By Harvey Tobkes


We cannot ignore the present economic crisis and think…hey, we always recovered from past finacial disasters and this too will pass. Right? No! This could be the big one. The one that changes the U.S.

I do not know what the solution is, but I do know it happened because we were neglectfully stupid. How did respected, stately banking institutions, suddenly assume that baseless loans were a path to Utopian profits? They lowered the standards, forgetting the old “3 C’s” axiom, which bankers always used to determine who is credit worthy.

I remember when bankers considered… Character: refers to how a person has handled past debt obligations, and from the credit history and personal background, honesty and reliability of the borrower to pay credit debts. Capacity: refers to how much debt a borrower can comfortably handle. Income streams are analyzed and any legal obligations looked into, which could interfere in repayment. Capital: refers to current available assets of the borrower, such as real estate, savings or investment that could be used to repay debt if income should be unavailable.

So, the big boys bundled hundreds of sub-prime (another name for sleazy, shaky and sickly) mortgages in money salads that they sold and resold. Underneath the lettuce in these salads were toxic waste, but it was difficult to see with the naked eye. Of course, once that fact became known, no financial institutions wanted to buy salads. And that my friends is what’s causing our present day financial debacle.

Greed, immorality, lust for power, dishonesty, bribery, and corruption, these things never disappear, but they can be minimized by having more good people in high places, who know how to weed the field.

Sadly, there were very few times in our history when our government was really fiscally responsible, but that is the track we need to get back on NOW. We need … regulation, not de-regulation, we need to stop: fraud in Medicare, phony defense contracts, unnecessary handouts to states for useless projects…there must be dozens of things we can do to save money.

How I wish the new president after taking the oath of office, could wave a magic wand and declare, “Let’s exit the game of a war we can’t afford it, let’s be prudent with expenditures in the U.S., let’s reduce the deficit…and let the good times roll.

Go Team, U.S.A.!

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