Monday was a stomach-churning day for Wall Street -- and anyone with an IRA or 401k -- after Congress didn't pass a bailout plan that would have bolstered some confidence in the sagging financial markets.
I wrote Saturday, in an open letter to Rep. Jerry McNerney, that despite anger at having to use taxpayer money to help consumers who made poor loan decisions and Captains of Industry who abused their positions, sensible taxpayers would understand if a reasonable bailout plan prevented a wholesale collapse of the finance sector and the many businesses, large and small, that rely on it. We just didn't want $700 billion in our money disappearing into a corporate loophole.
Well, McNerney voted "Yes" on a bailout that most analysts have comed to view as a necessary evil with reasonable checks and balances, but a majority in the House did not.
The result was a record plunge on Wall Street, wiping out more than $1 trillion in stockholder value. If that's only an omen of things to come, maybe a $700 billion bailout isn't the worst thing that could happen.