I just got back from a great event in Vienna. It was a private reception for Mark Warner sponsored by a number of prominent African-American businessmen.
One of the great things about Mark is that he’s approachable. Prior to his speech, I talked to him one-on-one about his ideas for solving the Wall Street crisis which has frozen our nation’s credit markets. He shared those ideas with me and then with the larger audience.
Basically, he supports a plan to buy up the bad loans killing Wall Street. Obviously, such a purchase would be made at a substantial discount with the promise to sell (or hold) for a later gain. However, Mark also favors the Feds taking an equity stake in these same firms. That way, the taxpayers have a piece of the action — they’re not just subsidizing a market failure.
You can call it market intervention, socialism or whatever. But it’s time for some new ideas and fast. And not from the same folks who got us in today’s mess.
It wasn’t all bad news. Mark also talked about the upside in America’s economy, particularly our ability to generate wealth and jobs through a new energy industry. We have what it takes to do that. Only America has the unique combination of resources, markets and intelligence.
After the debate last week, I was wondering why Warner is polling so far beyond Gilmore, his predecessor as Governor and a pretty smart guy. It comes down to this. Warner is an optimist about this state and this country. Gilmore is not. That’s the difference.