On Up this morning, Chris and his guests talked about the legacy of Timothy Geithner, the bank bailouts, the looming debt ceiling fight in Congress and the idea of minting a trillion dollar platinum coin. Neil Barofsky was on and he criticized Geithner for his cronyistic handling of big banks during the banking crisis. There was talk about how AIG received preferential treament because they were key to bailing out Goldman Sachs and the other politically connected financial players. The pamel agreed that the bailout should have been bigger to include underwater homeowners.
No one on the panel traced the effects back to orginal causes. No one wondered if decades of government interventions into private financing led to the salmagundi of systemic flaws which brought down the big banks, or allowed a few banks to get this large so that the country and the world at large are dependent on their survival. No one questioned whether the creation of the Federal Reserve in the early 20th century has led to the current situation in which a few wealthy bankers can manage the economy according to government guidance and hold the entire nation hostage.
The panel basically said that we still need to break up the banks. They said the banks paid back the money, so maybe just do a few tweaks and regulate better? I don't know -- what about the debt limit? Well, one guest said that we can mint a 20 trillion dollar coin, even, and it won't be a problem -- well, it won't be a problem until the money is spent. What a genius. It took the panel a partial discussion then a commerical for one of them to say why putting so much fiat money into play might be a little wrong -- well, there could be some inflation, you know. Yes, that might be a problem.
One thing that became evident among the guests, other than Barofsky, and what I've seen on Twitter and heard on cable news, when progressives discuss the debt, and even Obama said it, is that spending is not a problem. Because interest rates are low and because we can print our own money, and because spending money on infrastructure and education and alternative energy is sooner or later profitable for the nation, then we ought to spend more money now on projects to increase employment. No one has presented any evidence that companies across the nation will start hiring if government spends money on roads, bridges, hi-speed rail, education and green energy and, surely, thousands of pork projects.
Our economy has been fundamentally shaken, and there's no reason to believe that government spending will give businesses the confidence they need to expand production and hire to the extent needed. Business owners are looking for fundamental stability with regulation and taxes -- they have to know what their costs will be going forward. Much has been discussed about sustainable recovery vs sugar highs from government spending, so the business community is more knowledgeable now than ever regarding economic laws and economic reality. We've gone through the dot com bubble and the housing bubble, and while some players got rich, overall there was little economic gain and little real wealth created. It's going to take more than a gaggle of intellectuals manipulating money with fancy theories and economic gimmicks to convince American businesses that now is the time to exapnd and hire.
The last part of the show was about Obama and his image. There were 4 novelists and Chris, and I became nauseated and quit watching as they all talked about this very ordinary man who is simply good at keeping a poker face as if he's some mysterious character of greatness. I couldn't watch it all, especially as in my mind all I could see was the many times this man has stood before the American people and lied. There's no mystery or greatness in the White House.