the rest of the working class and middle class Americans worried about keeping thier homes and seeing their kids through school and university, enough finally woke up to the fact they were being robbed to make some phone calls and e-mails.

Talk about Black Swan events!

Colin said...

There are moments, fewer in recent years than at any time in my living memory - spanning a half century - that I am proud to be an American.

This is one of them.

To have the opportunity to be able to say that the voices of the constituents were (to some extent) heard, and apparently heeded - again with a caveat - "for now anyway" is refreshing.

It becomes tiresome, and oftentimes trite, to state insistently that we do truly have a functioning democracy. There exist far too few stark examples of the undiluted form, yet I can't help but think that this represents one of them. Call me an idealist if you will, but I believe in the most heartfelt manner imaginable that when our voices are most needed, they can be heard. The question of course must always be; "agreed perhaps, but how often are those voices listened to on the legislative floor" and of course, as a pragmatic realist, I know the answer (hint: "far too few occasions").

Yet, to quote LB himself from his gracious and rather moving response to my comment on his post on Friday night ("Learning from Rudi Bogni: The Thin Space of Financial Activity") which meant more in those few words than he could have imagined;
"Today I hoped to whisper "hope"."

Today, I venture to say that one small chunk of the world can see, that when we in the United States (and expatriates elsewhere) forsake apathy and laziness, we can occasionally make a difference. And quite rightly so, it is the way our system was built.

"Today I hoped to whisper "hope"."

pej said...

Another great post LondonBanker!


It looks like democracy is winning!! But the lies and deceiving technics are still the standard:
The commercial banking system in the United States remains well capitalized

Independent Accountant said...

People are fuming down here in Texas. I'll have to find you a post of Vox Day who polled his readers about the bailout. The results: 1% in favor, 56% opposed and 43% in favor of using the guillotine! Storm the Bastille!

Anonymous said...

I am a middle aged guy, really quite inconsequential in the scope of things. I rarely bother to vote, pay my taxes without fail, and have generally accepted my lot in life thinking, "well, that's the way things go, might as well get used to it and hope to keep the scraps I have."

Well, no longer. If I no longer get to have scraps, then the fat cats no longer get to have their meal. There is a tipping point and it has been reached. Expect more of the same. And when people lose the creature comforts that they have so long come to have expected as their due, eyes will turn to their leaders and those at the top of the pyramid and an accounting will be demanded.

And you can bet your rear that I will be voting in the next election. And everyone in my household.

Anonymous said...

Going to be a strong resurgence in farming and ranching. Household autarky will return to vogue. Wedge skilled malingerers and borrow-to-prosperity bellies will work, or beg, or be cast out the gates.

David said...

I think this is a chance for the US to get clean and sober. Let's take the pain, since we are going to get it anyway. Perhaps an asset tax for those with financial assets above $1 million due in 90 day.s Then may be the taxpayer covers the difference to some extent. I think risk takers need to bear the risk. They sure weren't sharing their profits with me.

Anonymous said...

So they voted to save their own cushy lifestyles...

I love democracy.

Anonymous said...

Save the quote for later in the week when congresscritters hand the check over. I have faith that they fold since thay have long forgotten who they really work for.
Thanks LB
Everything is on schedule, please move along.

Anonymous said...

Happy Roshashanah here in NYC!


yoyomo said...

This great quote from Mike Whitney is an exceedingly fitting explanation for the failure of the bailout bill:

"Paulson is discovering that deceiving investors is not as easy as duping the public about fictional WMD or Niger uranium. Sometimes even the dullest person can grasp the most complex matters when it comes to his own money."

Knute Rife said...

Oh, have faith, our elected officials will obey their Ueberklass lords and masters yet and sell all us mere mortals into chattel slavery. And I expect us to be led from the auction block with a whimper.

Have you seen the bogusness coming from the bailout backers? Terry Connelly, the Dean at Golden Gate, called it an "economic 9/11." No, Your Deanship. it may have been a market 9/11, but it wasn't an economic 9/11. The markets are not the economy.

Gordon Charlop of Rosenblatt Securities said, "How could this have happened? Is there such a disconnect on Capital Hill?" A disconnect with what, Gordo? Your ability to make house payments in The Hamptons? While those of us who would actually be footing the bill can't afford decent medical care for our kids? The disconnect is on Wall Street, you damned fool, not Main Street.

R. Bruce Josten, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's main voice in D.C., threatened, "Make no mistake: When the aftermath of congressional inaction becomes clear, Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen." Pardon me, Brucey, but the calamity Americans didn't want to happen was the bailout. As if we needed any more evidence that the Chamber of Commerce speaks for small business the way Farm Bureau speaks for small farmers.

And of course Paulson keeps making noises about the dire consequences of not passing a bailout. Translation: Give me dictatorial powers or I can't keep my promise to protect my friends' obscene accumulation of wealth.

In the mean time, I believe we'll soon see that we have the Frankencongress we created election by election, and it will sell us. Cheap.

dink said...

"On September 17, the
Treasury Department announced the Supplementary Financing Program. Under this program, the Treasury
issues marketable debt and deposits the proceeds in an account at the Federal Reserve that is segregated
from the Treasury General Account. This account is shown as "U.S. Treasury, supplementary financing
account" in table 1, table 4, and table 5."

LB, Yoyomo, others,
This seems to indicate financial anarchy. The Fed has rules, but they get to change them as desired?

Jesse said...

Kill the Bill v.2

Anonymous said...

This bill is the largest, most prolific money laundering scheme in the history of the world.

It is fiat accompli. We are debt slaves.


yoyomo said...

Since the Fed can't sell bonds to raise cash, this is the only way for the Fed to get cash without printing up new money. It's a form of sterilization operation but conducted with the help of the Treasury since the Fed is running out of Treasury notes and bills. It's not necessarily harmful but I don't know about its legality.

yoyomo said...

Great article about the source of most of the world's problems:

locust said...

"Chamber of Commerce" is now a dirty phrase. Do you think they realize what they've done or do they still harbor under the delusion they have relevance?

Knute Rife said...


Well, you know Paul Craig Roberts has always been a pinko. Oh wait, he served under The Blessed St. Ronnie. Ummm...well, he's a traitor. Yeah, that's it. And he hates America.

yoyomo said...

If we only had more "America-haters" of Mr. Roberts calibre I would feel alot more hopeful about our future. As it is the Cheney hyper patriots (wink-wink) seem determined to love the country to death.

chris said...

Hi there,

I tried contacting you a while ago but never received a response, can you please email me at chris.hamilton @ so we can discuss my proposal?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who was Henry M. Gouge? The only hits on Google refer back to this blog.

Caryl said...

Shouldn't that be Henry George? - a noted economist.