Contrary to the lesson some people took away from Oliver Stone‘s prescient 1987 Wall Street, greed is not good, and Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko was always the bad guy (although his speech actually does contain some useful finger pointing at corporate malfeasance). That should be clear now, amid the smoking wreckage of the financial system. Too bad that the Bush administration’s natural instinct is not to uphold conservative (in the real sense) principles but to rely on Big Government at its worst—i.e., wholesale top-down policies controlled behind doors, without transparency, by the president and his cabinet. This is the same desire for an imperial presidency (damn the representatives, even if they are in the same party) that led to the rush to war in Iraq. That cost about a trillion dollars, which looks to be the bill for this latest folly. If we’re not careful, Cheney will declare a national financial emergency (code red ink alert!) and cancel the elections altogether. Talk about your September surprise.