Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blame for Everyone Offered in Griftopia by Matt Taibbi

I've read so many books about the financial meltdown that I was a bit reluctant to take on Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi. However this was a well written, well researched and well reasoned book.

I wish I could encourage most Americans to read it. It's ideological but it criticizes all parties and political leanings as it should. Government, politicians and financial institutions have made a mess of our economy. We may never recover for decades, if then.

Given the current stalemate in the debt ceiling and budget talks, there is no sign that Washington is the answer to our deepening problems.

I've added some notes from the book below...

Just looking up at Palin on the podium doesn’t impress me. She looks like a chief flight attendant on a Piedmont flight from Winston-Salem to Cleveland, with only the bag of almonds and polyester kerchief missing from the picture.

Bachmann is the perfect symbol of the Dumb and Dumber approach to high finance. She makes a great show of saying things that would get a kindergartner busted to the special Ed bus shrieking, for instance, that AmeriCorps was a plot to force children into liberal reeducation camps (Bachmann’s own son, incidentally, was a teacher in an AmeriCorps program)….

The insurmountable hurdle for so called populist movements is having the nerve to attack the rich instead of the poor. Even after the rich almost destroyed the entire global economy through their sheer unrestrained greed and stupidity, we can’t shake the peasant mentality that says we should go easy on them because the best hope for our collective prosperity is in them creating wealth for us all.

The (Alan) Greenspan era instead is a crime story. Like drug dealing and gambling and Ponzi schemes, bubbles of the sort he oversaw are rigged games with preordained losers and inherently psychological consequences. You play, you get beat, in more ways than one.

With $13-plus trillion we are estimated to spend on the bailouts, we could not only have bought and paid off every single subprime mortgage in the country (that would have only cost $1.4 trillion), we could have paid off every remaining mortgage of any kind in this country.

No comments: