Monday, September 22, 2008

#452 Trust Busters

#452 Trust Busters

Trust buster? Isn't that something that Teddy Roosevelt did? Breaking up the cartels?

Well, yes, it was. But that's not how we're using it here.

Trust busting now means busting YOUR trust of the financial system. And the trust busters now are the descendants -- sometimes by blood, but always by ideology -- who were busted in TR's day. Trust Busted, now busting back.

The whole economic shell game is based on trust. Without it, an awful lot of stuff is left floating -- or sinking. The shell game gets won and lost. Stuff gets traded. Stuff gets bought and sold. Most of it has no intrinsic value. It's worth what we decide individually and collectively what it's worth.

The banking and other arms of the financial business is based on trust. On confidence. You trust your bank to not lose your money. Your bank trusts the people to whom it lends with the deposit. The borrower trusts the guy he's paying with your money to build the house. And he trusts the guy building the house not only with your money but with not charging you more for 2x4s than they're worth.

This may be oversimplification. But the principles that run the world of finance are the same.

So when trust is lost, so are big bucks.

Hence, the government is holding its nose and pumping something in the neighborhood of one trillion dollars to make up for the mis-trust earned by a handful of scoundrels, incompetents and other mal and mis-feasers.

As usual, a handful of schlemiels and schlamozzels have doped up a system that works fine as long as it isn't too badly fiddled. The problem is no one knew -- or maybe no one cared where the don't-fiddle line was located.

A lot of people are asking why should the rest of us have to pay for all this? Well, we shouldn't. But we're going to because it's the only way to turn the busted trust around.

It's a first step. The second step is making sure things like this don't happen again. (Regulation once established is an executive branch function Maybe responsibility should be spread around a bit.)

The third step is carting the 'busters off to jail. That probably won't happen. But it's a delicious thought, trust me.



Shrapnel:

--It's tough to find anew Palm Pilot thingy that's not part of a telephone. Once they were the dominant form of calendar keeping and note taking. No more.

--Here could be one reason: After finally finding one to buy, and taking it home and setting it up, it ate the data already stored on the computer desktop. Fifteen years of phone numbers, notes, work logs and birthdays vanished in an eyeblink.

--There are only two things you can do after an incident like that -- I mean after you finish crying. Either suck it up or try to re-create it. I chose the former rather than the latter; the hell with it.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C) 2008 WJR

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