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Monday, September 29, 2008


The House has just voted 206-227 to kill the bailout bill. It seem unclear what will happen next.

Unclear, that is, except that if nothing is done, our economy is headed for disaster.

From everything I've read, this bill was far from perfect. But it was above the line, given the possible costs.

I have tenure, and I am well paid, so I imagine I'll be fine. If you don't, or aren't, or you are worried about people who don't or aren't, then you might want to consider calling your House rep to explain that you would prefer not to tell your grandchildren about the time that the "leadership" of your country was too stupid to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Great Depression.

I'll try to write more about all this.

Posted by Jonah Gelbach on September 29, 2008 at 02:12 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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» House Votes NO (Update) from Simple Justice
Led by Republicans, the House of Representatives voted down the bailout. [Read More]

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» House Votes NO (Update) from Simple Justice
Led by Republicans, the House of Representatives voted down the bailout. [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 29, 2008 9:28:18 PM


Professor Wasserman wrote "I reject the notion that a current crisis justifies suspension of [Senator McCain's campaign] absent a situation in which ... the crisis involves some human tragedy. . . ."

Would an 'economic disaster' suffice, in retrospect?

Posted by: Aaron Williams | Sep 29, 2008 3:14:23 PM


i think your comment would be better posted in the thread following the post you reference, particularly since i didn't author that post.

having said that, i will reiterate the basic point i made in the comments to that thread: mccain's intervention wasn't necessary and might actually have made things worse. to say that something needs to be done is quite different from saying that something unhelpful needs to be done by john mccain.

Posted by: jonah gelbach | Sep 29, 2008 4:04:42 PM

But is this crisis of a sufficient magnatude to justify a legislator-candidate suspending his campaign? That's my question.

Posted by: Aaron Williams | Sep 29, 2008 6:58:04 PM


You're missing the point. McCain's ability to help here was always limited; the same was true of Obama. In that context, it wouldn't make sense for either of them to (actually) suspend his campaign.

It's true that (actually) suspending a presidential campaign is a big step. It's also true that this is a really serious crisis. What's *not* true is that the bigger the crisis, the more necessary it would be for John McCain to (actually) suspend his campaign.

As an illustrative example, I think it would be an act of great magnitude for me to round up my dog and a few family pictures and then set fire to my house before my wife gets home tonight. But I also think that even a really, really big financial crisis would not justify doing that, because my setting my house on fire will not mitigate (indeed will marginally worsen) the crisis.

Posted by: jonah gelbach | Sep 29, 2008 7:08:39 PM

I'm not asking whether it would help. My question is simply whether the crisis is of sufficient magnitude to justify rounding up your dog and few family pictures and setting fire to your house. You are a master of mis-direction Jonah.

Posted by: Aanon | Sep 29, 2008 7:26:06 PM


I'm sorry you feel I'm misdirecting, but I certainly don't mean to. I just don't think there's any connection between the financial crisis, however severe, and the suspension, actual or pretend, of John McCain's campaign. No matter how serious the crisis, there is no justification for McCain's behavior on this issue. I don't know how to be more direct than that.

Posted by: jonah gelbach | Sep 29, 2008 7:30:43 PM

Jonah, I apologize for a poor attempt at a joke. (Yes, I put two aa's in Anon.) I didn't see it being taken seriously - even accidentally - and thought it was sufficiently good natured. I notice from an earlier post that you are trying hard not to offend, so I apologize again. But surely you would admit that there is some crisis somewhere, no matter how unrelated, that would justify rounding up the dog and pictures?

Posted by: A(a)non | Sep 29, 2008 7:52:59 PM

Aha, now I understand what happened -- the two as in "Aanon" fooled me. Which is frustrating, since I just got new glasses. Guess I'm being too serious today.

Yes, I would agree that there is a crisis somewhere that would justify founding up the dog and pictures. Perhaps this crisis has even struck -- the complete disappearance of my senses of humor and skepticism.

Nicely done, and my bad.

Posted by: jonah gelbach | Sep 29, 2008 8:09:18 PM

Do you really think the bailout isn't going to happen, perhaps even later this week?

Posted by: Paul Washington | Sep 29, 2008 8:52:04 PM


At this point, I don't know. The politics of this are very nasty, and it's hard to predict what will happen. Moreover, even a few days' delay could be quite serious. The credit mkts have been whipsawed for days (weeks?) now. Moreover, someone (I apologize but forget the source) recently noted that many payrolls come due tomorrow.

It's certainly possible that it will pass later this week, and if it does the damage won't be too bad. But imho, under these conditions, blowing up a deal that was negotiated by all four leadership groups is just nuts--like playing Russian Roulette on the grounds that not all chambers have bullets. Play the game if you enjoy it, but not because it's reasonably safe.


Posted by: jonah gelbach | Sep 29, 2008 8:58:16 PM

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