I have this image in my mind of an American cowboy: Rugged, independent, self-reliant. I picture him on a cattle drive, depending upon only his own wits, his horse, and his trusty Winchester to get by.
This vision of the American past is fast becoming a myth, rendered moot by the present day cowboys. The difference between the two — not the smell, which is surprisingly similar — is that the current cowboys have a different cavalry in their back pockets: Uncle Sam.
Indeed, as time goes on, we have become less independent, and more reliant upon the Federal Government — especially the Federal Reserve — for Bailouts.
I’ve been pondering this for some time now, and the longer I think about, the longer the list grows.
Consider the following:
– Great Depression
– Chrysler (1979)
– Steel Industry (date ?)
– National Flood Insurance
– Savings and Loan Crisis – RTC (1980s)
– 1987 Crash
– GSEs: Fannie, Freddie & Sallie
– Legislative Bailouts (SLRA, TCRA, CFMA, Med Part D)
– Long-Term Capital Management (1998)
– Farm Subsidies (run amuck)
– Airlines (post 9/11)
– Post "Dot Com" crash (2001)
– Hurricane Hugo, Andrew, Katrina, and other not-so natural disasters (1989, 1992, 2005)
– Housing (2007)
– Bear Stearns (2008)
– Sub Prime (continuing)
What other bailouts have I missed?
There must be dozens. I am particularly interested in those situations where the profits were private, but the assumption of risk is public.
What say ye?