The next time some suburban Republican mumbles in your direction about “the free market” and the “moral hazard” of handouts to the disadvantaged, please remind them of this week, when the US Treasury Department decided to raise the debt ceiling of this country to $11 Trillion in order to clean up the horrendous mess caused by Wall Street’s free-market-when-we’re-winning-handouts-when-we-lose sub-prime mortgage mania. Remind them the only difference in the moral hazard of hundreds of billions in handouts to train car loads of Connecticut swells as opposed to a few bucks to the Lower Wacker drive homeless was that the the guy living in a cardboard box never had the balls to tell anyone he was essential to the economy.
Not every Wall Street firm finds its manicured fingers in our pockets this week. Lehman Brothers, deemed small enough to fail, received no largesse from DC, even though negotiations were hot and heavy. There’s YouTube video of the late-night proceedings showing the plucky bank, cleaned out by its losses, appealing to the Government for a bailout.