Thursday, January 29, 2009
When the history of the financial crash is written, this is what will be said:
- The federal reserve and its serial bubble-blowing policy, fractional reserve banking, the loss of America's manufacturing base, huge debts, spending trillions on imperial adventures in Iraq and elsewhere, and insane leverage and speculation using exotic instruments like credit default swaps were the biggest long-term causes of the crisis
- The government could have prevented the crisis if it had heeded the warnings of those speaking the truth, but because it was politically easier, politicians pretended that they didn't understand what was going on, and tried to "kick the can down the road" so that it would be someone else's problem
- Had the government let the markets deleverage, and let cancer of malinvestment clear itself out of the market, we would have been through most of the worst by the end of 2009. But by borrowing, printing and spending many trillions of dollars we didn't have, by artificially propping up leverage, and by taking other counter-productive actions, the government ensured a full-scale depression, and ensured that it would continue for years
- Economies cannot prosper when the rule of law is destroyed and the government routinely lies. The current crash would have ended much sooner had the government been honest, and people trusted the government. The government's lies about the Iraq war, torture, spying, 9/11, and just about everything else destroyed people's trust that anything the government said was true. Even with sophisticated propaganda methods, one too many lies will destroy a government, a country and an economy. In addition, there were many Madoffs - titans of industry and finance and investment who were dishonest. Under the weight of dishonesty, no one trusts each other enough to do business, and the free market shuts down.