Bailout Blues

It's hard to escape the bailout.

Had my parents over for dinner this weekend. We didn't talk about the weather, or even the presidential debate so much. We talked about the bailout. Incessantly. My parents, approaching retirement, don't view this as some some kind of news hound's miniseries. No, for them, every market swoon, every bank buyout affects them palpably. "You don't know what it's like" said my father, "to watch your retirement balance drop like this."

So I decided not to forward him Andrew O'Connell's blog entry about the "surprising winners in the financial crisis." O'Connell says they're, well, people like me.

O'Connell attended an excellent panel discussion at Harvard (watch it here) with some heavyweight economists and thinkers. One of them said "there's a real intergenerational transfer" of wealth happening. As O'Connell puts it: "As housing prices fall, older generations of Americans are seeing significant amounts of their wealth evaporate, but the decline presents opportunities for younger people."

Green blogger Mindy Lubber, meanwhile, connects Wall Street to sustainability, pointing out the similarity between green strategies and "the vast pitfalls of an economic system obsessed with short-term gains".

"By playing on the worst of human instincts -- greed -- we now have a global economic recession," she writes, and "failing to address global warming without tough governmental policies could have even bigger economic consequences."

All of which is cold comfort for my father.

Finally today, check out two of the latest in what's becoming a deep well of blog posts on bad bosses. John Baldoni offers advice to managers who are just realizing that they're the bad boss employees gripe about. Annie McKee, meanwhile, offers help on neutralizing a "toxic boss."

By Scott Berinato  |  September 29, 2008; 4:53 PM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch
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Comments

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What people fail to recognize is the insiderous effects of interest charged and collected on virtually all credit transactions. The gas station gives up 3 to 5 % of your gas purchase to the credit card company; Your credit card company gives up 4-6 % of that transaction to the bank, who in turn gives up 2-6% to some larger bank or large institutional investor. the only way this whole scheme works for everyone is IF:
1- the price of gasoline increases faster (or before) the interest is due to the credit card company;
2- the bank or credit card company can collect more that 4-6% from the poeple who carry a balance on that card;
3- The instutional investor has a source of money lowere than any of the preceeding.

All this assumes that the value of each transaction is assessed accurately. If that's not the case, the entire scheme breakes down-which is exactly what has happened.

Posted by: Rudy from FL | September 30, 2008 9:15 PM

Where is the leadership in the ultra wealthy private sector that made money hand over fist in the deregulated markets. Warren Buffet has stood up alone and tried to give back to the system that granted him so much wealth. But why is there not a call for each and everyone of these free market billionaires to stand up and go to the plate for this our nation, America?

Posted by: Madeleine | October 1, 2008 4:42 PM

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