By Editor | Jul 30, 2012 | US | 1 |
Panic struck on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged a thousand points between July and August, and commentators warned of a 1929-style crash. To prevent that dire result, the U.S. Federal Reserve, along with the central banks of Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, extended a 315 billion dollar lifeline to troubled banks and investment firms. The hemorrhage stopped, the markets turned around, and investors breathed a sigh of relief. All was well again in Stepfordville. Or was it? And if it was, at what cost? Three hundred billion dollars is about a third of the total paid by U.S. taxpayers in personal income taxes annually. A mere $188 billion would have been enough to repair all of the 74,000 U.S. bridges known to be defective, preventing another disaster like that in Minneapolis in July. But the central banks’ $300 billion was poured instead into the black hole of rescuing the very banks and hedge funds blamed for the “liquidity” crisis (the dried up well of investment money), encouraging loan sharks and speculators in their profligate ways.