By now you know: in yesterday’s presidential election Senator Barack Obama crushed Senator John McCain in both the Electoral College and the popular vote to become the 44th President of the United States and first African-American chief of the country. Given the record number of people voting, wide margin of victory and Obama winning a handful of swing states, numerous issues—such as the war in Iraq, health care, race, the environment, energy and a guy named G.W. Bush—must have played a part in the monumental victory for American Democrats and for civil rights throughout the world. But it’s likely that none played a bigger part than the financial crisis, which has plagued the U.S. since the summer of 2007 and hit a boiling point this past September, just prior to the first presidential debate.
The nearly unbelievable collapses of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, the near demises of AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia, the death of the independent investment bank, hundreds of billions in bad debt write-downs, hundreds of thousands of layoffs, the blood bath that hedge funds have taken, and that little thing called a $700 billion bailout package that the Fed was forced to create all played a huge part in Obama’s landslide victory last night. As the election neared and more and more economic problems surfaced, it became clear that there weren’t just a few small holes in the current government oversight of the U.S. financial system, there were mile-wide gaps—which were too large for anyone to hide, including the political party that's been inhabiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the past eight years, and which fit perfectly into the game plan of a man known as the voice of change.