Thursday, April 23, 2009

Economic Crisis Roundup

Simon Johnson says: "Break up the banks"

Simon Johnson is the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and in recent months has emerged as one of the most cogent critics of how the Obama administration is addressing the banking crisis.


The Crisis That Could Bring Down Obama

In other words, the banks are insolvent. That's why they must rely on the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But at the same time, they are claiming to be healthy. Both things can't be true.


Bernanke, Paulson should be charged with securities violations

Instead, Bernanke and Paulson told Lewis not to disclose the dire consequences unfolding at Merrill within his bank which meant that millions of shares of the Bank of America and other stocks worth tens of billions traded for prices they would not have fetched if these U.S. government officials had not allegedly imposed a cover-up.
In this case, the two most powerful regulators in the history of the world financially damaged markets, widows and orphans, pension funds, mutual funds and other investors by not telling them a bank, and indirectly the financial system as whole, was in worse shape than previously disclosed.
Rather than face the music and take decisive action, Bernanke and Paulson ordered a CEO to disobey the law of the land. This makes them accessories, not leaders.


Obama is blowing it. BIG TIME!

We are still doing the countdown to bank nationalization. Our politicians want to re-inflate the bubble that got us here, not actually fix the problem. By re-inflating the bubble we can pass off to future generations the problems we are creating today in the financial sector. I guess its like taking a really messy bowel movement and not even thinking to wipe your own ass - that must be someone else's problem!

And so we have Obama kowtowing to banks but playing hardball with the last remaining segment of America's great job creating industries: the auto manufacturers. I will be the first to criticize the auto-makers but I will also recognize that they create jobs. So who is it better to save: leeches like banksters or the job producing "morans" at GM?

We are a long way down a dark tunnel leading us in the absolutely wrong direction. Maybe all Obama can do is to lessen the impact of the hard fall that us sure to come. Our problems are systemic, from top to bottom. The solutions will not be band-aid solutions. We are looking at tourniquet and amputation procedures. It's bad. Really bad. We are apparently doomed to live in interesting times.

But hey, have a nice day!