In case you missed it, here is tonight's 60 Minutes report on the financial crisis, and how we got here.
No doubt this is not the whole story, but it's enough: $60 trillion enough!
Warning: You may find this frightening or depressing.
Think of this when you hear John McCain and the Republicans try to blame too much regulation for the current mess we're in.
P.S. - This is not to say I am against the bail-outs that already passed. I'm reasonably convinced that liquidity was a problem, and as someone who believes in Keynesian economics, I think that government can do a lot to help. (And I just hope it was the right kind of help, pork notwithstanding.)
But what happens next is even more important. What I saw on 60 Minutes was an indication that there was a scheme being played upon the American people ... and the rest of the world, frankly, by these institutions that claim to "transcend" national boundaries.
They were selling snake oil, otherwise known as "swaps". They knew it was snake oil. They called it snake oil because to call it "insurance" would have meant that the government -- regulators, people -- would have required that these companies actually have capital to back their gambles. So with some small lies and fast talk, they build an entirely new financial marketplace upon which to make their own personal millions a year.
And here we are.
Oh, and what 60 Minutes doesn't quite say is that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. was one of the CEOs who lobbied for deregulation. Where does he stand on those swaps?
The transcript is here.
This is criminal. This is treasonous, if you think about it.