Reagan era crashes to halt with bailout of Wall Street


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So this is how the Reagan Era ends, not with a bang but with the whimpering and whining of Wall Street executives begging for a bailout from an American public they long treated like unsophisticated rubes.

In less sobering times, there might be some entertainment value in that scene. But not now. To make matters worse, we have no real choice but to give them the help they seek, although with a lot more strings than they claim are possible. It’s either that, or risk letting the whole country go down the tubes.

With this bailout, we mark not just the end of an era but the demise of the ideology that created it. Events have made it crushingly obvious that greed is a poor foundation on which to build a nation and a culture. It turns out that enforcing the rules is actually a good idea, and that debts both personal and public really do come due eventually, just like daddy said they would.

In that kind of environment, it’s no wonder that John McCain has beat a retreat from the campaign trail, declining to debate. The Republican talking points make no sense anymore; the Republican worldview lies exposed and empty.

But if we’re going to be honest, we need to acknowledge that the excesses of corporate America that are now so roundly ridiculed —- the grotesque bonuses, the heedless risktaking, the disdain for rules —- existed because the cultural values of this country allowed them to exist and in fact helped to create them.

Most of what’s been going on with Wall Street comes as no surprise. In recent years, it was almost as if we Americans took a perverse pride in the fact that we could pay our CEOs half a billion dollars to fail, as if that bloated excess was itself proof of our great prosperity and strength. We acted as if we were one of those tribes out of mythology that celebrated its prosperity by boasting how fat its kings and princes were.

Read the rest of this article…

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3 Comments

Filed under American Politics

3 responses to “Reagan era crashes to halt with bailout of Wall Street

  1. Siraddi

    Newsblog2you …. this is a well written article by Businessweek.

    Thanks for posting this particle, I enjoy the read.
    It was a eye-opener in understanding more about why Regan was praised and the mindset of the Republicans. I agree… EVERY SINGLE American has a piece of the blame. Americans allowed the Gov’t to shape their lives, mindset and their freedom to think ideally. Articles will keep reeling for months and for many years to come in re: to this fiasco, but right now each individual must take a step back, realize the foundation of what’s happening and try their best to leave the pieces broken and START FRESH! They must first start FRESH mentally. They must fully analyze their situations and build a plan to HELP THEMSELVES! Don’t sit waiting for the Gov’t to solve the issue or steer you in the the direction that they will “vote is fit”…. HELP YOURSELVES!!

    Its has been proven before and its being proven again, Americans cannot sit and LIVE BY the Gov’t… they have to think for themselves. In cases where some Americans don’t feel they are educated enough, there numerous resources (non-profit organizations) that will help EDUCATE on what the basic needs of life are and how to get it w/out selling feeling you must sell your soul to the devil. Many times people think they lack education. Its not lack of education. Its lack of common sense and confidence.
    Part of the problem is that humanly people/society become too dependent on others telling them what to do and although our logic/souls tell us the right answer, we deny it and listen to the “so-call” educated man who has the “title”.
    Remember, history, the Indians etc…and even communities before, did not have such sophisticated styles of Gov’t and all the levels of leadership we see now… Societies/communities made due, lived humbly and did what they had to do to survive for the next day…and planned (long-term) based on current knowledge and experience. The lessons that were transferred were done by “trusted” people of the community… it was valid, proven and evidential. It was formulas or etc.
    There was no media outlets, creating their own agendas, there were limited outlets for people to lose control and for greed to escalate. Everyone lived w/in a community and treated everyone as family….etc..etc…
    True,today, things are way out of control and it is virtually impossible to return to such days, but the ideology is there and all we have to do is amend it to current situations and make it work for the betterment of man and the future of our children, grandchildren etc… It is not fair to them to grow up in a world of chaos created by “us” who lost focus or who did not fight for better standards.
    Regan is dead. He will remain so. Now his ideology is dying if not already dead. So its time for a fresh start. Its time for CHANGE. Its time to try again base on the mistakes of the past.

    Great Piece!!

  2. Siraddi

    Amendment … I re: the Regan article several times to Businessweek (I mean Newsweek) …sorry! 🙂

  3. Alchemist

    Reagan brought faith back to America but it was temporary. His successors managed to annihilate whatever he achieved (i.e. ending the cold war, tax cuts, decrease in the US debt, stagflation & economic restoration to name a few) by making the rich richer and pumping the military full of money and running the economy into the ground.

    Getting the cheapest jobs abroad in order to make American products didn’t help the economy either, actually made things worse. Most importantly the deregulation of the financial sector was the start of the US fall into the abyss. Word is out that the financial crisis should be blamed on the Reagan Revolution…what garbage!! The deregulation started with the Clinton administration (Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial from investment banking) and continued with the George W. Bush administration.

    In 2004, Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Paulson Jr (then head of Goldman Sachs) met with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the New Deal regulatory agency whose main objective was to regulate the US financial system, and convinced the SEC Commissioners to release the investment banks from reserves to cover losses on investments. This allowed the investment banks to power and control of financial instruments to use in any way and form; and this meant that every one dollar in equity, the investment bank had $33 of debt! All this means you’d have extra virtual-cash to pump back into the “economy” under the pretense of a “bailout”.

    Well done Mr. Paulson…you’ve managed to bailout yourself and your buddies at Goldman Sachs…but definitely not the country/economy. Who do you think will be paying for that $700bn?? All this bailout does is rescue the guilty and the international bankers. The FED is a private institution that lends money with interest. It’s quite simple actually.

    Reagan was good for the US and the world, now we have this lame-duck president and the next one won’t be any better. People need to vote for a party other than Dem or Rep.

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