Found a couple of links today that I just had to share.
This old cartoon seems to fairly nicely sum up why we are in this situation:
And this may have been linked all over the place by now, but if you haven’t seen it the millions of monkeys analogy makes this whole bailout thing much easier to understand.
Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each.
This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’
The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.
They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys.
Now you have a better understanding of how the Wall Street Bailout Plan works.