Monday, September 29, 2008

Following the Money of the Wall Street Debacle

"Follow the money," Deep Throat famously told reporter Bob Woodward from the shadows of a parking garage in the movie version of Watergate. While the phrase was never uttered in the real life equivalent, the resonant phrase nevertheless lives on. The Center for Responsive Politics, a premier watchdog group, watches the money underlying the continuing shakeout on Wall Street. It also notes how both presidential candidates have called on various people at the center of the rescue drama to act as "bundlers," or mega-fundraisers who attract contributions from many others. Finally, CRP notes how charitable bailed-out insurance giant AIG has been to lawmakers over the years, and how 27 of them personally owned stock in AIG. Let us know if you found any of this interesting.


At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am overwhelmed and sickened by the deluge of money channeled to politicians. How on earth can they understand what life on earth for most of us grunts is really like? There must be a better way.

And why the hell can't these "bundlers" (bunglers) raise money for starving children, wells for impoverished villages, literacy programs, medical research, medical care, job training programs, and the like? What the hell is the matter with people? Don't they know they are living in a make believe world? Maybe they ought to spend some of that money to buy new glasses so they can really see the world, preferably ones without rose tinting!

AIG? Why do we call them public servants? Maybe politicians should get new glasses too, ones without the mirrors that mostly only allow them to see themselves when it appears they are looking out for others. Interesting? It makes me want to puke (on a politician, on a lot of politicians. No, in their expensive cars that will stink so they have to think about someone else on the way to work every day.)

I'm sure you're sorry you asked.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

No, Stan, I'm not sorry I asked. You've eloquently expressed what's on many minds, including my own. The level of rising disgust with our utterly broken system is unlike anything I've ever witnessed in my lifetime. Your outburst reminds me a little of the famous soliloquy by the anchorman in the movie "Network," who invites his listeners to open their windows and shout, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

There is a tie between these two outrages: politicians are forced to raise so much money in large part because of the expense of running election-cycle TV commercials--on what are supposedly the airwaves owned by the American people.

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I was reminded what an effective teacher puke is by my inebriated son as he was eloquent all over the bathroom floor early Saturday morning. I thought he just had the flu and was impressed at how grown-up he was to not let me help him clean up his own mess. Too bad congress and the financial “wizards” haven’t the same decency. My son still could hardly eat on Sunday, and as a wonderful guy and a bright grad school student I daresay he has learned a valuable lesson. Lets hope Wall Street and Congress do as well (but I have more faith in my son).

At 10:23 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

What could I possibly add to that?

At 8:38 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

I only wish I'd thought of Stan's metaphor first. That pretty much sums up how I feel about it too. Bravo Stan.


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