The economy on the couch

Some national financial commentators have recently compared the job of a stockbrocker to that of a psychiatrist &045; a comparison that brings images of a nervous America laid out on the couch seeking assurance and guidance for market woes.

During his visit to Birmingham, President George W. Bush urged Alabamians and all Americans to maintain their confidence in our country’s economy.

We join him in the camp that confidence in the market will aid in the economy’s recovery.

Also addressed during his visit was the recent fraudulent actions of a number of corporations across the country.

President Bush has established a Corporate Task Force to investigate the allegations of fraud at these corporations, which include ENRON and WorldCom.

And we fully support the disciplinary actions he is proposing for those who perpetrate such fraud on their investors.

The president is proposing double jail time, heavy fines and barring those responsible from ever holding office as CEO or board member in the future.

Alabama has been hit hard by the scandals at ENRON and WorldCom.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama had invested heavily in both of those companies, and we join Bush in the camp of those who can’t wait to see those responsible behind bars. Longtime employees of the state should not have to see their retirement wither with the errant accounting of a senior executive.

It is evident that our country’s leaders are making efforts to get this problem under control. But let’s not correct it with a bandage. Let’s find a permanent solution