Sunday, February 15, 2009

Revisionist History

And I quote: "If we tried to suppress the expansion of the subprime market, do you think that would have gone over very well with the Congress? When it looked as though we were dealing with a major increase in home ownership, which is of unquestioned value to this society -- would we have been able to do that? I doubt it...We could have basically clamped down on the American economy, generated a 10 percent unemployment rate. And I will guarantee we would not have had a housing boom, a stock market boom or indeed a particularly good economy either," - Alan Greenspan, Former Federal Reserve chairman.- Thanks to Andrew Sullivan and The Daily Dish.

What a load of crap.

Since when is the Fed Chief supposed to worry about whether or not the Congress likes what he is doing to control the markets? This revisionist history crap annoys the hell out of me. This is Greenspan trying to protect his legacy, t place blame for his lack of institutional control over the Fed, the markets and what was going on to create this idiotic crisis we find ourselves in.

Certainly not all of the blame goes to Greenspan. But, in my part-time job as an economic analyst (that's a joke for those of you who are too dense to get it), and after the reading I have done, which isn't a joke, there is a clear line between GBII and his "NO HOUSE LEFT BEHIND" policy and the housing crisis, credit bubble we find ourselves in.

When did it become wrong to rent? And what exactly is wrong with renting? For years, people saved their money and renting a house, an apartment, whatever, and were happy. Yes, yes, we all have this 1950's-era dream of a white house, with a white picket fence, 2.2 children and a wife in the kitchen with our scotch and soda ready when we come through the door. But that BS died in the 1970's, didn't it? Or did it?

Certainly there were policy makers prior to GBII who decided that there needed to be more home ownership. But the policy of the Chimp-in Chief, pushing for lower interest rates, led to Countrywide, led to credit default swaps, led to the greed in the market that has created this huge bubble that burst so delightfully and is now leading to 500,000 jobs lost month, increased inflation, and God knows what else.

There is a reason they are called the SEVEN DEADLY SINS, people. Greed is one of them. Everyone looking to make a quick buck, everyone looking to have one more thing, another car, a bigger house, a jet ski, you name. "The more people I get into some sort of sub-prime mortgage, the bigger my BONUS! YIPPEEEEE!"

And Greenspan wants us to believe that holding to stricter lending practices would have created 10% unemployment? What is this, some sort of Seinfeldian Opposite World, where he is George Constanza and he is doing the opposite of what he has always done? What does he think he has created with what he did? His stupid policies have created a stock market bubble, a housing bubble and unemployment that will go well beyond 10%. The man should probably go to jail for malfeasance. I'm trying to keep this G-rated for all of my readers out there, but this annoys the crap out of me. There are people suffering across every sector of the economy because of bad policy decisions. And those are his reasons? As my friend Peter Clogg used to say, "Good night nurse!"

No comments:

Post a Comment