A Reader In Scotland Says Henry Paulson Is The US Real President
September 26, 2008, 05:00 AM
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09/25/08 - A Massachusetts Reader Says The Financial Melt Down Amnesty Plea Is Off And Running

From: Martin Kelly (e-mail him)

Re: Steve Sailer's Blog: Too Big To Fail

Sailer, as usual, is right about what is essentially a government coup prompted by the financial markets' collapse.

The Italian anti-fascist historian Gaetano Salvemini described the essence of Mussolini's economic policy as being that, "the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise... Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social."

Is there any better description of the reasons for Henry Paulson's bailout and its likely consequences?

It's a strange day when conservatives cheer Paul Krugman. But he too was right when he stated to the BBC's "Newsnight" show on 19 September that, to all intents and purposes, Henry Paulson is now the President of the United States.

The Paulson coup—presented with the sanguine proposal to adopt the extra-electoral, extra-judicial powers that Sailer enumerated in his column—is much worse than that.

It's directly analogous to the powers granted to Augustus by a Roman Senate tired of crisis, skeptical about its own competence and yearning for an orderly quiet life under a firm hand.

The consequence of their actions changed the nature of Roman society from a Republic to an Empire.

With the recent examples of lax leadership in the financial markets under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, it remains to be seen what America will look like once Paulson is finished with it.

Martin Kelly is a Glasgow, Scotland-based blogger. Previous letters from him are archived here.  Read Kelly's March 16, 2006 column about the Irish here.