Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Up a Creek Without a Clue

The current melt-down of several major financial institutions reminds me of the movie "Without a Clue", a Michael Caine/Ben Kingsley take on the Sherlock Holmes setting. There's a scene in a pub where a pretty young lady is walking through the crowded room when someone pinches her bottom. She complains loudly and calls on the perpetrator to reveal himself. At this point Michael Caine, as a drunken, bumbling Sherlock Holmes steps forward and offers his assistance in indentifying the perpetrator.

"Young lady," he declares, "By astute observation of the clientele and consideratin of the facts at hand I can inform you with complete confidence that the perpetrator was...ME!" He pinches her bottom. "There, you see?! I did it again!"

The scene all too closely parallels our current economic meltdown. For those who believe the government should step in and do something about the current crisis, consider this: The government caused for the current crisis. From Investor's Business Daily:
Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower lending standards to make the loans that sound business practices had previously guarded against making. It was either that or face stiff government penalties.

Those regulations came as part of a Clinton-era move to make loans available for minorities. But if you think things are bad now, just wait until Obama is through.
And the worst is far from over. By the time it is, we'll all be paying for Clinton's social experiment, one that Obama hopes to trump with a whole new round of meddling in the housing and jobs markets. In fact, the social experiment Obama has planned could dwarf both the Great Society and New Deal in size and scope.

Boy, that just makes me feel all warm, fuzzy, and confident. I can't wait to be an investor in the Obama Era!

Update: It gets better. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got away with their shenanigans by avoiding government scrutiny through strategic contributions to lawmakers. Neither candidate is clean, but Obama got considerably dirtier.

And with Biden supporting credit card company MBNA where his son was a lobbyist, it's really hard for Obama/Biden to make the case for change. Frankly I'll be surprised if either party can clean up Washington. As any drug counselor can tell you, before you can change you've got to want to change.

I'm not saying that politicians who've long benefitted from the Beltway Gravy-train can't grow disgusted with it and decide to change it. But it'll take more than just the occupant of the White House to get the job done. We've already seen how well BOTH parties have done in cleaning up their own act while enjoying a majority in Congress.

Don't expect me to hold my breath on this one.

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