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President Bush Declares War on Financial Crisis:
Worried about Wall Street? No need, as it turns out: George W. Bush will solve everything through massive market intervention. Think of it as a domestic "surge."
John (mail):
Jeez, didn't we learn anything from the 1930s? The best way to prolong any economic house cleaning is to have the government come up with ideas to "help."

God save us all.
9.19.2008 12:22pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
Barry gets it right:

If you are a fan of irony, consider this: The conservative movement has utterly hated FDR, and his New Deal programs like Medicaid, Social Security, FDIC, Fannie Mae (1938), and the SEC for nearly 80 years. And for the past 8 years, a conservative was in the White House, with a very conservative agenda. For something like 16 of the past 18 years, the conservative dominated GOP has controlled Congress. Those are the facts.

We now see that the grand experiment of deregulation has ended, and ended badly. The deregulation movement is now an historical footnote, just another interest group, and once in power they turned into socialists. Indeed, judging by the actions of the conservatives in power, and not the empty rhetoric that comes out of think tanks, the conservative movement has effectively turned the United States into a massive Socialist state, an appendage of Communist Russia, China and Venezuala.

To paraphrase Floyd Norris , we have become Marxists, but of the Groucho, not Karl, variety . . .

9.19.2008 12:29pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
And Barry would do what, exactly to fix it?

As noted in other threads, he was helping create the problem while McCain was fighting it, at least insofar as Fannie Mae is concerned.
9.19.2008 12:37pm
GD (mail):
Good morning Comrades! You likes shiny new plan for make rescue of capitalism?
9.19.2008 12:39pm
Cornellian (mail):
I like the way the Economist put it. At Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they privatized the profits and socialized the risks. Crony capitalism at its best.
9.19.2008 12:39pm
Angus:

And Barry would do what, exactly to fix it?

As noted in other threads, he was helping create the problem while McCain was fighting it, at least insofar as Fannie Mae is concerned.
How exactly did Barry Ritholtz help cause the crisis?
9.19.2008 12:43pm
DangerMouse:
A trillion here, a trillion there. You know who else is too big to fail? Uncle Sam.
9.19.2008 12:43pm
Milhouse (www):
Well, at least he hasn't frozen prices and wages or taken us off the gold standard. Yet.

"We're all Keynesians now." Or something like that.
9.19.2008 12:46pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"And Barry would do what, exactly to fix it?

As noted in other threads, he was helping create the problem while McCain was fighting it, at least insofar as Fannie Mae is concerned."


What are you talking about? The guy's an analyst/pundit/blogger -- how is he possibly responsible for Fannie Mae??
9.19.2008 12:49pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Orin:

Because you reminded me that Bush is still technically president, I hereby default on that beer I vaguely recall owing you.

A government bailout of my football pool losses incurred due to my admittedly stupid faith in the Detroit Lions could, however, change my mind.
9.19.2008 12:49pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

How exactly did Barry Ritholtz help cause the crisis?



Oh, I thought he meant Obama. You're entirely right, Ritholtz has contributed nothing whatsoever to the problem.
9.19.2008 12:49pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Or the solution.
9.19.2008 12:50pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Orin: I think libertarians in the Bush administration and on Wall Street are now a "discrete and insular minority."

I guess no one is a libertarian when he or she is about to lose their job, nest egg or home, and there is a chance of convincing the government to intervene and prevent the loss.
9.19.2008 12:52pm
Anderson (mail):
Hundreds of billions to save investors: wise choice.

Hundreds of billions to provide nationalized health care: nah, let the free market work!

If it sometimes seems that I viscerally hate the Republican Party, well, this kind of thing is why.
9.19.2008 1:00pm
OK lawyer5000 (mail) (www):
Switzer?
9.19.2008 1:02pm
DangerMouse:
If the government were to use the accounting methodology which required it to state the amount of unfunded liabilities as an actual liability, the national debt would be between 60 to 100 trillion dollars. Nobody really knows what it is, though, because the costs keep increasing (due to Medicate, Social Security, and the new prescription drug benefit.) I guess if you view the debt through this analysis, another trillion doesn't matter.

Eventually, though, this house of cards has to come crashing down. Because the government does not have 60-100 trillion to spend, and can't possibly raise the money via taxes to pay it, even over the course of several years.

If a situation can't last forever, it won't. Who will bail out Uncle Sam? Certainly not the taxpayer, unless they repeal the 13th amendment.
9.19.2008 1:18pm
ShelbyC:
Kinda funny how Paulson agreed to this right when Goldman Sachs started heading for the crapper, eh?
9.19.2008 1:31pm
Randy R. (mail):
You're doing a heckava job, Georgie!

I'm sure Cheney will soon announce: 'Everything is going exactly as planned."
9.19.2008 1:54pm
Javert:

Bush: "There will be ample opportunity to debate the origins of this problem. Now is the time to solve it."
Sometimes my four-year old starts flailing around because her shoelaces are tangled. I tell her that such mindless action will not solve the problem and will probably make it worse. I tell her to stop, figure out the origin of the problem, devise a plan, then take action.

It's understandable when a child acts this way. It devastates a country's economy when politicians do so.
9.19.2008 2:13pm
Mark Field (mail):

I'm sure Cheney will soon announce: 'Everything is going exactly as planned."


I'll start selling short (assuming I'm allowed to) when Bush announces "Mission Accomplished".
9.19.2008 2:28pm
bikeguy (mail):

Hundreds of billions to save investors: wise choice.

Hundreds of billions to provide nationalized health care: nah, let the free market work!

See here on the advisability of nationalized health care. Hilarious.
9.19.2008 2:34pm
Sarcastro (www):
I blame Barry White for this problem.
9.19.2008 2:55pm
Minitruth:
Bikeguy, your Heritage Foundation link had a grand total sample size of 7 Canadians...
9.19.2008 3:02pm
Shertaugh:
The problem has been Congress's refusal to cut taxes. If the top 1% had more in their pockets to invest, they could have helped recapitalize the markets through stock and bond purchases of the tanking and tanked companies.
9.19.2008 3:03pm
dead souls for sale:
And you could have a Single Payer national system without totally gutting hospitals and private practices. It would function in a comparable manner to Medicare - where doctors would be able to refuse Medicare patients if they want to make more money.
9.19.2008 3:12pm
Randy R. (mail):
Perhaps the better Cheneyism would be this:

The economy is in its last death throes.
9.19.2008 3:21pm
War on Regulation:
Shertaugh, some of the hedge funds have been blamed for shorting stocks and consequently making the target company scramble for liquidity and then fail. Are you saying the same rich people who participate in the hedges would be the ones to gloriously save these tanking companies? I'm not sure how that would work.
9.19.2008 3:29pm
rarango (mail):
Danger Mouse raises a key question. All we know of the debt now is what the CEOs and CFOs who invented some arcane accounting practices have told us. I suspect there are quite a few folks in board rooms right now sweating because having misstated their liquidity via creative accounting, now have to fess up. If they want the bailout they should be required to submit their accounting practices to examination before they get a dime. Indictments come later.
9.19.2008 3:59pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Although I read it carefully, I could see nowhere where the money was to come from to pay for the bailout. You would think that Bush had a dollar bill printing press in his basement. Does he plan to raise taxes?


As noted in other threads, he was helping create the problem while McCain was fighting it, at least insofar as Fannie Mae is concerned.

Barack Obama? The same guy who had no accomplishments in the "140 days" he was in the Senate? When and how did he create the Fannie Mae problem? He wasn't even on the Senate committee that bottled up the housing reform bill.
9.19.2008 4:02pm
CB55 (mail):
Note that no one has said that we roll back the laws passed since the Raygun years including Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act,and bankruptcy
9.19.2008 4:23pm
PC:
Note that no one has said that we roll back the laws passed since the Raygun years including Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act,and bankruptcy

That's because the socialist Community (more like Communist, amirite?) Reinvestment Act is the sole cause of this entire mess.
9.19.2008 4:55pm
Dr. T (mail) (www):
A low-interest government loan here, a housing subsidy there, one hundred million economic stimulus checks here, a Bear-Stearns bail-out there, an AIG buy-out here, and soon we'll be in a semi-fascist nation where the government controls all financial institutions and thereby controls most of the economy. Add enforced servitude for young adults in a National Service Program, and we'll jump to full fascism. I like mountains, so emigrating to Switzerland might a good idea.
9.19.2008 7:47pm
LM (mail):
McCain just announced he opposes bailing out New York City. Something about, "Lindsay got them into it; let him get them out of it."

?
9.19.2008 7:48pm
CB55 (mail):
PC:

Morris Berman, Kevin Phillips, David Cay Johnson and Chalmers Johnson have all joined in with you to describe the final phase of the dying American Empire.
9.19.2008 7:48pm
CB55 (mail):
Huey Long once said, "Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism." I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security. Jim Garrison
9.19.2008 7:56pm
deepthought:
I like the way Bush has become a "post-partisan" president when he wants a Democratic Congress to approve taking on hundreds of billions of bad debt, saying its no time for partisanship. It is exactly the right time for partisanship; the opposition party needs to hold the Administration's feet to the fire. For seven years a Republican Administration and Congress enjoyed their "seven years of plenty," is the country due now for seven years of poverty?
9.19.2008 8:09pm
LM (mail):
Update to my last comment: McCain says he was misquoted, and he knows the difference between Wall Street and New York City. But he stands by his promise that if he's elected the U.S. will veto any attempt to give Nationalist China's seat on the Security Council to the Red Chinese.
9.19.2008 8:12pm
neurodoc:
Anderson: "Hundreds of billions to save investors: wise choice."
Who isn't an investor? Those who aren't participants in the pension plan of any company, non-profit, municipal or state pension plans? And don't have anything in 401Ks, 403Ks, IRAs, Keoghs, ESOPs or other tax-deferred accounts? And aren't "invested" through life insurance or annuity products? And own no real property or other major assets? And aren't saving for their own or their children's education, home purchase, or other purpose?

Save for the truly poor among us, I think there must be few real "non-investors." And the poor won't be unaffected either.

I think the word you want is "speculators." That one, rather than "investors," is usually used to distinguish those regarded as greedy and deserving of whatever losses they suffer from the rest of us who deserve better.
9.19.2008 8:52pm
Javert:

Although I read it carefully, I could see nowhere where the money was to come from to pay for the bailout.
The Tooth Fairy.
9.19.2008 8:57pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"The conservative movement has utterly hated FDR, and his New Deal programs like Medicaid, Social Security, FDIC, Fannie Mae (1938), and the SEC for nearly 80 years."

FDR ran against Hoover and criticized his budget deficits. During the campaign he did his best to scare the public but then said said we had nothing to fear but fear itself as president. Nevertheless I think he did a good job with securities regulation. But his record in dealing with the Depression was mixed, but at least he tried.

BTW Medicaid was not a New Deal program as it didn't start until 1965.
9.20.2008 1:46am