The First Post notes:
One of the more admirable aspects of the Paulson bail-out is the elimination of lobbying by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Over the past decade, the two firms spent over £100m paying Washington lobbyists to stave off closer government scrutiny of their activities. The politicians who succumbed to this lobbying, Democrats and Republicans alike, escape scot-free.
It is a shame the government does not go further and actively seek to recoup that money on behalf of the taxpayers now footing the bill for the firms' excesses.
Let's be clear: this lobbying was part of the neo-liberal agenda of the capture of the state for the benefit of a tiny minority, with intent that their activity remain hidden from view.
This was the Reagan / Thatcher agenda.
This is the fault of the Republican / Conservative parties. It is they, with their policies of economic liberalisation and light regulation (promoted by the Tories in the UK until a year ago) who should be carrying the can.
But as Larry Elliot says in the Guardian this morning, they aren't because :
neither Barack Obama nor Gordon Brown seem willing to seize the social democratic moment. That's dumb politics. It means that what should be a crisis for the right has become a crisis for the left.
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