Battle Cry of Moral Equivocation, Financial Markets Edition
In response to her e-mail message to me, I sent her a brief note, which I republish in edited and expanded form below for the benefit of the "conservative" dissemblers over at Ezra Klein who are following litbrit's link back here to The Dark Wraith Forums.
It's inevitable. Right now, the government-ain't-no-good "conservatives" are standing right out in the middle of Piccadilly with their pants down, and everyone on the trolley can see their official "I♥Bailouts" fanny tattoos designed in tasteful money-green with the Presidential Seal serving as subtle, yet curiously unmistakable background imagery. And now comes the inevitable battle cry: "This ain't no tattoo, man! It's a birthmark, man! Yeah, that's what it is. It ain't a tattoo cuz my momma said we phony conservatives have been wearing' 'em since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913! That means it's not just a birthmark; it's a birthright, dude, so get it straight in your liberal minds."
(The spectacle wouldn't' be quite so degrading if these fools weren't wearing a dead-man switch bomb vest and bawling, "Nobody moves or the prospective homebuyers at the trailer park get wasted!")
And the delicious part? The Federal Reservewhich has repeatedly served as an ATM for Republican tax cutshas now become the backer of masses of risk created by the Bush Administration's use of EZ credit (especially for itself) to propel short-term growth in the absence of sustainable, conservative, responsible economic policies. Anyone with a shred of financial management training knows that risk is nothing but a complex, hidden cost, so bearing that risk is nothing more than bearing a cost; so now we finally have Bush's latest lackey at the Fed, the poundingly underqualified, loyal as a mangy dog Ben Bernanke, pulling that failed policy's ugly baby of overextended riskmassive, long-term, uncancellable riskback home to the Federal Reserve parked right across the payout street from the U.S. Treasury. We have the United States government stepping up to the plate to get right straight in the line of risk generated by mortgage-backed securities that are as likely to see a bright tomorrow as the Republicans are to see George W. Bush sitting next to Jesus in Heaven.
When a third party indemnifies another for risk, we call the third party an "insurer"; to the extent that the insurer assesses a price for bearing that risk that is actuarially unsound, the indeminifier is "subsidizing" the risk. In the public sector, under-pricing the indemnification of risk is sometimes called "welfare" when the payouts resulting from public social indemnification go to individuals and families. When the payouts resulting from public social indemnification schemes go to business entities, they are called "bailouts," particularly when the indemnification occurs not as the result of long-term government planning, but rather as the result of short-term repair of a "free" market institutional arrangement that could no longer self-sustain losses from its risk-creating activities.
So what we really have going on here is that the United States Treasury, in part through its pseudo-independent agent called the Federal Reserve System, has now gotten deeply, deeply involved in a type of financial insurance for the 21st Century equivalent of junk securities, all to the end of trying to control losses accruing to those investorsinstitutional, individual, and even sovereignwho bore risk by creating, selling, buying, and holding instruments like mortgaged-back securities. And the apologists for this welfare scheme masquerading as on-the-fly indemnification are the very same "conservatives" who decorate their baggy drawers at the very mention of something like universal health coverage, which would be an example of the government not hiding an insurance scheme for reckless risk-takers, but instead of openly providing insurance for the health of people who are generally not even close to being of such low quality in terms of severity of risk of massive payouts.
Pointing out this inconsistency to those phonies on that message thread at Ezra Klein would incite cries of, "One's got nuthin' to do with t'other,” which is an indication that either these liquidity addicts haven't had a financial management teacher beat into their heads that risk-is-risk-is-risk or that they know exactly what's going on and they're hoping that, by playing stupid long enough, they'll be able to make the bogeyman of moral inconsistency slapping their fat jowls go away before he turns them into Socialists.
The Dark Wraith, for his own part, appreciates the new age of conservatives who can keep a straight face as they stand arm-in-arm with their political enablers singing the praises of capitalism and free markets.
Wrote Phydeaux Speaks:
Wrote Wild Clover:
Become a Registered Commenter