Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well, I didn't post about it yesterday, but the economy really took a hit over the last few days as Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, a troubled Merril Lynch was purchased by Bank of America, AIG announced that it was having cash flow problems, and the stock market dropped by 504 points. I'm not exactly a financial analyst, but it sure sounds like things aren't going very well. The Federal Reserve has, however, decided not to cut interest rates.

Soooo..... more troubles for the U.S. economy. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said yesterday in a briefing that some of our economic woes could be blamed on a cumulations of "excesses" (I guess that's a reference to getting greedy and loaning people money when common sense might tell you there's a good chance they won't be able to pay you back) and also upon "an archaic financial regulatory structure" (he specifically mentioned a need for greater oversight of non-bank financial institutions). Paulson had previously agreed to a federal financial bailout of Bear Stearns, but he did not endorse a bailout for Lehman. He also deflected questions regarding his own culpability and the culpability of the Bush White House in the collapse of Lehman and Merrill Lynch by saying that many of the regulatory systems that were in place had been there for a long period of time before his arrival. I guess that's true, but it seems like someone should have started looking at all of this stuff to see if we needed to modify our regulatory practices back when we started hearing all of those rumors about a housing bubble and rumors about how American lending institutions were getting way overextended in terms of their lending practices (I mean, am I wrong here? I'm not a financial or economic guy in any way, but it seems like I was reading articles about the possibility of a collapse long before it happened, but still within the last 4 years or so).

Anyway, why do I have a feeling that once again the middle class working stiffs are going to suffer the most because of this? CEOs with their multimillion dollar salaries will drift off to go find new perches and firms will continue to receive government and privatized bailouts (helping stockholders), but banks will continue to clamp down more and more tightly on their money, making it harder and harder to get a loan (in effect, overcompensating for their recently reckless loaning habits by now making it very difficult for responsible, legitimate borrowers to get mortgages, loans, and credit). Grrrreat...

What else? Richard Wright, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd (one of my all time favorite bands), died of cancer yesterday. Although his name sort of gets lost a lot of the time behind the more recognizable characters of Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and David Gilmour, his keyboard parts were instrumental (no pun intended) components of the Pink Floyd sound over the years, and it's a shame that he's gone. He was 65 years old at the time of his death.

And they're saying there's a chance that ACL Fest will me moved into the first week of October next year. People have been clamoring for that since the first year. I'll believe it when I see it.

That's all I got. Peace to all of you guys.

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