The bailout


In an election year already filled with topsy-turvy events and serial comeuppance, the stock market yesterday lost an average of $3 million per minute and chickens came home to roost on their dwindling 401K nest eggs.

The headlines were screaming: Massive credit contraction…worst drop in U.S. stock market since 911…strangled economy…serious recession looming. But despite dire predictions of crashing global markets and domestic job loss, 30 Western Democrats and 24 Western Republicans in the U.S. House joined their colleagues on Monday in voting down a $700 billion bailout plan, 228-205. (Twenty-eight Western Dems and 17 Republicans voted for the bill.)

Colorado Democrat Mark Udall voted no and called on Congress to create a better bill, citing the need “to fix the broken financial system that led us to this crisis.” Utah’s Republican congressman, Rob Bishop, voted no because “the free market probably hasn’t been given enough of a chance to perform.” All eight Arizona representatives – four Democrats and four Republicans – voted against the legislation, even though Ariz. Sen. John McCain "suspended" his presidential campaign to promote it. While Dems wanted more for the taxpayer, nay-saying Republicans couldn’t bring themselves to insert controls into their deregulation experiment. The GOP group has an alternative plan, with “market-based solutions” such as federal insurance for bad debt.

In the meantime, the Fed yesterday poured $490 billion into the economy, following a $430 billion infusion last week, trying to shore up financial systems around the globe and regain some stability.

After the vote, Congress adjourned for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday that begins ten days of repentance before Yom Kippur. During that time, one should attempt reconciliation, according to tradition.