Links 1/15/09 Posted on January 15, 2009 by Yves Smith R.i.P. Ricardo Montalban Brad DeLong Hallucinations more common in people who drink lots of coffee BBC Ethics Exam Cassandra Care for a Silkworm With Your Tang? Science The Startling Dropoff in Trade Flows Menzie Chinn A cat fight at the Fed Tim Iacono OECD warns over growth in China, Germany and Russia as downturn goes global Telegraph Antidote du jour: Post navigation ← Pandit: A More Than $800 Million Man? WSJ: Bank of America to Receive $20 Billion Injection, Support for $118 Billion of Loans → Subscribe to Post Comments 14 comments Jojo January 15, 2009 at 4:45 am Wow is all I can say. ================Excerpt from Jim Lehrer interview w/ Dick Cheney: MR. LEHRER: What about in the domestic area? What of the economy? The economic downturn is on scope or on a par with the Great Depression. Was it not a miscalculation or a failure to see that coming? VICE PRES. CHENEY: No, I don’t think it was a miscalculation. I think we had good economic policies, especially in the early years. I think the tax packages we passed in ’03, for example, produced 52 months – uninterrupted months of job growth. We’ve run into trouble recently, obviously, beginning in ’08 because of the financial crisis, as well as the recession, but those are not U.S. problems alone. Those are global problems, those are problems that have affected nations and economies all over the world; that’s not something that is just a U.S. problem. As I look at it, I think we’ve been successful at intervening – MR. LEHRER: On the economy you’ve been successful? VICE PRES. CHENEY: We’ve been successful at intervening economically with respect to the financial crisis, in that what we did with respect to TARP by moving as aggressively as we did, that there is, in fact, positive progress. We stabilized, if you will, the financial system out there. Now, there’s still a lot of work to be done, yet, but the inter-bank lending rate’s back down where it belongs, interest rates are low – all of these things are moves in the right direction. And I think if we had not intervened as aggressively if we did, the situation would be worse. But I don’t think you can blame that financial crisis on George Bush; I just don’t think that’s a valid judgment. MR. LEHRER: What about – going back to the original question – about seeing this coming? Isn’t that part of the stewardship of the president, of the vice president and of his administration – to see these things coming and try to prevent them from coming, rather than to act after they’ve happened? VICE PRES. CHENEY: Did you see it coming, Jim? You’re an expert. MR. LEHRER: I’m not the president or the vice president of the United States. (Chuckles.) VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s a – I think we did see some elements of it, in terms of our concerns about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And a couple of years ago, we went forward with proposed recommendations to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – couldn’t get them through the Democrat-controlled Congress. That might have helped forestall what one of the key triggers was of the financial crisis. But I think no; I think some of the best financial minds in the country didn’t see it coming. We saw that five key investment banks in New York are no more, or have been transformed in a major way. They’re folks that deal in this area all day, every day, and they didn’t foresee it coming. MR. LEHRER: So you don’t accept any responsibility for – on the – VICE PRES. CHENEY: I don’t think we caused the economic downturn. Link ========================= Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 5:36 am That link from Tom Iacono about Plosser’s disagreement (public!) with Bernanke is very interesting. About the preceding comment, I am no fan of Dick Cheney but I think he is on reasonable ground in denying culpability. He should be taken to task for mistakes in which he was directly involved. Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 6:55 am Frankly, for the past ten years the Fed interventions, philosophies, and operations have seemed to be the single greatest source of screw up in this world of cluster. Absurd interest rates policies, chronically bad credit and banking practices management and oversite, the primary mover in repeal of the depression era banking regulations, primary destroyer of the savings function, instigator and enabler of the debt bubble, the list of accusations goes on. I also suspect that the current Chair has been a chief architect of this mess, given the reigns as the heir apparrent by a doddering Greenspan. O’Bama should consider replacing him at the earliest possible moment and avoid the curse of Jimmy Carter just before the election. ruetheday January 15, 2009 at 7:51 am Re: The Plosser article – It’s becoming fashionable to rhetorically wonder “how much worse would things be in the absence of Fed/Treasury intervention” and conclude that they wouldn’t really be any worse and might be better. This is nonsense IMO. In the absence of any and all intervention, we’d have seen the failures (as in complete and total failure) of Bear, WaMu, Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Citi, Wachovia, Merrill, and probably Goldman and MS, all in the space of about 9 months, with cascading failures to dozens of mid sized institutions, a complete collapse of the money supply, and a repeat of all of this in the UK, EU, Asia, etc. Conditions would be orders of magnitude worse than they are now. Let’s not fall victim to the armchair, post hoc fantasies of the libertarians that everything would always be ok if not for the government doing something. I’m not saying I approve of HOW the bailout has been handled, but let’s not be silly and thing everything would be just fine in the absence of any intervention. Richard Kline January 15, 2009 at 8:15 am Cheney’s rock solid position throughout the last eight years which I can state as a close observor of same is that neither he nor Dufus are ever, _ever_, EVER personally responsible for anything which might be construed as having gone wrong, and that furthermore if you think anything went wrong on their watch you’ve got it wrong. And despite that, virtually everything I can think of as far as public policy—as opposed to the successes he has had at making the wealthy in this country wealthier—under his watch have been egregiously executed and lamentable in consequence. There is something profoundly wrong with the man’s mind. While morality is not something I find easy to qualify, not which I regularly evaluate, Cheney is as profoundly immoral a man as any who has ever had public policy authority in our country’s history. His inability to take responsibility for anything is contemptible; yes, that is the best adjectival. That man is a contemptible streak of scum. Whether he bears any direct personal responsibility for Administration actions in the immediate financial crisis is, really, of small scale compared to the many acts which bear his imprint. Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 9:43 am @ Richard Kline, That is what happens when people believe they are part of the divine ones big plan and your ether in or out of it, no side lines. Completely agree with your statements. Skippy Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 9:52 am Dear Mr. Cheney, You may try and deflect your role in the current economicsuper nova, but what about yourtrillion dollar war? Have youno cortisol reserves? You are indeed a jellyfish. In house fighting at the Fed?Whilst the foreclosed sleepout in the cold. dearieme January 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm “I think some of the best financial minds in the country didn’t see it coming.” Then it follows, as the night the day, that they are not among the best financial minds in the country. locust January 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm Well said dearieme. Glen January 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm AIG's at it again. "AIG Discloses $150 Million More in Retention Pay" Retention pay tally thus far: $619 million. Buys you alot of knowledgeable far reaching incompetence. On the up side, keeping that level of gross negligence under one roof is probably a good thing for the rest of us as these highly sort after lemmings are not filtering out to the wider community spreading their stupidity amount the masses. God forbid, we have enough of them running around as it is. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8EE27QR91jY&refer=home dd January 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm Future generations will speak of being “cheneyed:” a word that will replace fu****. I use it now: “I’m cheneyed.” Everyone understands. Naomi January 15, 2009 at 11:32 pm Shipping rates hit zero: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/4229198/Shipping-rates-hit-zero-as-trade-sinks.html Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 12:35 am Intel Corp. reported a 90% drop in fourth-quarter earnings Thursday that were in line with Wall Street’s reduced expectations, as demand for semiconductors remains weak. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company reported net income of $234 million, or 4 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 27. That’s down from earnings of $2.27 billion, or 38 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 1:00 am Ahhh, Intel! It just couldn’t happen to a nicer company.* What with that big ol’ factory in the Occupied Territories… *with the exception of Motorola, provider of the “eyes and ears” of the IDF Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!