Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Cure for Psychiatric Illness


Based on our findings, the clinical utility of monetary incentives in the form of cash deposits or lump sum payments directly to patients should be reappraised as a viable alternative therapeutic modality for the treatment of mild, moderate or severe cases of anxiety with or without co-occurring depression. Cash payment should also be considered the treatment of choice for all major depressive disorders including mild, moderate and severe clinical or sub-clinical depression, depressed moods, or any and all dysthymic, cyclothymic or depressive symptoms appearing with or without comorbid anxiety disorders.

from the Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research

The Bailout Tax

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a "Wall Street tax" to fund the $700 billion bailout:

... the fee could be assessed after five years if the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office determined taxpayers had lost money in the bailout.
"If after five years ... the CBO decides that the American taxpayer has lost money in this, then there would be a fee on financial institutions," Pelosi said...

I find it interesting that Democrat Pelosi is proposing this, since the Democrats, especially New York Senator Schumer, receive a majority of Wall Street's political contributions. Schumer and other Democrats blocked the Republican's attempt earlier this year to increase the tax on hedge fund managers (I guess Democrats could claim that hedge funds aren't technically part of "Wall Street", since most are now headquartered in Connecticut). Because of the Democrats, hedge fund managers pay only a 15% tax rate on their earnings, rather than the usual tax rate. I think increasing this tax rate would be a great start to paying for the bailout.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Democrats responsible for the Financial Crisis

Bloomberg has a collumn today, written by Kevin Hassett, explaining why the Democrats are responsible for the current financial crisis:

Alan Greenspan warned Congress about the coming financial crisis in 2005:
... If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''
Republicans tried to act:
For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the
Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

But Democrats opposed the reform bill:

But the bill didn't become law...... Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee..... Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

If only the Senate Democrats hadn't obstructed the Republicans in reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we wouldn't have the serious financial crisis that we are in today.