Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Skin in the Game

The current crisis is revealing much about the state of our nation and its polarized views of the world. All week we have heard talk of Main Street and Wall Street as if they do not coexist. Until we can address problems such as this from a more unified approach I fear it will not just be credit which is frozen, but much of the hard work of running a nation of the people.

Main Steet and Wall Street are inextricably bound in a gordian knot of shared interests. It is the benefits which have been asymetrical not the interests themselves. The increasing disparity in the benefit of economic growth does not encourage a perception of shared pain nor of shared solution. The public view that the bailout is a socialization of losses by those who would seek to keep capitalism alive only when profitable is arguable, but perception is truth.

Unless our leaders and politicians can craft a financial rescue bill that makes Joe Six Pack feel like he has skin in the game the voters will react with ugliness come November. That we are at the beginning of a lengthy period of pain is not in doubt. But let taxpayers feel like there may be shared gain and I have faith the country can come together. On the otherhand, we have hidden a war from Main Street, why not a financial crisis too?

John Barnyak