[Editorial note: Normally I tend to dance around language. I try to avoid terribly explicit language or overtly sexual content -- not because I give a rat's ass -- but because it's more fun to dance around it than to blurt it out. It's a ballet vs a cannonball, okay? I didn't quite manage to do that this time. Forgive me, but the inappropriate seemed... appropriate. If that bothers you, bail out now.]
Brian Williams interviewed Tim Geitner on last night's Nightly News. In the immortal words of To Catch a Predator: Oh cwap.
Williams: Why did we have to leverage our future? Why couldn't some of these entities be allowed to fail? Why do we have to spend so much taxpayer money? What do you feel like yelling back at the television?
Geitner: Well I wouldn't yell back. I would just say that the tragic thing about financial crises is that when you go through a long period where people have borrowed too much you let your system take on too much risk. The adjustment process can cause more enormous damage and you can't sit back as a government, responsibly, and hope it will burn itself out -- at acceptable cost. That's not an acceptable option. Just look at the history of financial crises -- when governments step back -- when they don't act aggressively -- the crises cause far more damage to business, to families, to future deficits. The basic lesson is: the government has to act to help contain the damage otherwise you're going to have to face a deeper more long lasting recession. And we're not prepared to do that.
You gotta be fucking kidding me. Is this guy really this wooden headed? I've bitched about the previous chief of the Fed before.... but this guy is starting to make Bush look like a rogue scholar. And at least with President Bush, there were checks and balances in place. I mean: he had to answer to the leadership of the Vice President. This guy is the Fed chairman. He can ruin us quicker than anyone.
I'm a big fan of plain English. Say it simply. Let's translate, shall we?
Question: Shouldn't we be worried about all this god damned debt?
Answer: We got into trouble because we borrowed too much so we figured we could fix this by borrowing a whole bunch more.
What. Planet. Are. You. From? And better yet, what planet can we send you to? And don't you double talk me by saying that there is a difference between private debt, corporate debt and government debt. Let's be clear here. Crystal, okay? Government debt is fucking debt of the individuals within the country. What was risk of some is now risk held by all of us. And "opening up credit lines" is marketing doublespeak for "encouraging us to borrow", which ... come on... creates more debt. (You control the interest rates, remember?) Debt is debt. Overindulging in private debt is bad. Overindulging in private debt and combining that with government debt is really fucking bad. Got it pinhead?
Okay, Chairman Zippy... let's look at where governments have acted to keep us from facing a more long lasting recession. Let's look at FDR -- whose ponze scheme legacies we still pay for every damn day. Let's ask rational economists -- and you will hear them say he drug out the depression for much longer than it ever would have lasted.