Who’s to blame?

I suppose rightfully, we have not yet heard from the bank bigwigs who have in recent days watched their institutions go under.  As the crisis blows by, surely there will be mountainous testimony through books, movies, talk shows, etc.  But it’s my guess that these folks are suffering right now.  I generally discredit conspiracy theories and don’t believe any few individuals have the smarts it would take to commandeer the market for any length of time.  It’s my guess that these executives (for the most part) worked hard and long at their jobs, and did their best to follow the dictates of their boards and the market. 

I’m suggesting that these culprits bear no more responsibility than every American.  There was inherent failure in the subprime mortgage from the start;  since when does inability to understand the fine print excuse the individual from liability?  It was our sense of entitlement, our greed that allowed us to grab the high life even though we could ill afford it.  The banks offered, and we blithely accepted.  Was the snake more culpable than Eve?

So the universal attitude that the government should help the individual homeowner rather than the banks just doesn’t hold water.  We are the ones who predicated this mess, all of us; it was not the banks alone.  To cop righteous indignation and seize the chance to cry ‘poor me’ is ignorant and small minded in the extreme. 

Per previous posts, the reader will know I’m hardly in support of massive bailouts, either.  If we allow the truth to prevail, we know that allowing the market to right itself is the American way.  But we’ve carried our excesses so far that it’s unlikely we’ll align with highest truths in this situation.  We are nowhere near resilient anymore, and just can’t stomach the prospect of a really serious economic downturn.

So we’ll rescue the banks and carry on as usual.  Until the next time we run up against our collective selfishness and feel the need to desperately point fingers.

PS:  I have a parallel thought to this financial fiasco:  does it not reflect the same kind of mess we’re in with health care?  Who will bear the brunt when insurance goes bust?  When will the cost of medical attention break this country’s back?  The tax called health care insurance is already too burdensome for many:  does this not suggest that defaults will increase and the insurance giants who gamble for our blind loyalty are riding for a fall?

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