Do You Like The Taste Of Little Friskies?
Stop Googling the names of AIG executives.
Put down the torch and the freshly sharpened pitchfork.
It's time to get conversant about what's going to save the country.
Yes, it's refreshing to see the American people united and righteously aggrieved about what they perceive to be the wrongs committed by the folks at AIG who brazenly accepted huge bonuses even after accepting federal help when they led the insurance giant into the financial sewer. It made for good talk radio, bad tax policy (using the code to punish people after the fact is a scary, scary prospect) and a true case study in Washington finger-pointing (Bush-to-Obama-to-Geithner-to-Chris Dodd, for starters).
And, it did absolutely nothing to fix anything that's still wrong with the economy.
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, as well as any other talking head with his/her salt, points to the banks as the source of our woes as well as the font of our salvation (the headline to this blog will become very clear after you click on the link to the column below).. Watch the Dow all you want, and many of you are, checking the DJIA every ten minutes hoping for some sign that the market hit it's elusive bottom. Investigate the banks, friends, and you'll find something akin to a fix we can believe in.
Alter's latest column on the subject outlines four banking alternatives, discusses the pros and cons of "nationalization" and details why it's the banks, stupid, that are the touchstone to where we are as well as the way out.
It's not a sexy read, but it's far less wonky than a lot of other stuff I've tried to plow through, only to have a catatonic gaze set in about six paragraphs in.
Plus, it's what we need to be talking about--in Washington, as well as in the lynch mob circling the closest AIG manager's mansion. Pick up the magazine.
Put down the pitchfork.