Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview with our brilliant Fed chairman

[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.


Chris said...

Yup, and now we have Obama and Canadian prime minister Harper, over in London at the G20, trying to guilt the rest of the world into jumping on the US bailout/stimulus bandwagon...

Europe, of course, is resisting this and would prefer to see more stringent regulation of the banking sector. For their more logical approach they are accused of impeding economic recovery.

Spork In the Eye said...

Honestly, what bothers me is that they are arguing over how to implement socialism, not whether it is a proper thing to do or whether it will work. It's "some government ownership of businesses" vs "government control of privately owned businesses".

The whole time, protesters outside rally on the failure of capitalism -- and pretty much no one anywhere is willing to stand up and say that it was the same type of regulations we want to install that brought us to our knees -- that the more the USA becomes "like" Europe, the more we falter.

The whole "cripple capitalism to make it fail, then point at capitalism and say it won't work" thing is like a freaking chapter right out of Atlas Shrugged.

Chris said...

Thought you might like this one:

Commentary: Is Obama skidding or crashing?

I like Penn...

Spork In the Eye said...

...and I, too, quite like Penn. Love his Showtime show, though I'm about a season or two behind. (I watch it on DVD because I am too cheap to pay for Showtime.)