I received this email from a friend. Take it how you want. I thought it was a good explanation. (I did not check if any of this is true or not).
Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors. Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide.
Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal. Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted.
Mama always said: 'Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest'.
Quote of the day from a fund manager:
'This is worse than a divorce... I've lost half of my net worth and I still have my wife..'
The bailout, a different perspective :
Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?