I went out last night and managed to miss this:
President Barack Obama said he believes the global financial system remains at risk of implosion with the failure of Citigroup or AIG, which could touch off “an even more destructive recession and potentially depression.”
His remarks came in a“60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.
What is so funny? Is it “you can’t let a crisis go to waste”, is it incompetence, idiocy, or are things going according to plan?
Blue Crab Boulevard:
The psychiatric term “inappropriate affect” comes to mind here.
There are two possibilities here. Either Obama is intentionally, malignantly causing a meltdown in the economy or he is completely – and I mean completely – clueless about how his words and actions impact the economy.
But back to the transcript:
How are you finding the job?
It’s exhilarating. It’s challenging you know, I– I find that– the governance part of it, the decision making part of it– actually comes– comes pretty naturally. I think I’ve got a great team. I think we’re making good decisions.
Hello! What team? The Treasury’s sending the economy down the path of doom and there’s no one who wants to work there.
Earlier in the interview, more chuckles!
And— and— and— and Warren still does support me. But I think that understand Warren’s also a big player in the financial markets who’s a major owner of Wells Fargo. And so he’s got a perspective from the perspective of somebody who— is part owner of a bank. You’ve got members of Congress who’ve got a different perspective. Which is, “We don’t want to spend any more taxpayer money.” You’ve got— a whole host of players, all of whom may have a completely different solution. (LAUGHS) Right?
And— you know, one of the challenges that Tim Geithner— has had— is the same challenge that anybody would have in this situation.
people want a lot of contradictory things. You know, the— the— the banks would love a lot of taxpayer money with no strings attached. Folks in Congress, as well as the American people, would love to fix the banks without spending any money. (LAUGHS) And so at a certain point, you know, you’ve got just a— a very difficult line— to— to walk.
I’ve told them directly. ‘Cause I’ve heard some of this. they need to spend a little time outside of New York. Because— you know, if you go to North Dakota, or you go to Iowa, or you go to Arkansas, where folks would be thrilled to be making $75,000 a year— without a bonus, then I think they’d get a sense of why people are frustrated.
I think we have to understand the severity of the crisis that we’re in right now. The fact is that, because of bad bets made on Wall Street, there have been enormous losses.
I mean there were a whole bunch of folks who, on paper, if you looked at quarterly reports, were wildly successful, selling derivatives (CHUCKLE) that turned out to be—
The abysmal lack of understanding this little exchange demonstrates makes my head spin.
So the administration will go on printing more money… until when? Until people stop buying T-Bills.
I kid you not.
Is there some limit to the amount of money we can spend?
Or print trying to solve this crisis?
And are we getting close to it?
The— the limit is our ability to— finance— these expenditures through borrowing. And, you know, the United States is fortunate that it has— the largest, most stable economic and political system— around. And so the dollar is still strong because people are still buying Treasury Bills. They still think that’s the safest investment out there.
If we don’t get a handle on this, and also start looking at our long-term deficit projections, at a certain point people will stop buying— those— Treasury Bills.
Long-term readers of this blog and people who know me know that I scrupulously avoid using the “F” word, but there’s a time and place for it.
Here’s the place, now is the time, my friends.
If “the plan” to “fix the economy” is to keep printing money until people stop buying Treasury Bills, we are fucked.
How’s that for a chuckle?
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