Who is Dumber: Galveston Stayers or Wall Street Traders?
Interesting take here by Texas Attorney, Oscar Gonzales (extract).
So, who has been more reckless? You decide.
I’m sure no irony is intended, but the corporate media keeps switching back and forth between the refugees of Hurricane Ike to the refugees of the Wall Street meltdown, but, of course, with different takes. For the hardy Galveston Islanders who refused evacuation orders even in the face of a storm the size of Texas, they get only scorn and ridicule piled higher even that the rubble that surrounds them. The Houston Chronicle reports how President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff chafed over ignored evacuation orders:
"As we continually said, every time there is a storm, when you stay behind in the face of a warning, not only do you jeopardize yourself but you put the first responders at risk as well," Chertoff said.
Harsh, hectoring words. Justified, without a doubt, but let us apply the power of contrast to Bush’s more philosophic view regarding what is now being called The Mother of All Mondays:
“In the short run, adjustments in the financial markets can be painful both for the people concerned about their investments and for the employees of the affected firms. In the long run, I’m confident that our capital markets are flexible and resilient, and can deal with these adjustments.”
Ike was a big storm, but Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, et al have brought the entire nation, probably the world, to the precipice of economic doom. There will be a great deal of parsing out of possible triggers for the meltdown, laced with impenetrable jargon. “From the opening bill, the volume and volatility of leveraged liquidity on put options made The Street bet against the spread that earnings and yield will not outperform the market base.” Ok, I admit I just strung some of that jargon together, but the sentence could be spliced seamlessly so that a TV audience wouldn’t notice and a talking head wouldn’t mind.
But there are no recriminations from politicians. People are still hanging on Alan Greenspan’s every nebulous utterance, hoping to distill some perspective from this, the chief architect of the meltdown.