Henry Paulson ends bailouts, saying, 'Mission accomplished!'
... while Rahm Emanuel reads Wall Street CEOs the riot act
Across the nation, Americans are celebrating the end of the Wall Street War. The big bankers are saved!
No more bailouts, says Henry Paulson.
In "Has the worst of financial crisis passed? Paulson says yes," McClatchy's Kevin G. Hall writes this morning:
Yes, if by "normalcy" you mean astounding numbers of foreclosures, massive budget cuts in every state from South Dakota to South Carolina, layoffs of hundreds of thousands of people, outrageously high mortgage payments still due on houses that are suddenly worth nothing.
In essence, Paulson really did declare victory. Now, who exactly is going to make Wall Street safe for democracy?
Listening to Paulson announce the end of the Great Bailout of '08 is like listening to George W. Bush on May 1, 2003, when he declared, "Mission accomplished!"
One difference: Bush was in his cute little military playsuit, and Paulson was wearing his normal coat and tie.
One similarity: More Americans have suffered in Iraq since Bush declared victory, and more Americans will be suffering here in the States since Paulson's hailing of a return to normalcy.
One big difference: In Iraq, the government at least tried to stop suicide bombers or hunted down their colleagues afterwards.
Over here, it was the investment bankers who blew up Wall Street, and the federal government stepped in to hand over billions of dollars to help those suicide bombers who survived.
Paulson patched the potholes on Wall Street — mission accomplished. What about the collateral damage? Helpless civilians in Iraq, helpless civilians here in the States.
Not only are Americans losing their homes at record rates, but the collateral damage from Wall Street's suicidal behavior is immense. States and cities have drastically slashed budgets, which means that vital public services like education, health, and mass transit are of course the first to go. Who's fraggin' whom?
Contrary to what Paulson says, the war is not over, despite the fact that Wall Street is pulling out jobs from under us.
One sign that the conflict isn't over is that for the first time in decades, an emissary of a U.S. president came to Wall Street and read CEOs the riot act. Straight up, Rahm Emanuel called on them to support — gasp! — universal health care.
What is he, some sort of Commie?
In "Emanuel Sets a Challenge," the Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Weisman writes:
True, Emanuel also left the big cigars with a we're-all-in-this-together message:
You can only hope that Emanuel, said to be a ruthless operative, was simply channeling the similarly ruthless Michael Corleone's words to Frankie Five Angels, "Keep your friends close — and your enemies closer."
If Emanuel's true to his words of praise for unions looking out for the middle class while businessmen aren't, then these CEOs had better watch their own backs.
If there's no CEO currently within your reach, take a stab at these stories . . .
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Jewish Daily Forward: 'Yid Vid: Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones Address the Economic Crisis'
A Glimpse of the World (Howard W. French): 'Obama and Africa: The Change We Have Been Waiting For?'
N.Y. Daily News: 'MTA's in fast lane for big hike'
Wall Street Journal: 'Emanuel Sets a Challenge'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Court clerk indicted in mortgage scam'
Washington Post: 'Why Clinton Can't Decide'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Ex-Clinton deputy Holder hailed as "smart" and "fair" guy'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Teachers rule again: School jobs steady as others decline'
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