Friday, October 03, 2008


Musings from Bickerstaff

Posted by Isaac Bickerstaff

I am in Washington, DC today. It is a city pulsating with politically anxious members of Congress, polemical lobbyists, peripatetical bureaucrats, and the chattering class. No good deli, but I do enjoy being here.

Before commencing my musings, allow a comment on the debates. The biggest loser of last night's debate was Mitt Romney. His over- funded star was eclipsed by Sarah Palin. Expectations were very low and although she appealed mainly to the base; I thought she did a great job. " Nice to meet you. Can I call you Joe?" was a great start. The folksy intonations may not impress we East Coasters, but calls made to Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan confirmed my suspicions of who she was really talking to in America. Job well done, Governor. You prep well. Mission accomplished.

And let me give a shout out to Joe Biden. You are right about Iran. And I am a parent too. I understand your emotion when you choke up about losing your wife and daughter.

Now to Bickerstaff's thought on our times. The Congress shall pass an $850 Billion bailout today. It is rife with incentives to alienate all and push our National debt to another trillion. Many culprits are being pointed to and I would like to add to that heap. Sen. Graham, Rep Leach, and Rep Bliley ( the three blind mice)....... Thank you for the legislation deregulation that really caused all of this mess. Thank you Republican Majorities who said this would be a good idea. For those unaware of this masterpiece, here is the short version " To enhance competition in the financial services industry by providing a prudential framework for the affiliation of banks, securities forms, insurance companies, and other financial service providers and for other purposes"

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 allowed commercial and investment banks to merge and also buy insurance companies. Does Bickerstaff need to show why this is a bad idea? In a point of I told you so, I wrote it was a bad idea then but everyone was so giddy over the high tech boom, that why shouldn't business' all get together? The good times will last forever.

Thank you, President Clinton, for signing it into law. Your fundamental understanding of the protections of Glass-Steagal blow a flat saxophone note. And to all the Wall street lawyers, lobbyists, cap managers, fund and bank heads... A big Bronx cheer to you also.

One final piece of harrowing thought. Sen Phil Gramm, author of Gramm-Leach -Bliley, is the same guy advising John McCain on economics. Sleep well friends.


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