This mess didn't start last week or last year. I'm guessing the Reagan presidency followed by the Clinton bubble.
Jamie Galbraith knows his stuff and has both experience and good judgment. I listened when he said nothing could have persuaded him to support the original bailout package. The "compromise" voted on today was not quite as dreadful. Passing it, he said as though he were holding his nose, was probably less bad than not passing it because of the mood of the markets here and overseas.
But it didn't pass. I don't know Galbraith's reaction to the latest news, but here's Paul Krugman:
"So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch.
"As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes."
I find I'm not the only one who thinks the whole culture has to change and no bail out is going to be more than a temporary fix until we face the debt problem from top to bottom -- snake oil salesmen right down to their eager, self-deceiving customers out in the field. But the process could be and probably will be hell on wheels.
Don't look at the Dow. Keep your eyes on the S&P. It gives a wider view of market activity. And it lost damn near 9% today.