Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just because the government declares the crisis "over" or "dealt with" doesn't mean that they're right.

Henry Paulson has stated that no more financial institutions will fail. How does he know that? I thought all their crystal balls were broken.

President Bush said that he sacrificed free-market principles to save the economy. Unfortunately, this heroic action is bound to backfire. It did in FDR's time, and it will now.

The Federal Reserve made a steep rate cut, causing the market to come back up a bit temporarily. I think it's the wrong thing to do, or at least not enough or badly timed. Individual consumer credit debt (which is mostly unsecured) is unlikely to lower their rates in response, given how many are defaulting, and how much difficulties the banking and credit industries are having staying afloat. And the only way out of this deflationary economy is to boost consumer spending while not putting consumers in a worse position of debt.

When President Bush says that he's abandoned free market principles, what he means is that he's been in on the partial nationalizing of the banking industry, as well as a few others. He means that he's agreed to increase regulatory rules on investments and on how businesses may or may not be run by their boards.

The real problem was a lack of oversight, not a lack of regulation as congress has said. That lack of oversight allowed the executives to loot Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That lack of oversight has also allowed massive fraud to be perpetrated on non-mortgage-backed investments as well: the Madoff case victims list is swelling day by day as the investigation continues.

The government can say that this part of the crisis, or that part of the crisis, or the whole entire thing is done all it wants. That doesn't make it true.

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