And about that bailout . . .

One of the things that bugs me about the reporting/commentary on the meltdown of the American financial/investment banking/insurance system is the way it's generally blamed solely on subprime mortgages and the obscene run-up in housing prices in the MSM.

Don't get me wrong: those are serious ingredients in the current mess. But the improper leveraging and use of that debt - all of it, good as well as bad - is acting as the immense force multiplier. That's what caused Wall Street to crater into a black hole. Without that, you have red ink on balance sheets and maybe a problem along the lines of the S&L crisis in the 1980s* . . . not a debacle that is so serious the world's financial system is at stake.

Focusing on bad mortgages takes the spotlight away from some of the real villains/dopes here - people who took home millions of dollars over the past several years.

And if I hear one more $%^&!! say he had no idea what the derivatives his company was trading/selling/creating were all about, I'm shooting the son of a bitch.

* Bigger, yes. But still easier and "cheaper" to deal with. By comparison, at least.

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