Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“Clients” Equal “Customers” ?

Robert Reich keeps asking important questions on his blog. This is today’s.

”So why, exactly, is the Treasury substituting government bailouts for chapter 11?”

What really got my attention though was this little blurb.

”The Treasury seems to have lost sight of its real client. It's client is not the creditors, shareholders, or executives of any of these firms. Its sole client is the American people. “

Is it just me or did that sound too much like this quote ?

”"If there is a customer, it is the traveling public, not the airline," Oberstar said. “

That one is from Chairman James Oberstar in reference to the FAA’s failed inspections of Southwest Airlines.

I don’t want to fan the flames of fear but I don’t want you to fall asleep at the switch either. As I have tried to make the point over and over in these last two years, there is simply no substitute for good government. We have a financial crisis put together by some of the brightest people on the planet. As smart as they were, they had to hire people even smarter (like math wizards) just to calculate the numbers. Now, you’ve got government employees trying to figure it out and unravel it all. And the whole thing is being overseen by two guys (Treasury Secretary Paulson and Kashkari) that helped create the mess.

Sleep tight America.

I don’t know about you, but January 20th can’t get here soon enough for me.

Oh yeah -- while we’re on the subject -- here’s another question from Professor Reich that will make you think.

”Pardon me for asking, but if a company is too big to fail, maybe – just maybe – it’s too big, period.

We used to have public policies to prevent companies from getting too big. Does anyone remember antitrust laws? “

I remember them. I don’t think the Bush Administration’s Justice Department does though.

Clearing Antitrust Hurdle, Delta Clinches Acquisition of Northwest

I think Professor Reich has a good point. If we have to rescue companies that are “too big to fail”, then why are we making more of them ?

Don Brown
November 12, 2008

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