Bankers’ Lifeline Attached to My Ankle?March 17th, 2008

I’m trying to decide whether I’m in favor of putting up billions in public assets to rescue insolvent investment bankers. Not that I have a say. The Federal Reserve, a private bank, can, for all practical purposes, print dollars in any amount and give them to any banker on the orders of one man.

When the Fed prints money and hands it out, it lowers the value of my dollars. It’s like a tax on everything I own.  The people the Fed is rescuing are the owners and depositors of the bank, who, as you might expect, tend to be folks that have lots of money to put in banks. They loaned a lot of it out to people who can’t pay, and, without the newly printed dollars that degrade my meager purchasing power, they might lose a portion of their abundant supply of dollars.

I know I should be grateful for this opportunity to put my capital to work for the greater good, but, damn, I don’t want to do it. My feeling about bankers is that they’re not cutting us any slack, and so why should we give them any special breaks? As for people with lots of money, I’m feeling really cranky about them. They seem to be in charge of just about everything, and everything’s really messed up. We should trust these folks with more?

I guess you can see where I’m going with this. I’m inclined to let the bank go down and see what happens. In fact, I’m dangerously close to advocating the erection of a gallows for bankers and other billionaires. This goes a bit beyond mere taxation, but it’s just the sort of public policy we’ll all be talking about if the Fed keeps to its current course.