For the benefit of banks

Just in case you were wondering if the government was actually more concerned about American citizens or its banker friends around the world:

In a change from the original proposal sent to Capitol Hill, foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout, according to the fine print of an administration statement Saturday night. The theory, according to a participant in the negotiations, is that if the goal is to solve a liquidity crisis, it makes no sense to exclude banks that do a lot of lending in the United States. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confirmed the change on ABC’s “This Week,” telling George Stephanopoulos, calling the coverage of foreign-based banks “a distinction without a difference to the American people.”

The financial community didn’t want to take its medicine back in 1999, so they put it off. Now they’re facing amputation, so they’re putting it off again. In the long run, they’re dead, of course, the problem is that each purchase of time to benefit the financial elite costs the American people dearly.

None of this is actually necessary. It’s only necessary in order to preserve the Federal Reserve’s failing monopoly over US money. Back when there were hundreds of competing bank currencies, a bank failure meant that those who held its currency suffered. Now that there’s a government-granted monopoly, a failure means that everyone will suffer. The fact that centralized money operates no better than centralized anything else should not surprise anyone capable of understanding the supply-demand curve.

UPDATE – Even the Washington Post recognizes that this preemptive bailout scheme is an insane idea likely to cause more problems than it solves:“With truly extraordinary speed, opinion has swung behind the radical idea that the government should commit hundreds of billions in taxpayer money to purchasing dud loans from banks that aren’t actually insolvent. As recently as a week ago, no public official had even mentioned this option. Now the Treasury, the Fed and congressional leaders are promising its enactment within days. The scheme has gone from invisibility to inevitability in the blink of an eye. This is extremely dangerous.”

UPDATE II – As you’d expect, Ron Paul is one of the few politicians who actually understands what’s going on and what should be done:

What’s your take on this huge financial bailout?

“It’s more of the same. More debt and more inflation and more pressure on the dollar. Ultimately, although the markets are responding very favorably at the moment, I think it is going to be devastating to the dollar and to our financial situation in this country.”

So instead of having taxpayers buy the bad debt, the market should take care of it by itself?

“Sure, prices need to go down. Bad debt needs to be eliminated. The taxpayer ought to be protected. Taxes ought to be lowered…We are following the same routine that we did in the Depression, and that is artificially try to keep prices up. People were starving in the Depression and the only thing they did was try to keep wages artificially high and keep food prices high. We are doing the same thing now—we are trying to keep housing prices high. Low prices for houses mean poor people could buy a house. This is the most important part of a free market economy and that is free market pricing. Without free market pricing, the market can’t work. And this is in a way a major effort to price fix.”

They can fight economic gravity as hard as they want. But in the end, the plane is eventually going to run out of fuel and the landing will be a lot harder as a result. I don’t have much sympathy for a country who rejected the chance to have Ron Paul at the helm and favored the likes of McCain and Obama.

VPFL Week 2

86 Burns Redbeards (2-0-0)
65 Black Mouth Curs (0-2-0)

78 Alamo City Spartans (2-0-0)
70 Silver Spooners (0-1-1)

73 Valders Valkyries (2-0-0)
55 Judean Peoples Front (1-1-0)

82 Masonville Marauders (1-1-0)
80 Winston Reverends (0-2-0)

67 Mounds View Meerkats (1-1-0)
37 Greenfield Grizzlies (0-1-1)

Nate asked me what I think about the apparent end of the Tarvaris Jackson Experiment. Well, I think it’s long overdue, I wanted the Vikings to pursue Drew Brees back when San Diego decided to go with Rivers, and that the Vikings should now aggressively pursue signing either Jeff Garcia or Daunte Culpepper. Both quarterbacks, despite their limitations, are much likelier to be effective than Jackson or Gus Frerotte can be, and Garcia probably even knows a fair amount of Childress’s offense due to his time in Philadelphia. That being said, I’ll take Frerotte over Jackson without hesitating.

Jackson’s inability to develop into a serviceable quarterback, combined with the meltdowns of Vince Young and Michael Vick, demonstrate what anyone with a serious interest in the NFL knew all along; the supposed “reinvention” of the quarterback position was nothing more than a politically correct, media-driven attempt to support black quarterbacks. There’s no reason why a black quarterback can’t be as successful as a white one, as Culpepper, McNair, and McNabb have all shown. But those three quarterbacks were successful because they used their athletic ability as a last resort, not something they turned to the second they saw their first receiving option was covered. I suspect the NCAA move to spread offenses bears at least part of the blame for the amazing level of QB incompetence in the NFL.

NFL quarterbacking primarily concerns the art of the read, and the Tarvaris Jackson Experiment appears to show the limits of what one can be accomplished in three seasons with a committed coach, a strong arm, and a serious effort on the part of the quarterback. I quite like T-Jack as a player with physical talent who has really given it his best shot, and with his work ethic he’ll probably make for a reasonable backup. But he simply can’t see the field, read the defense, and find the open receiver in the very small amount of time provided by NFL defenses.

In other news, I’m kind of pleased about the Hochuli incident and not just because I don’t much like this San Diego team. NFL refs should be more inclined to swallow their whistles, as given the fact that perfection isn’t possible, they should referee the games in the full awareness that the game is not about them.

I’ll be shocked if the Vikings do well against the Panthers, as much as I like and admire the courage of Antoine Winfield, who has made two of the best solo tackles I have ever seen in the NFL, I hope they’re not going to let him go solo on Steve Smith. About the only hope for the Purple would appear to be possible overconfidence on Carolina’s part.