Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Headlines 2/24/09

Ridiculous snow in Oslo, global warming to blame.
You've got a pretty good racket when either warm or cold weather proves you're right.

Consumer Confidence... in Record Slump
Obama's self-fulfilling prophecy?

New Spending bill stuffed with earmarks
...because $500 billion of pork wasn't enough


Vinny said...

Obama's self-fulfilling prophecy?

I've heard the assertion before. Never seen any evidence.

ChrisB said...


The difference here is that we're talking about confidence -- i.e., how people feel about the economy -- and he's spent the last few weeks telling everyone how terrible everything is. Even Bill Clinton suggested he improve his tone a bit.

Vinny said...

On the other hand, the Bush administration went too long telling everyone that the economy was still in good shape and that the problems were contained to a limited part of the credit market. If the Bush administration had gone to Congress for a bank rescue package when the problems first became apparent in late 2007, it is possible that the bleeding could have been staunched at a fraction of the cost.

On the other hand, in 2007, it might still have been reasonable to think that the market might be able to work through the problem on its own. I can appreciate the desire not to create a panic.

On the other hand, I think that Paulson and Bernanke lost a lot of credibility such that the market panic after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt was worse that it might have been otherwise.

I don't know how old your kids are, but I suspect you have faced the problem of choosing between building your child's confidence or honestly telling them what they need to do to improve. Sometimes they need a pat on the back. Sometimes they need a kick in the pants. You can never be sure you are striking the right balance.

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