Wall Street Bailout: The End Of Free Markets?

Is Monday's stock market surge (following massive worldwide intervention by the U.S. and European governments) proof that the so-called free market isn't so free anymore? Is it proof the free market will fail left to its own devices?

In his announcement of a $250 billion bank stock purchase deal, President Bush insisted that the move was "not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it".

Oh yeah? Normally, I'm a believer in allowing the free market to function. But not when a president has an addiction to spending that clobbers that of the most heroin-dependent druggie on the planet. The free market cannot function when unwinnable wars costing $10 billion per month are launched. The free market cannot function when banks, unfettered by regulation, offer billions of dollars in mortgages to clients who cannot repay them.

By mistake, President Bush finally did something right this week by pushing through part of the $700 billion bailout, er, recovery package. But it was only by mistake. This president has done more to wreck the U.S. economy and its financial system than any prior president and, let's hope, any future president could possibly do.


By Bonnie Erbe
  • CBSNews

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