Thursday, September 25, 2008

Economic education for congress

It is clear that very few people understanding the pricing of assets. This "bailout" bill gives us the perfect insight as to the level of understanding congress and the general public has regarding economics. It appears that the majority of congress and the majority of citizens are having trouble letting go of their resentment at wall street's wealthy and are allowing it to blind them to the fact that there is a high probability that the government/citizens may make money on this deal. The core of the matter is proper pricing and though you can say that these "bundles" of mortgage become less and less valuable as defaults occur there is always the hard asset (the real estate itself) that remains. The holder of these mortgages has the right to the property so in theory they can not go to zero. If the treasury negotiates a price of .50 on the dollar in order for this to be a complete waste of tax dollars, every house would have to end up being worth 1/2 the amount of the mortgage. I do not know the statistics but I would surmise that it is not highly probable that all the real estate to be acquired will be worth less than 50% of the mortgage amount. Second mortgages are erased when property is taken back by the lender and real estate would have to drop considerably more for these assets to be worth 40% of the mortgage value on main street. The congress is pandering to voters rather than educating them, which in my opinion is what is needed more frequently in our republican form of government. We elect officials to represent us. We don't vote on all issues if this was a true democracy by definition. Our officials need to educate themselves, make critical judgments, get things done while apprising constituents of the process rather than being so reactionary to citizen outcry. We have a system that allows for citizen outcry every 2, 4, 6 years by voting in better representatives. Our system will breakdown or bottleneck continuously if we have law makers reacting to who squawks the loudest. The other reality is that just because officials get angry calls about issues it is in no way a random sample of the population and may eve be completely opposite of the sentiment of the community in its entirety. We don't have a say in everything and our system is not set up to function as a true democracy but in today's age we have gotten bogged down by ridiculous pandering, especially during election years. Our current situation reveals just how uneducated our officials are regarding the financial system and it also reveals just how adept they are at pointing fingers at anyone else to try and cover up their lack of foresight or knowledge of current issues. In order to keep the system from falling apart producing a major recession or depression the government needs to act quickly. These proposal has potential to generate free market interest in these products one the government begins to put a bid under them and if they do purchase a number of these assets they probably will recoup all of the capital outlay. Congress needs to get it together and make sure they do the right thing and what is right for our country. An elected official in our system is sent to Washington to represent the best interest of the public and use their judgement in times of crisis not ask voters how high to jump when a critical issue arises. If you want different representation then you need to vote during the elections for more trusted and accountable officials.

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