The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — “our partners in the government,” as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.
The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.
These are extremely heady times right now for this country. Obama’s hearing it from the left in editorials across the country. Paul Krugman is about to jump off a ledge. Hell even the right wing is wringing their hands over this bailout… though their articulation as to why leaves something to be desired. But right or left, up or down, whatever, there’s just no reconciling the fact that the people directly responsible for imploding this whole thing in the first place are now being ask to put it back together. In Jenga when you knock the tower over, that’s it, you’ve LOST. There’s no mulligan.
But then again, this is America. We’re not known for logic.
You can read the whole thing at Rolling Stone. It’s long, but worth it.
*hat tip to mom