Some interesting thoughts on the bailout economy from Lew Rockwell's site - seems fitting on a day when America is about to bail itself out via this poorly-thought-out and bloated-with-pork Stimulus.
Author Gary North highlights the dropping of atomic warheads in 1945 as one of three historical events he has lived through. The second, the Great Bailout of Late 08:
The second event that I regard as almost comparable in importance to the collapse of the Soviet Union was the collapse of the American banking system that took place in September and October of 2008.
No one saw that collapse coming in August. The senior rulers of the United States – I do not mean politicians – have watched in horror as institutions that had survived since the mid-19th century went down: investment banks. These were banks that did not take deposits from the general public. They pooled large quantities of capital from private, wealthy investors. Within a matter of weeks, that business model collapsed. The investment banks scrambled to restructure their legal operations so as to be defined as commercial banks and therefore become eligible for the Federal bailout money. Meanwhile, huge commercial banks almost went bankrupt. They did not go bankrupt only because of government intervention and because larger banks absorbed them. Wachovia went down. Washington Mutual went down. The share prices of the two largest banks in the United States, the Bank of America and Citigroup, are still close to penny share status.
Anyone who does not understand the magnitude of what is taking place is an economic ignoramus. I have plenty of these ignorami contacting me, telling me it was all planned by the insiders. The conspiracy has won again! In their worldview, the conspiracy always wins. That is because they believe that the conspiracy has the attributes of God. It is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Here is their intellectual problem. They do not believe in the free market. They cannot conceive of a social institution based on voluntarism that can break the backs of government planners and central bankers. They will believe anything but this. They think of themselves as defenders of the free market. But they do not grasp the power of the free market to enforce consumers' decisions.
The tin foil hat crew, of which I am a card-carrying member, is winning the battle of free market vs. conspiracy because the free market as we know it is being suffocated to death by the powers-that-be, namely OMGObama and his lovely little "stimulus". And just in case you missed it last night, you can find the stimulus here - good luck trudging through 486 pages of absolute crap.
So why waste your breath bagging on OMGObama's plan to save the American economy when you could be planning for the inevitable collapse which will come as a result?
The conspiracy of well-placed insiders is now tottering. The whole structure of the national American political system has rested on the solvency of the largest American banks. These banks have all been called into question. They are now gutted.
The thought that commercial bank insiders actively demolished trillions of dollars of their own equity as part of a conspiratorial plan is so imbecilic, so outrageous, so ludicrous, that I am convinced that these conspiracy worshippers have lost whatever remained of their minds. They have been gutted intellectually, just as the banks have been gutted financially.
Some of them probably think that Communists still run Russia. Ex-Communists do: bureaucrats, mobsters, and KGB agents. But Communism is dead. How do I know? Look at a map of Russia. Look for the old names: Stalingrad and Leningrad. Gone. Maps tell a great deal about a civilization. Russian maps tell us that Communism is dead.
The American conspirators have lost the one thing that they thought they had: control over the nation and the nation's finances by means of the fractional reserve banking system. That system is coming unglued, just as Ludwig von Mises said it would, just as Murray Rothbard said it would, and just as those other Austrian economists who understand the enormous weakness of the fractional reserve system had said would eventually take place.
It is the financial atomic bomb of the century. And when it blows up in our faces, no point in placing the blame.