Archbold, OH

Letters To The Editor

A recent letter to the editor advocated for a free market.

Free market brought us predatory mortgage lenders, liar loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, toxic securities, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps.

Free market gave us financial meltdown which triggered the feds’ rescues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; forced sales of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch by Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary; the fall of Lehman Brothers; unprecedented Federal Reserve handouts to investment firms; feds’ rescue of AIG; trouble at Citigroup; etc., during the Bush administration.

Our free financial market mess brought world markets to a standstill. Near collapse of the U.S. market in 2008 brought us the current Great Recession.

Credit is still not flowing freely between banks and from banks. Freely marketed toxic assets still weigh down our economy.

Home foreclosures, joblessness, hunger, homelessness, denied medical care are our national disgrace, all stemming from our free market economy brought to the brink of collapse due to lack of regulation.

Recall the acute financial panic of September-October 2008, when our retirement funds and 401(k)s lost 45% or more in value.

We individual investors were not protected from the unregulated free-market greed of Wall Street and unregulated monopolies. The free market concept has been thoroughly repudiated by America’s financial meltdown.

No one who was awake during the past 18 months could in their right mind still advocate for free markets. Maybe we have a Rip Van Winkle among us.

Just because we are used to advocating for free markets shouldn’t keep us from thinking about the facts of the U.S. financial meltdown and realizing that the free market failed us.

It is time to advocate for regulation to protect honest entrepreneurs and financiers, individual investors, banks, and investment firms managed with integrity, and the entire U.S. economy.
Sarah Maxwell

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