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Yeah, thank goodness for Jon Stewart!


I totally appreciate Jon Stewart, and that was a darn good show that night. No one's been able to successfully explain to me, admitedly an idiot on economics, on why we should go through with this bail out.


The short and also non specialist answer that I would offer is: pressures from both political parties to encourage home ownership, decisions by bankers to extend credit more liberally, and choices by consumers to assume bigger and riskier mortages all created a huge mountain of bad mortgages. Directly or indirectly, these bad debts are being held by banks. Because one bank doesn't know how good the assets of another bank are, banks won't extend credit to one another. Because banks can't get credit from their peers, they can't extend credit to businesses, organizations (such as governments and school districts) and consumers. Because of this, the credit needed to not only fund growth but also to get short term cash to make payroll or consumer purchases could dry up and the economy could stall. The bailout/rescue plan--asset guarantee plan is the best term, but not used--says "the government will make good on those mortgage asset so banks can go ahead and lend to each other with some assurance." This may not be enough to solve the problem, but it seems to improve our chances. This does benefit some people who it seems have already profited enough lately but oversight, executive compensation limits, and taxpayer equity in the helped banks can offset that and there are other ways (such as tax policy and regulation) to redress any injustices.

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