Proposed Wall Street bailout - a few economics links in the progressive and center-left blogosphere

cross-posted, after some editing, from Free State Politics

NOTE: While composing this post earlier this afternoon, I saw via Ian Welsh that Sen. Obama has come out against this bailout, as currently proposed. While not exactly Shermanesque in his opposition, it is still good news...

Following are some links to a few reactions from bloggers - mostly progressive, natch. But first, you might also want to read some relevant posts from MyDD diarist NateW - see here and here, for example, for discussions of some bailouts that preceded this latest proposal, and how the generosity being shown to Wall Street corporations - including their sociopathic, greedy/incompetent executives (yeah, I got an opinion on this) - is a world different from the response being shown to the desperate financial straits many states find themselves in.

In the bigger blogosphere, responses seem to range from No Way!, to a willingness to consider the proposal, if things such as bankruptcy relief for homeowners and limits on corporate executives' compensation are also included. On the latter, the early response from proponents of this Administration proposal is "take it or leave it". Maybe they mean it, or perhaps they announced such an outrageous proposal as part of a standard negotiating tactic, i.e., start by asking for everything you want - and more - and maybe you will get nearly everything you want in an only slightly less outrageous agreement with your opponents. At this point, who knows, unless some insider starts talking - and even then one would not be able to tell whether it was quality information, or self-serving spin.

One thing I forgot to note in the original post at FSP is to also pay attention to the blog rolls in the links I cite below. The links referenced below are a tiny fraction of what is out there. My links tend to work for me in coming to an understanding of economic matters - you may find something more to your liking in a Website I don't even know about, let alone one I've seen but not included here.

For other MyDD posts on this stick-up of the taxpayer by the Wall Street crowd, you might also want to scroll through the posts that come up for the tag "bailout", and various permutations of the word 'economy'.

More after the jump.

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What does a bad economy look like to McCain?

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

click to enlarge

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Why Repubs Think the Economy is Great

The recent rash of institutional failures plaguing Wall St. has made big headlines and will only serve to reinforce the dominance of economic issues on the campaign trail.  But these high-profile financial diasasters actually obscure a more dramatic development in the economy that is leaving Republicans panicked and speechless with nowhere to turn.  The Republicans would be in deep, existential trouble on the economy even if the major lending institutions were still doing just fine.

The bigger problem for Republicans is that the very way they measure the health of an economy is going the way of the dodo.  What terrifies them (and what should terrify you) is that the economy we live in today (minus recent spectacular failures) is the economy they created by design, partially to win votes. No, I'm not kidding.

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America does not have an "Alaska Permanent Fund"

(cross-posted at the Big Orange)

While some folks gleefully point out the degree to which this takes McCain's 'experience' trump card off the table...

While others fret about whether this pick means any lingering Clinton/Obama divisions flare up...

While others hopefully speculate on ethics investigations...


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The Biden Pick: Reinforcing the Message on Economics

The media, shockingly enough, is missing one of the biggest stories surrounding Barack Obama's decision to put Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket: How this a pick not only about foreign policy but also about the bread and butter economic issues that are shaping the election.

You can already see the squawking. Here's the Associated Press' Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier effectively serving as a McCain surrogate in talking about the Biden choice. Much of the talk on the cable nets is about Biden's foreign policy strength and his gravitas.

But the one thing we're not hearing a lot of is the fact that Biden does reinforce Obama's narrative of late vis a vis the economy, specifically John McCain being out of touch. While McCain is someone who is wealthy enough not to know how many houses he and his wife own, Biden is not a wealthy man. He's no elitist who believes that those earning under $5 million per year aren't rich. While he embodies a lot of things about Washington -- he's been there for a long time, of course -- he has commuted to and from his home in Deleware ever since being elected rather than maintaining primary residence inside the Beltway like so many others on Capitol Hill. Even the city he was born in -- Scranton, Pennsylvania -- kind of embodies this connection to working Americans.

I'm not going to say that going into the process I was hoping that Obama would choose Biden, or that he was even at the top of my list going into this morning. What's more, it's worth noting that on at least one substantive economic issue, bankruptcy reform, Biden's positions have been decidedly not populist (though that can be chalked up to protecting a home state industry). That all said, Biden is a pick that I'm decidedly comfortable with, one that brings a whole lot to the Democratic ticket -- even beyond the foreign policy credibility that the media is so overwhelmingly focusing on -- one that reinforces the important message of the Democrats being in touch on the economy while John McCain, George W. Bush, and the Republican Party are completely out of touch.

Update [2008-8-23 3:24:35 by Jonathan Singer]: Just to sketch out in greater detail what I wrote above, if you look through Biden's financials, he really is not a super wealthy man (these numbers from 2007, not 2008).

Earned income: $193,900.
Honoraria (all donated to charity): $800.
Major assets: Bank accounts and life insurance policies, $22,008-$155,000.
Major sources of unearned income: Life insurance dividends, $1,001-$2,500.
Major liabilities: Loan against life insurance policies, $15,001-$50,000; lines of credit, $114,002-$300,000; credit union note, $10,001-$15,000.

I didn't see it, but I'm told that CNN reported tonight that Biden is actually the least wealthy member of the United States Senate. Talk about a contrast with a Republican ticket already worth upwards of $100 million -- and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars if Mitt Romney is McCain's veep pick.

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