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March 16, 2008

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Greg Palast linked to that the other day as part of his post that Spitzer's take-down was all part of a bigger plan.

I'm not sure I buy into Palast's conspiracy theory, but there is not question there myriad reasons for Wall Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to want Spitzer's ass as marginalized as possible...I can't think of a better way to get a guy like Spitzer to shut up than to publicly humiliate him.

I generally don't do conspiracy theories without some evidence. In this case, the general Bush admin. unwillingness to ever let anything be regulated, even when (as in this case) there are plainly nutty practices that could produce serious systemic risk, seems like a fine explanation, absent further evidence.

It's all business. Bush bailed out some mortgage holders because he knew the market will correct anyway. if they weren't going to pay they weren't going to pay. Same with the mortgage lenders and the 1% margins for the buyers of the debts. So, Bear has gone down like a penny stock(ya, sure, they're coming back) and Merrill didn't because they found a foreign buyer who hasn't found the market yet. It should be cool when he does.

The problem was not enough debt holders went under, the mortgage never really was that important. People can afford to lose 30% and say they're not paying rent.

But if you take into account Scott Horton’s conviction that it was a DOJ takedown, using the same principled approach already established in all their doings, firings, stonewallings, whatever, it’s at least not nonsensical to glimpse directed malevolence at work. It would mark a not previously obvious aspect of their efforts though. It would make it a hit by the direction of industry rather than political hegemony, kind of privatizing the public sector, right on message. Teeny tiny tentacles thick as skyscrapers reaching....
Surely not....? Could they really be, like,...? Nah.

And the problem is still being described in the mass media as caused by irresponsible borrowers. I swear, sometimes you just despair that people will ever understand what's really going on.

I generally don't do conspiracy theories without some evidence.

Me either.

The bigger takeaway here is the unfortunate downfall of one of the few crusaders on issues like this. Spitzer was right, and saying something, which more than most.

What Spitzer conveniently left unmentioned was that his referral to "national banks" only meant federally chartered banks, of which there are very few.

The OCC has no oversight auhtority whatsoever over state-chartered banks, even those that operate nationally (i.e., via the holding company structure).

This was an op-ed in seach of a problem.

And the problem is still being described in the mass media as caused by irresponsible borrowers. I swear, sometimes you just despair that people will ever understand what's really going on.

Well, Mike; if you rely on the "MSM" for accurate information, despair is likely to end up as the only logical reaction - since complex economic issues are, well, complex. And have gotten only more complex as time goes by. I think, though, that eventually (and not TOO far in the future) some of the media narrative is going to be re-tooled to foist at least some of blame on "irresponsible lenders" as well. Not that it will do much good - there are a LOT of folks out there with individual problems, and only one "System". Guess which is likelier to have to adapt?

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