There are very few Mainstream Media journalists that I believe are delivering real insights today. Gretchen Morgenstern is one of them. She has a series of articles at NYTimes.com that examine how the credit industry has basically put our public underwater and made out like bandits while doing it. Her latest article examines the irony that now the same companies that are largely responsible for the mess are the same ones asking for public taxpayer handouts -- and getting them! Even when the public itself can't catch a break.
I think this is one of the most critical indicators that our current capitalistic system is deeply flawed. Corporations have their foot on the throat of the American public and can't help themselves but to keep pressing. I'm sure they understand that blowing up your customer is probably not a good thing, but with the relentless pressure to grow and create ever-larger profits, they can't help themselves. In fact, if a corporate executive of one of these companies were to start running their business rationally by ensuring that only reasonable credit reaches reasonable creditors, they'd probably be fired and replaced with someone that does not have the same ethical issues.
In the article, there is a mention of a book being written by John Bogle, one of the great American economic philosophers. The title of the book is called "Enough". For our sake, I hope it really is. Here is a link to a commencement address he gave by the same name.