July 21, 2009
The chairman’s reviews start coming in.
For the record, as I told my friend George back in early ’08, the only good thing Bush ever did was to appoint him.
Throwing money from a helicopter is exactly what we needed, and noone except professor Bernanke could have come up with as many ways to do it that quickly. This also gives me great confidence he will find the ways to sop up the liquidity as needed.
I have no doubt without his actions we would still be shrinking, everyone freaking out, and unemployment at 15%+
July 1, 2009
There is no question a big reason why the MSM informs so little is that senseless theories and rumors continue to be pushed even after being thoroughly refuted or debunked. So often proving a point is, well, besides the point. Confusing the issue and deflecting attention from real answers is the goal.
Pundits and think-tank ‘experts’ incur no cost whatsoever for doing this (professional, legal, reputational, etc.) since most are never held accountable for their past analyses or predictions, so it’s a cheap trick to further their backers’ agendas.
There are plenty of examples, but a particularly onerous one is the ‘Fannie and Freddie created the crisis by mandating minority loans’ meme. It’s a favorite of Neil Cavuto over at News Corporation.
So I am ecstatic at this little experiment Barry Ritholtz is proposing: He will debate anyone on the topic, and bet $100,000 of his own money on it. Let’s see how many idiots are willing to put up, and how many will finally shut up.
June 14, 2009
Fareed Zakaria takes a step back and looks at the crisis like noone else has yet I think. Spectacular article.
I love the name too: It reminds me of how my neighbor used to tease me and call me “Alex P. Keaton” because I would always say ‘greed is good’ (even though I’m a proud progressive).
I’m becoming quite a fan. His Sunday show is a must-see. Just check out his recent one with Michael Lewis to understand Wall Street culture, or the Lula DaSilva interview to understand how a leftist government can actually be good for business. I only wish it was one or two hours long and I would watch it throughout the week.
Here’s a passage from the article that shows great depth and historical perspective:
Each crisis convinced observers that it signaled the end of some new, dangerous feature of the economic landscape. But often that novelty accelerated in the years that followed. The 1987 crash was said to be the product of computer trading, which has, of course, expanded dramatically since then. The East Asian crisis was meant to end the happy talk about “emerging markets,” which are now at the center of world growth. The collapse of Long-Term Capital Management in 1998—which then–Treasury secretary Robert Rubin described as “the worst financial crisis in 50 years”—was meant to be the end of hedge funds, which then massively expanded. The technology bubble’s bursting in 2000 was supposed to put an end to the dreams of oddball Internet startups. Goodbye, Pets.com; hello, Twitter. Now we hear that this crisis is the end of derivatives. Let’s see. Robert Shiller, one of the few who predicted this crash almost exactly—and the dotcom bust as well—argues that in fact we need more derivatives to make markets more stable.