Working on campaigns encourages me to feel as if I were in control of my life. Watching the bailout go down in Congress and the stock market gyrate (Dow up 485 today -- huh?), reminds me that I'm really just flotsam in a storm, a cork bobbing in vast seas, hoping I don't get thrown up on a rocky shore. This is possibly a realistic reminder that I am not in control, that I am dependent on community and chance. But that doesn't mean I like it.
So I've read a lot of articles about the financial system -- and I am not going to pretend I understand all this. If you want a good collection of points of view, this might be a good starting point.
In my opinion, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, offered one of the clearest explanations and prescriptions:
He wants the U.S. government to put money directly into banks so they start loaning -- and get what private enterprise would get for its cash: partial ownership of the banks.
Probably too simple for Congress to achieve.