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Tinkering with Symptoms

by Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008 at 7:34 AM

The bailout plan does not tackle the causes of the financial crisis. The question remains why financial institutions should be saved from a crisis they created and in which they earlier earned vast amounts of money. The American government has no Plan B.



[This article published September 25, 2008 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]


“All that Bush offered were fears. There was no admission of any misconduct of the government in regulation or that the land could not afford any more tax cuts. There was no hint that the “700 billion bailout program for Wall Street would be handled with circumspection, transparency and controlled by Congress. His appearance recalls something already worrisome during the financial crisis, the absence of a clear leadership. Given the weak appearance of Bush, the hour of the presidential candidates could be at hand. However neither McCain nor Obama show leadership qualities. Both should now present their economic policies and make concrete proposals for solving the crisis.”


“For several days the two presidential candidates have feverishly tried to show voters their concern about the financial market crisis. McCain spoke with experts and corporate managers. Earlier Obama called for bipartisan unity. Both criticize Wall Street for causing the crisis. Both urge greater control of the banking system. However both lack concrete solutions. They only try to reflect what the voters expect from them. Both McCain and Obama are entangled in the old system.”


“In reality McCain and Obama are not far apart in their statements about the financial market crisis. Both do not miss a chance at criticizing the other for deficient experience in crisis management and lack of innovative ideas to rescue the economy. However the candidates agree the proposed bailout plan should not lead to unintended budgetary subsidiaries. Both regard the absence of an independent control of massive financial grants as a min deficit of the White House’s bailout program.”


“The bailout plan does not tackle the causes of the financial crisis. In the opinion of many experts, the real reason is that the institutions are simply bankrupt, not that the banks have too much rotten credit on their books. In other words, the banks need new injections of capital either from their shareholders or from other investors – possibly from the US government – so the money can flow normally again. If this is true, the financing plan should be very different so that American taxpayers would be saved billions.”


“The American government has no Plan B which is alarming. The only comfort is that the FBI began investigations on how the crisis developed. If the taxpayers should pay the bill, they have a right to know how this happened. But at the end the question remains why financial institutions should be bailed out of a crisis they created and in which they earlier earned vast amounts of money. The US Treasury secretary owes an explanation why the powers of the market should be annulled. He preserves the thoroughly rotten present system. Therefore the bailout plan should be rejected.”

DIE PRESS (Vienna):

“The FBI is investigating all the big names of Wall Street for fraud. With all presumption of innocence, genuine criminals could drive the world community to the wall. One must be glad all this is happening in the US. Many things are possible there. Economic criminality should be treated for what it is, criminality.”


“There is still no proof the FBI is now scrutinizing 26 financial houses on Wall Street whether whole banks falsified their balance sheets or individual managers deceived their clients with false information. America is at the center of global capitalism. Everyone has known all this for a long while. Unlike past economic scandals, it may not be easy to arrest criminals for concrete crimes. The core problem of the current crisis is that a lack of legal regulations made possible risky gambles on Wall Street.


“The problem is not the 0 billion of tax money that should flow to banks and insurance companies. The branch must be helped quickly. The problem is the conditions of the bailout package. A financial dictatorship is installed for a time, namely the Treasury secretary. In the original bill, all control by the legislature and all oversight by courts over the secretary and the bankers is excluded. The real causes of the crisis are not tackled. If politics does not reorganize the foundations of financial management, it only rescues the banks with its billions. If that happens, the bankers will laugh as in the past.”


“Germany will share in the costs of the US government’s expensive 0 billion bailout package for the American banking system. Washington should not demand payment from Berlin again. The cost is a severe economic downturn on both sides of the Atlantic and worldwide.”

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