A lot of us, myself included, poked fun at Nader during his presidential run because of our perception of him as an old crank. He may well be an old crank, but he had it right while others had it wrong, at least with regard to scandalous banking.
Alert reader Jon sent me this article which is worth a moment (or two!) of your time. For those of you who aren't link-clickers, Nader rather eerily described the events we've been watching unfold. The final paragraph of the piece suggests a scheme for keeping regulators accountable, and I'd love to know if that ever came to pass. If these goons managed to do this much damage in spite of that, well, they are even less scrupulous than I thought.
Nader was wrong about one thing back in 1999, though. He thought we'd look back and wonder how we could have all been so asleep through this disastrous deregulation. Hardly anybody is wondering. We're just busily believing President Panic that we need to cough up lots of money to make it all better. This, my friends, is what happens when "regular" people refuse to take any interest whatsoever in yucky old politics. No government oversight, except by people we label as cranks and then ignore. Is coughing up $700 billion really less distasteful than paying attention every now and then?
My feelings on this bailout are the same as yesterday. Many thanks to my bro for pointing me to the perfect (tasteless, crass, morbid) picture to help me summarize: