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According to insider masters of the universe economists, pretty fucking close:

What would be the dollar cost of not bailing out Wall Street? Try a number north of $30 trillion. (The awful math is detailed below.) That’s why Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke were so scared last week. And, yes, I think “scared” isn’t too strong a word. You don’t think they convened an emergency nighttime meeting of congressional leaders and then walked out with something close to a blank check for a trillion bucks because they thought we were headed for an outright recession, even a fairly nasty one?

Nope, I think they believed, and got Congress to believe, that the economy was on the verge of something far worse than the worst downturn in a generation. And that is why they went with the so-called nuclear option: the biggest financial bailout in history. In the words of JPMorgan Chase economist James Glassman, “Thankfully, we and our friends around the world who are watching the economic lights come on will never know where events would have led, if the clock had not stopped [last] Thursday afternoon…. Last week’s events made the 1987 stock market crash look like child’s play.”

It’s looking more and more like we dodged an ICBM… for now.

The author argues that there were non-governmental pro-market solutions to the growing problem, but that the time to enact those solutions was last year, before the system reached critical mass:

But what would have been a smart, free-market plan in August 2007 or March of this year isn’t enough for right now. Just as government created the environment for the credit crisis, it failed to enact quick solutions. The situation has gone critical. It’s time for shock and awe.

And who is to blame for this clusterfuck? Many interwoven factors, but some really stand out as primary causes.

We intend to keep his money in an S&P 500 index fund, money markets, commodities, and foreign currencies. He plans to gamble a small percentage on short selling multinationals which operate in demographically shifting countries.


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