Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday random thoughts ...

• Can't say they didn't warn us about Bear Stearns: In 1999, when a raft of deregulation statutes were passed by Congress and Bill Clinton, Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman wrote that the mergers the legislation was soon to engender would:
"create too-big-to-fail institutions that are someday likely to drain the public treasury as taxpayers bail out imperiled financial giants to protect the stability of the nation's banking system."

• There might just be a pattern here: Deregulation of the energy industry in California and other places (Enron anyone?) is yet another example of how, just like there are some things private enterprise does better than the government, there are some things government does better than private enterprise.

• This couldn't be a coincidence, could it? Deregulation of the financial markets began in the 1960s. That's about when the gap between the rich and middle class started to widen again in America.

• In other news, common sense might finally win over developer money: A state commission has told developers to back off building 123 homes in Clarksburg, an area that's in the shadow of Delta levees and in a flood plain.

• Anyone else feel like we're just turning in a circle? For the umpteenth time, President Bush announced that Iraq faces a turning point.

• Just for the heck of it: I saw an April 2001 article in the Tracy Press archives today in which President Bush said he'd protect people from gouging at the gas pumps. The average cost of a gallon of self-serve unleaded? $1.52.

• Calvin and Hobbes quote of the week: "To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible."

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