Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interesting Radio Broadcasts

Terry Gross discusses the financial meltdown with author, Michael Lewis, on her daily show, Fresh Air.

Update:Lewis' book is mentioned by Frank Rich in the New York Times.

Most everyone was happy to cheer along with Greenspan and keep the housing bubble properly inflated. That worked, until the bubble burst starting with the failure of CountryWide. This discussion focuses on those people who saw through the financial double-speak, and effectively shorted the entire financial system. Perhaps, this type of shorting should be outlawed, just to keep the potential liabilities in the range of the world's ability to pay. In poker, you can't bet chips you don't have. It's too bad that this meltdown didn't go to its conclusion. Government came riding to the rescue in the form of bailouts to cover bets which exceeded the combined world product by several multiples. In this case, these bets should have just been declared null and void beyond an entities ability to pay (i.e. to the point of their individual bankruptcies.) Everyone with stakes in the game should have been forced to pay first. By bringing "new money" to the table from governments to cover these private bets was the big mistake. Privatize profits! Socialize liabilities! Oh, yeah! No one paid the price, so risk is still not properly valued in this economy. Savers are being rewarded with 0% interest. Thanks, for nothing! This low interest is reinforced because the US is allowed to "just print" the difference. This philosophy will come to a tragic end. It is only a question of, when not if.

Also, Michael Moore appeared on Diane Rehm's show today. He discussed the two topics which are on everyone's mind (and the topic of his recent documentaries): the greed in our system, and that the richest nation on earth has no social safety nets.

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