Thursday, April 29, 2010

Liberals Stack the Deck and Blame Others

Oh my, let's get all indignant on the topic of Wall Street and the liberal pursuit of villains to take the blame for choices made by others. Maureen (Moron) Dowd does her level best to support the Democratic party's attempt to shift blame. She pans 'Las Vegas metaphors' used by POLS in chastising Goldman Sachs while ignoring a basic rule designed to remind consumers of the pitfalls in the marketplace - caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

According to Princeton's Wordnet, caveat emptor is described as 'a commercial principle that without a warranty the buyer takes upon himself the risk of quality.' Does it get any simpler than that?

From Dowd's op-ed....

As Americans lost homes and lined up for jobs, Goldman made $13 billion in 2009, and Blankfein got a bonus of, as he haltingly admitted to McCain, “um, um, nine million.”

“The idea that Wall Street came out of this thing just fine, thank you, is something that just grates on people,” Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman told Blankfein. “They think that you didn’t just come out fine because it was luck. They think that you guys just really gamed this thing real, real well.”

Sure, let's talk about the greed of Wall Street and the bonuses received by Blankfein and others. Never mind the greed of those who were stung by real estate investments they would never have purchased had they performed the due diligence required.

This is no different than the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from Enron employees who lost their jobs when that house of cards imploded as well as retirement accounts exclusively or largely built around Enron stock. Though one should never place all their investment eggs in one basket, the meteoric rise of Enron stock enticed the greedy to ignore another simple and common concept. If it seems to good to be true it probably is.

Conveniently, Dowd also ignores the role of many politicians steering Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, banking regulators and other government entities toward real estate disaster. A long history of accommodating the notion that everyone should own a home whether they can afford it or not led to 'no docs' loans and banking interests scurrying to unload bad mortgages they would not have produced on their own.

While POLS 'grill' Goldman Sachs in the US Senate and call for 'Wall Street reforms' take a look at Fannie and Freddie now and tell me anything has changed. As for those facing foreclosure since taking a mortgage they cannot afford or others lured by greed during the recent real estate 'bubble' POLS advocating more bailouts for bad decisions should be retired in November 2010.

It's about time people begin taking responsibility for their own failures. Crying foul when you end up on the losing side of a transaction and expecting others to take the blame is childish. Some forget that transactions on Wall Street between buyers and sellers are a zero sum game. For each transaction there is a winner and a loser. Someone posts a gain and someone posts a loss. Get over it or get out.

Stanford Matthews

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