Seriously, folks. Just wondering if I am going to have a retirement fund or not. It's not like I have a lot of money or anything, and I wouldn't be accessing it anytime soon, but it would be nice to know if the last nearly 9 years of paying in isn't going to vanish overnight.
I've been trying to make sense of this whole mess, and to be honest, it sounds like there are some pretty stupid people running the show. Someone thought it would make sense to sell off bits of debt, to other banks, to spread around risk. Now, instead of keeping the amount of this debt to something realistic, they instead loaned out MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
Did you get that last part????
Not only did they make loans that totaled more than the amount of money in the whole WORLD, they also apparently couldn't really track any of it. Entities don't even know how much of these pieces of debt that they "own". And they loaned it to people who they KNEW would have problems paying it back! This couldn't have worked out better to screw us over if it had been planned!
Deregulation, folks. It was responsible for the Enron fiasco, and now it is responsible for the World Wide WTF that has been echoing across the earth for the last week.
Funny thing, these regulations. You see, they were put into place after the Great Depression, in order to prevent the same thing from happening in the future. Regulations are not fun. They aren't supposed to be. In the 80's, there was something called the Keating Five. Look that up. Guess who was one of the five?
So, are we surprised this happened again? After all, there were still regulations in place to prevent the mergers of banks at a certain level, so we wouldn't get massive banks/insurance/brokers/etc. Except that those got chipped away, too.
So, all of the safeguards that were put into place after our first major lesson in humility were swept away in the push to get people into homes they couldn't afford, so a few people could make a lot, and I mean, a LOT of money. The lure of easy money makes one less likely to ask the hard questions, such as, "What happens when people default?"
And who is this 700 BILLION going to help?
Well, it will help some people keep their jobs. Some of those people need to be fired for gross incompetence, but I doubt that the real culprits will take the fall. It will be the chewing gum in the dam crack, though, frankly. Shockwaves are going around the world on this, and already countries are getting nervous. And there absolutely HAS to be accountability, as well as careful consideration of all aspects of the bailout plan. We don't want to agree to something that is going to come back to haunt us. Congress has the President on their backs, trying to hurry them along, which I think is a mistake. This is a seriously ass-load of money. They have to have the details sorted out before committing.
Eight years, folks. Eight years from fiscal solvency as a government, budget surplus, to the mess we are going to wake up to every day for a terribly long time. We will never be able to pay all of this back.
What a fraking mess...