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Status Quo Ante

That’s a legal reference in law suits. That is what plaintiffs are looking for, to have themselves restored to their life before the injury they claim was caused by the defendant. It is impossible to achieve without a time machine.

It is also used in regard to peace treaties, especially when borders are involved. While the borders may be restored to their old positions, the people who died are still dead.

This seems to be the goal of the “cunning plan”, to restore the financial system to the point it was at before everything went South. I would assume that they believe that all of the lives that have been ruined are just “collateral damage”.

Paul Krugman addresses this in his column, The Market Mystique, and there are a couple of things I wanted to highlight to show how shallow the media coverage has been.

He points out that A.I.G., Citigroup and Bank of America were part of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average [AIG was replaced by Kraft on September 22, 2008], so the Dow obviously over-reacts to problems at those companies. Given that GM, American Express, JP Morgan-Chase, and Home Depot are also part of the Dow, you can understand why the index is not actually a good indicator of general conditions.

Another point is that the financial sector only accounts for 8% of the GDP, which is double what it was in the 1960s, but not that great when compared to the 60%+ generated by consumers. We are spending trillions helping the financial sector, but an order of magnitude less on workers, who are the consumers.

If they want to pursue status quo ante, they should be aiming for 1979, before Reagan put us on the path to the current disaster.

At his blog the Shrill One asks Was I unfair?. He has received a complaint about the column: “As a magician, he resents being compared to investment bankers.”

In lighter news, we have the House GOP photo op, which Mustang Bobby sums up in his title: That’s a Folder, Not a Budget.