Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back to the real world

Longer-term jobless benefits hit 25-year high

Retailers report steep sales declines in October

Stocks extend decline as economic woes mount

Fidelity to cut nearly 1,300 jobs

A public-service reminder:
Secretary Paulson on "Fox News Sunday"
[Treasury Secretary]PAULSON: Chris, I've got great confidence in our financial market, our financial institutions. Our markets are resilient. They're flexible. Our institutions, our banks and investment banks, are strong.

And I am very confident with the help of the regulators and market participants we're going to work our way through this.

[16 March 2008]

Transcript: Treasury Secretary Paulson on 'FOX News Sunday'
[Treasury Secretary] PAULSON: U.S. economic fundamentals are healthy, unemployment is low, wages are rising, and core inflation is contained.
[27 Jan 2008]
This was back when big action may actually have helped. The focus of both discussions, however, was the $150Bn 'stimulus package'... What if we'd gone for a $700Bn 'stimulus package' then, instead of a $700Bn 'bail-out' in September? Who knows?

The real point of this post is that:
1. The current mess was foreseeable - at least as far back as Jan 2008, and probably earlier.
2. Ideology & politics prevented those nominally 'in charge' to take effective action to honestly mitigate effects of what was probably an unavoidable hard stop.
3. These guys are still in charge.
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

Stop the madness.

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