Let me remind you why I’m writing. Just over two years ago, in September 2008, our country faced an economic meltdown. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the pillars that supported our mortgage system, had been forced into conservatorship. Several of our largest commercial banks were teetering. One of Wall Street’s giant investment banks had gone bankrupt, and the remaining three were poised to follow. A.I.G., the world’s most famous insurer, was at death’s door.
Many of our largest industrial companies, dependent on commercial paper financing that had disappeared, were weeks away from exhausting their cash resources. Indeed, all of corporate America’s dominoes were lined up, ready to topple at lightning speed. My own company, Berkshire Hathaway, might have been the last to fall, but that distinction provided little solace.
Nor was it just business that was in peril: 300 million Americans were in the domino line as well. Just days before, the jobs, income, 401(k)’s and money-market funds of these citizens had seemed secure. Then, virtually overnight, everything began to turn into pumpkins and mice. There was no hiding place. A destructive economic force unlike any seen for generations had been unleashed.
Only one counterforce was available, and that was you, Uncle Sam. Yes, you are often clumsy, even inept. But when businesses and people worldwide race to get liquid, you are the only party with the resources to take the other side of the transaction. And when our citizens are losing trust by the hour in institutions they once revered, only you can restore calm.
When the crisis struck, I felt you would understand the role you had to play. But you’ve never been known for speed, and in a meltdown minutes matter. I worried whether the barrage of shattering surprises would disorient you. You would have to improvise solutions on the run, stretch legal boundaries and avoid slowdowns, like Congressional hearings and studies. You would also need to get turf-conscious departments to work together in mounting your counterattack. The challenge was huge, and many people thought you were not up to it.
Well, Uncle Sam, you delivered. People will second-guess your specific decisions; you can always count on that. But just as there is a fog of war, there is a fog of panic — and, overall, your actions were remarkably effective.
I don’t know precisely how you orchestrated these. But I did have a pretty good seat as events unfolded, and I would like to commend a few of your troops. In the darkest of days, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Sheila Bair grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch. And though I never voted for George W. Bush, I give him great credit for leading, even as Congress postured and squabbled.
You have been criticized, Uncle Sam, for some of the earlier decisions that got us in this mess — most prominently, for not battling the rot building up in the housing market. But then few of your critics saw matters clearly either. In truth, almost all of the country became possessed by the idea that home prices could never fall significantly.
That was a mass delusion, reinforced by rapidly rising prices that discredited the few skeptics who warned of trouble. Delusions, whether about tulips or Internet stocks, produce bubbles. And when bubbles pop, they can generate waves of trouble that hit shores far from their origin. This bubble was a doozy and its pop was felt around the world.
So, again, Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. Often you are wasteful, and sometimes you are bullying. On occasion, you are downright maddening. But in this extraordinary emergency, you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.
Your grateful nephew,
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/opini … ef=opinion
The haters of America are now back, IMO.
They hate the gvt., but they take from it mercilessly.
All of that bailout money and, two years later not a single result to show for it. Unemployment continues to steadily increase and is now past double digits; it's as if all of the money just disappeared.
more than a trillion dollars-gone. Vanished into thin air.
This is why the government does not meddle with the economy if it wants it to function properly. Uncle Sam is there to defend our liberty, not manage our resources for us.
"All of that bailout money and, two years later not a single result to show for it."
You need to do a bit more reading and get some facts to back up your opinions. Apparently it hasn't occurred to you that without the bailouts and economic recovery stimulus we would be in a much deeper hole. The cost of the bailouts is turning out to be much lower than originally estimated. Tell anyone in Michigan that the bailouts accomplished nothing.
"GM is returning to the New York Stock Exchange after being booted off when it filed for bankruptcy in June 2009.
"The automaker boasts much less debt, four fewer U.S. brands, a lower break-even point and an advantage over its competitors in the hot Chinese market. That's partially why hedge funds, money managers and long-term investment funds have requested six times more shares than the original number GM was going to release on Thursday, said Josef Schuster, CEO of the IPOX Schuster investment firm in Chicago."
Read more: GM to boost share offering, reducing U.S. stake | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101117/B … z15YdT2RZg
http://www.freep.com/article/20101117/B … U.S.-stake
Cost of bailout $87 billion according to Geitner--
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36742144/ns … crossroads
Radical right-wing pundits would love your post. Thoughtful people will dismiss it as more evidence that ideological slaves can never truly get to the truth of the matter.
People are unemployed because the jobs are gone.
Jobs are gone because business went where they could foster more profit for themselves.
Cost of living is also out-of -pocket, thanks to de-regulation and laizze-faire business practices allowed by gvt.
You don't have any liberty if you can't feed your family.
We need protection from the corporate sharks. They are the real enemies of America. IMO
The most aggregious are the Repubs who take credit for stimulous projects, when they so vigorously demonized Obama for it.
Ingrates AND hypocrits.
I'm still trying to win you over, but I'm sure it will never happen.
If you think that companies are shipping jobs overseas is because of free market enterprise, then clearly you have never heard of minimum wage
How about slave labor? Ever heard of that?
you're right. Without minimum wage, I would likely be whipped by my overlords.
If you lived in Southeast Asia, where your beloved "invisible hand" provides lower-cost goods, yes, you likely would be.
those countries that you point to are some of the lease "invisible hand" friendly countries in existence.
Just look at the corruption index
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption … ions_Index
A clear and undeniable trend emerges when you look at the chart: those countries where the GOVERNMENT abuses its powers (those that are less likely to accept an invisible hand), are those that are the poorest.
Really? Afghanistan and Somalia have pure free market economies. Do you want me to get you flight times?
Not sure how you "lease" a hand; but let's move on to the rest of the free market "purists" nonsense. Competition is supposed to be the only regulator needed for trade; absolutely no government role. People will of course buy goods where they perceive the best value. This often leads the consumers to places like Wal-Mart where quality goods are available at low prices. To you this makes perfect sense. The fact that these cheap goods are produced from your beloved sweatshops, often by slave labor, is of absolutely no consequence. The consumer wins, the economy grows; who cares about the little rug rats whose lives are ruined as a result?
Certainly not you. Of course once you move to your isolated island, you won't have to defend your philosophy to anyone but the coconuts.
Warren Buffet is my favorite billionaire.
It's a shame more financially successful yet socially irresponsible financiers don't follow his example.
While reading Buffett's statements, remember that every dollar that the government spent that supposedly helped the economy came from theft.
Every dollar was either printed out of thin air, or it was stolen through taxation.
Governments can't create wealth, they can only redistribute it, and in the process lose some of it.
Theft is charging $3.00 for a FTC (foreign transaction charge)
Theft is charging 30% interest on a credit card.
Theft is late fees, over-the-limit fees,fines, overdraft charges, $4.00 now for a friggin loaf of bread!
Theft is haliburton overcharging for toilets.
Theft is KBR shoddy work that kills soldiers, while charging an arm and a leg.
Theft is demanding weapons for peace.
Theft is all around.
It isn't theft if its actually openly and directly agree to these things.
If what you said was true, the when I buy a sandwich, I would be stealing from him and he would be stealing from me...
Don't feel bad, Marx made the same mistake
I never agreed to an FTC charge to get money out of another bank! Nor did I agree to a $30 Overdraft charge if I bounce a check. Nor did I agree to this chicanery: Switch the due date on a credit card payment. Now you have a late fee. Late fee makes you over your limit, so you have an over the limit fee. That's 79 dollars more you owe them because they changed the due date. I never agreed to that loan-sharking.
You're right - you never agreed to an FTC - welcome to my entire argument.
Thank you for agreeing with me!
By your logic, taxation is agreed upon and therefore not theft either. Whether or not you like paying it is a different story. You do.
"Theft is charging $3.00 for a FTC (foreign transaction charge)
Theft is charging 30% interest on a credit card.
Theft is late fees, over-the-limit fees,fines, overdraft charges"
All of these expenses are easily prevented. Taxes are compulsary.
The rest of your statements have some truth to them, but come directly from the left's talking points. Take a look for yourself and see just how much the DOD wastes on its own. Or the DOA for that matter. Or how much Medicare is wasted via overcharging.
Yes--too much waste everywhere. If they took care of that, we would have no problems.
But, if I do not pay my electric bill they will shut me off.
Can't buy food, I starve.
Can't afford school, healthcare, eye-glasses? Oh well!
We need something standing in the way of everything done for profit...even the basic necessities of life.
How can we see people...KIDS....go hungry or cold or homeless and call ourselves "The Greatest Country on Earth"?
And if gvt won't help people....who will? Exxon? Verizon? N-Star?
Only if you have money in your pocket.
It should not be that way IMO.
Some things should not be for profit!
You need to buy a little island for yourself. Living in a modern society seems to annoy you greatly.
Perhaps a cave? Maybe a remote shack in Montana?
Oh Ron, what we goin' do wit' you?
A group of scientists proposed sending a team of volunteers on a one way trip to Mars the other day...
Oh Ron, what we goin' t' do wit'chuu?
You have a strange definition of theft not to be found in a dictionary.
A bunch of people vote and then take a gun to my home to take my money
That doesn't sound like theft to you? Really?
Stop driving on the interstate. Stop using the public library. STop using the internet. Stop using the post office. Stop reading and writing (skills you learned in public school). Never call the police or fire department again.
Then maybe you can call it theft. Maybe.
Why would I stop using that which was paid for by money that was stolen from me? That would be the equivalent to the famous Pulp Fiction "Ving Rhames" scene.
I guess your response is as extreme as original posters. I don't think all taxation is theft, but I do believe that taxation seems to be the first solution proposed to short falls. Shortfalls that are actually created by fraud, waste and abuse.
What kind of gun? Did they show up in black helicopters?
Nope. But they threatened to show up police cruisers if I didn't pay.
Our Federal Highway system is wealth. So is the FDA.
Do you know why some States are "The Commonwealth of.,"
You simply don't know what wealth is.
A highway is wealth. Good job on that.
BUT MY POINT IS THAT THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT WAS STOLEN FROM THE POPULACE!!!!!!
This isn't the creation of wealth, it is the distribution of wealth from one type (saving for the future) to another (a road)
My argument remains unscathed
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