Meltdown- Costs are in for corporate immorality
Cost of credit crisis beginning to sink in
A few weeks ago the author wrote an article* about the uncounted cost of the credit meltdown to the American people. Few read the article and fewer still commented about it. Now that the full costs are beginning to come in, the final costs are staggering.
Market strategists, veteran economists, Congress, those who suffered through the Great Depression couldn't ever have imagined that the United States and partners are hanging by a thin thread; only the steady drone of news and drivel as usual from television and radio hides the shock yet to be felt by the stock market, retail shops, employment, and the further loss of faith in major institutions.
This is a plague on the modern world. While a debate rages over what constitutes a marriage, who was watching while the lenders had their fingers in the cookie jar robbing and fast talking people who had misplaced their trust in cynical money grubbers who stopped at nothing to gain the upper hand. the question for the lenders now is, how will confidence be restored in the credit markets?
A smooth talking, wolf in sheep's clothing rode in from Hollywood and pronounced death to government regulators and a curse on big government and spending. The farmer with the pregnant, unwed daughter recognizes that grin. The bird who sold you the lemon gas guzzler looked just like him.
The laws favorable to him and his rancher friends, such as cheap water for grazing cattle and free use of BLM land, those, of course, were retained. Laws that protected consumers, the disabled, the worn and torn were thrown out. A number of these poor souls could not compete without societal support and died, mostly from suicide. There wasn't much of an outcry but enough to restore some benefits for the most needy
Other entrepreneurs, such as Charles Keating squeezed under deregulation and stole billions from pension funds and life savings from the elderly and those helpless to do anything about it. He has a popular talk show in Los angeles.
Our all-American president illegally made a deal with Iran to bring the hostages home, though he gave them the weapons that would show up in Iraq to be used against our own soldiers. People nudged one another and smirked about old Ollie playing trade the guns to a supposedly democratic South American dictator, again, a totally illegal use of a military officer "acting on his own."There were other outrages, we might as well get honest. The honorary library has been built, the president will be recognized quite differently from what some remember him. Why this country must bestow greater than life saintliness on ordinary men who were elected to public office and acted in all too human ways escapes this writer.
When our lame duck president slyly informed everyone of his "C-manship" at university, many went ha ha. His alcoholic brawling that got him into a Texas jail was overlooked because his lawyer friend interceded with a judge who agreed to suppress it. All those National Guardsman who didn't remember him at meetings were dubbed as wrong or as liars. Records were suddenly produced that showed he was there, regardless of what those other men said.
Everyone took his word that a desert leader was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The country went to war over it. Billions of dollars are unaccounted for as this president attempted, unsuccessfully, to buy the loyalty of tribes with historic wars between them going back thousands of years.
At the same time, costs for needy children health-care went unbudgeted, in a brave move to save taxpayers money. While pledging to support the troops, the Veterans Administration ignored the law in order to take money from veterans deemed unworthy by virtue of having $28,000 income. The co-pay to see a doctor? $50.00. The wait? Three to four months. Who is behind the push to get more money from veterans who have already paid more than their share to protect America's freedoms?
The United States is a great country, forgiving of mistakes and the leaders who make them. We don't summarily shoot a commander who makes a poor decision, nor should we. The country has never faced any crisis that has brought it closer to bankruptcy. We entered a foreign country that was fully prepared to fight a street war against all comers. There were few working orders, if any. The architects for this war wll never be brought to book. The same over-achiever who professed no knowledge of the purpose of his job insisted he worked outside of the executive branch.
Even Washington, initially a failure as a general and plagued by merchants and bankers who wanted a war on the cheap, persevered. Mr. Washington waited until after the war to bill for food purchased for troops from his own pocket.admitted his mistakes and learned from them, eventually defeating the greatest standing army of the day with a rag tag make-shift army of patriots.
Grant was a magnificent failure at everything but the thing that counted the most in his day. He knew how to lead men out of chaos and managed to defeat the only other general no other man could, Robert E. Lee. If Lee had the advantages and works of the north, it is highly likely the outcome of the war would have been different. Had it not been for the generosity of Mark Twain, Grant would have lost money even on his eagerly awaited memoirs to exploitation.
Many alive today do not remember the message sent to the U.S. from countries who held the means to control our economy by withholding oil or by charging exorbitant prices. The oil companies pushed the auto companies to forget cheap cars or alternative energy cars. They built instead more monsters that drained resources for gasoline consumption.They held that the government would bail them out,just like they bailed Chrysler back in the 70's, when it was even harder to make a bad car mistake. Advertising came up with the name for these bail out automobiles, calling them the "k" cars. The lemons were a huge hit, as America invested in a car that boiled over in traffic, caught fire for no reason, and needed a valve job at 40,000 miles, if you could get it to go that far.
A gentleman by the name of James Cash Penney became an enormous retailing success by giving his customers quality and no credit, lest one live beyond their means. While he was alive, no credit cards were allowed in his stores and loyal employees were rewarded with profit sharing. Theft among these managers and employees was almost unheard of. Why steal from themselves? Thus was the loyalty among employees to employer, J.C. Penney.
Our society has forgotten that the bottom line deserves little loyalty. Shareholders contribute only money but workers contribute their lives to making companies run efficiently and profitably.
There has been little incentive for savers. In an atmosphere that allowed banks to charge outrageous rates to borrowers, banks advertised savings (pass-book)rates of 2%.
When there was some regulation in the markets, derivatives and other risky type instruments were forbidden.
To read more about the credit crunch and corresponding loss of faith in the markets to right themselves, please read: "The Unaccounted costs of Corporate loss of moral values." The article may be found on solar-captain hub pages.