Ayn Rand wrote, "when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."
America is not doomed, but the fellows in Washington are pushing for that outcome. It seems that all the characters that encouraged this financial crisis are being rewarded, and Ben Bernanke's re-nomination is no exception to this rule. He was on the Board of Governors when Alan Greenspan grew our bubble economy. Known as 'Helicopter Ben,' Bernanke was the most vocal supporter of low interest rates to combat the bogus threat of deflation, even if it meant dropping cash from helicopters. He succeeded in his aim – as it is hard for prices to decline while the money supply is growing by double digits. [more]
After having given away billions faster than even the optimists had anticipated, it was announced today that the federal government's "Cash for Clunkers" program is coming to an early end. But, based on the standards of economic analysis which prevail in Washington, Wall Street and academia, the program must be considered a master stroke of public policy. These experts will tell you that by mandating that citizens destroy older (but still working) vehicles to receive $4,500 toward the purchase of a new car, the program not only revved up the economy by encouraging Americans to borrow more, but it may have, perhaps, made some great strides in saving the planet by reducing carbon emissions. [more]
The nationwide revelry surrounding our apparent economic recovery was disrupted this week by the release of lower-than-expected retail sales data. However, rather than sending a chill up the spines of those hoping for a quick end to the downturn, the numbers should be welcomed. Though this may come as a surprise to most observers, lower retail sales are precisely what our economy needs. [more]
There is an inexplicable, but somehow widely held, belief that stock market movements are predictive of economic conditions. As such, the current rally in U.S. stock prices has caused many people to conclude that the recession is nearing an end. The widespread optimism is not confined to Wall Street, as even Barack Obama has pointed to the bubbly markets to vindicate his economic policies. However, reality is clearly at odds with these optimistic assumptions. [more]