The best explanation I’ve read for the Wall Street Meltdown.

I said before that I don’t really understand the economics of the financial crisis the country is currently in the midst of, but Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station sets me straight:

Hubris, the belief that great men dare greatly, and that should disaster fall, those great men should be rescued at the expense of others, set back on their feet, and allowed to try again.

And Hubris, my friends, is exactly what brings us to the current disaster unfolding in the United States financial sector today.

Just like with the Titanic, prideful greedy men set on us a course for disaster. Those captains of Wall Street, in their pride and arrogance, deliberately ignored the lessons of history, 1929, the S&L crash of the 70’s, the Dot Com bust of the 90’s, and all the rest of it. They ordered the boilers lit and the throttles pushed hard to the stops, in order to line their own pockets and to advance their own hubris, and they took all of us down here in steerage along for the ride.

And when we slammed head on at full speed into the iceberg, those arrogant bastards were the first ones to the lifeboats, – or the golden parachutes, choose your own analogy here – demanding safe passage from the crew, or in this case, the government, as they believe is their right.

And, just exactly like the pride of White Star Lines, there’s not enough lifeboats to go around, and a lot of us are going to be left to sink or swim in the icy wine dark water.

OK, I’ve pushed the Titanic analogy to the breaking point – but the comparison is apt.

Now that’s terms I can wrap my head around. Jim goes on to explain the why of why we need to bail out Wall Street even though it would be more satisfying to let it crash and burn. Jim doesn’t have a lot of solutions, but then, like me, he’s not an economics expert. He does have an excellent grasp of the situation and why it’s a problem and why we need to do something about it and how anything we do is going to be far from a perfect solution. All of which helps me to put it into sharper perspective myself. It’s a good read. I’ll be adding Jim to my blogroll.