Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousands points the first day, another couple thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.
House Representative Brad Sherman (D-California)
Debate on the House Floor, October 2, 2008
Consider this: If the system was about to meltdown in 2008 when Henry Paulson et. al. told then President Bush and Congressional leaders that we would have soldiers and tanks in the streets if they didn’t get the $700 Billion in bailout funds, then how serious of a problem was this to begin with?
Try to envision this scenario.
The only reason for declaring martial law and for why tanks and soldiers would need to be deployed on our streets is because the entire system as we know it today collapses and a state of emergency through martial law has to be implemented.
We’re talking economic, political and social meltdown on a massive, unprecedented scale. Basically, America as you know it to be today would no longer exist. This is how serious it would have to be if tanks and soldiers were dispatched throughout America.
Assuming the financial and economic systems were, in fact, on the brink of complete and total systemic meltdown, how confident can we really be that we have avoided disaster?
Did the TARP bailout and obscene stimulus spending programs really save us from going under?
What if – and we’re just hypothesizing here – what if they didn’t save the system and the worst is yet to come? What if the bailouts and stimulus don’t work?
Yes, our officials would have all of us believe there is nothing to worry about. But for the sake of argument, let’s say they overestimated their abilities to control the quadrillion dollar derivative bubble. Obviously, the bubble is still there, and as Dylan Ratigan pointed out on MSNBC recently, nothing has been done to fix it.
Since it is obvious that what our leaders say and what is actually happening are two different things, we must seriously consider the possibility that we are in the eye of the storm and the worst is yet to come.
Some may argue that this perspective is alarmist, and this author would not deny that sirens are blaring. Considering that Congress was threatened with martial law fewer than 18 months ago, we should find it necessary to question whether or not the same possibility still exists today.
If martial law is a possibility foreseen by those in charge of our political and financial systems at the onset of this crisis, then we should be very concerned about our future if the underlying problems within our economy have not yet been resolved.
Can any American honestly say for certain that they believe the financial and economic systems have been saved from catastrophe?
In a recent CBS interview, former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, who was responsible for engineering the bailout of financial institutions, says he thinks we “came very, very close,” to meltdown in the fall of 2008.
Empirical evidence indicates that credit markets are essentially frozen, the jobless rate is rising, home delinquencies and foreclosures continue to mount, and consumer confidence is deteriorating. It seems that we are still, as the title of Mr. Paulson’s new book suggests, on the brink.
The implications of failure are truly terrifying.