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US rejects George W Bush’s socialist plan

Driving home in my carbon-emitting unit I heard a Republican, Jeb Hensarling, expressing concern that by making the US government the lender of last resort George W Bush’s bail-out plan would put the US on a “slippery slope to socialism”.

I half expected him to start talking about the introduction of foreign substances into his precious bodily fluids and a loss of essence.

The plan has been voted down. It wasn’t all Republicans worried that the plan would turn the US into a satellite of Cuba that voted against the plan, Democrat Pelosi is being blamed for poisoning the debate.

It appears to me, from my limited knowledge of economics, that no-one knows what the fuck is going to happen either way. Least of all economists.

On a parochial UK note, how much of the current UK banking situation is due to the de-mutualisation of building societies during the 1990s? Andreas Whittam Smith argues a lot:

The “demutualisation” of nearly a dozen building societies in the 1990s following Conservative legislation was a shameful episode. Reserves that had been built up during the previous 150 years were suddenly distributed as bribes to the lucky people who happened to be depositors at the time. This was to persuade them to vote in favour of changing their society’s status. The capital that was thus thoughtlessly thrown away might well have saved these former building societies when they came to confront their first storms.

I hope all you carpet baggers feel a little guilty. I do.

Gene adds: Barney Frank ridicules the claim that Nancy Pelosi’s floor speech sabotaged the bill.