So there’s been oh so much I’ve wanted to write about the
past few weeks but I’ve had, amongst other problems, option paralysis—there’s
so much for me to rant and spew over, how’s a poor boy to choose?
But just now, pondering—like most of our great nation—the
possibility of the first worldwide depression since The Great Depression, I was
thinking about the whole “too big to let fail” situation, where joints like AIG
could drag the entire world down with them if we don’t do something, but if we
do, we run the risk of entering Moral Hazard territory, teaching the folks at
the top that it’s okay to take insane risks even with stakes this high, since
we’ll have to bail them out again and again and again, while the perps
themselves walk away with, in some cases, literally $50,000,000 to show for
their incompetence. Socialize the risk, privatize the profits, as they say.
So what’s to be done? Well, the obvious thing—and it didn’t
even require hindsight of any sort, much less the 20/20 variety, just a lack of
brainscrewing amounts of idiocy and greed—is to have kept in place the
regulations installed during The Great Depression to make sure another Great
Depression never occurred. I mean, seriously—duh.
But we’re past that and the only ones who want to dwell on the
past are the ones who aren’t guilty. So let’s look forward. What’s to be done
to keep this from happening again?
This is where my latest rant and spew comes in. You are,
undoubtedly, trembling with joyful anticipation.
After we put the Glass-Steagall act or its equivalent back in
place post-freakin’-haste, we push for follow-up legislation to take place. To
wit: the chairman of the board, the CEO and the CFO of a corporation which
requires the Fed to bail it out will have all assets taxed at the rate of 99.9%.
Not just income. Assets. They lose everything but pretty much what they need to
And to make sure that they don’t jump ship when they see
things heading south, it’s retroactive for, say, four years prior. You’re in
one of the major positions within four years of a company needing a bailout,
you’re on the hook.
A Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac situation would never ever happen