For the record, I apportion a healthy share of the blame to the Democrats also. As an Independent, I figure its 60/40 GOP/Dem.

The GOP had the White House for the past 8 years, and controlled Congress for 12 of the past 14 years, so if you want to argue its higher, you have cause.

However, as noted in this earlier post, I hold Clinton Rubin and Summers responsible in large part for both the ruinous Commodities Futures Modernization Act, and the repeal of Glass Steagall.

Regardless, this is a very amusing cartoon:

>

via Matt Davies

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

87 Responses to “Cost Concerns”

  1. microcap says:

    I live in DC, and as I keep telling people, it is important for the future of the nation that we understand [as Barry says] that this is a bipartisan screwup. There is no way we can address the problem by placing all the blame on the other side—which is a major reason why Obama is off to such a disastrous start.

    This is a mess created by the socio/politico/economic elite of the US and the world—blame Harvard and the U of Chicago equally. Simple hubris, thinking that we could control chaotic systems with our superior brainpower and advancement of human knowledge.

    Respect randomness.

  2. CharlesHarris says:

    Ok, fair enough Mr. Ritholtz. It wasn’t only Republicans. Still it was basically 60/40 Republicans/Democrats enacting 100/0 Republican policy. It’s important to note that the Republican PHILOSOPHY (at least as I know it these days) of deregulation, is the central figure in this.

    So just because Democrats are voting like Republicans doesn’t mean we can’t note which party has a lot of retarded ideas.

  3. CNBC Sucks says:

    Ritholtz, how do you expect me to call you “Republican Ritholtz” when you pull a stunt like this. I am telling on you with our party leader Boss Limbaugh.

    By the way, I was serious that you should have your own television show, and no, you don’t have to call it “Republican Ritholtz”. You may call it “Ritholtz the Republican” instead.

  4. GreatWarrior says:

    Barry, excuse me, if the GOP and Bush want to take the credit of “STRONGEST ECONOMY IN MY LIFETIME”, then they got to take the accountability of the failures or consequences.

    If you want Accountability on others, then you got to own some.

    Your comments remind me of an article published 1 month ago, where a bunch of Failed Bank Executives put the failure of the bank mostly on the decision made more than 10+ years ago where the bank CEO splitted the bank into 2 operations — mortgage banking and regular banking. And the CEO has since retired 10 years.

    Same excuse here, putting the blames squarely on others. Excuse me, if the strategy was THAT BAD, why hasn’t the current running CEO and those executives and Board of Directors CHANGE it?!

    Grown Up! Be ACCOUNTABLE!

  5. Mannwich says:

    The Bush Boom lives on.

    Yours Truly,

    Jerry Bowyer

  6. call me ahab says:

    Per Diana Olick on CNBC- the new housing plan allows for the forgiveness of a 2nd lien. Boy that sounds like a GREAT DEAL for those who used their equity line like a piggy bank and used it for news cars and such. Boy, wish I could get in on that action- too bad I don’t have a 2nd lien. The savers and prudent are always getting kicked to the curb for the benefit of the folks who mismanaged their finances: the high risk bankers and deadbeat homeowners.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/29513414

  7. Alan says:

    Almost as amusing as Jim Cramers latest rant about Obama destroying wealth.

  8. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    You know what sucks about our system? Deeeeeddooootttddddeeeeettttddooott! That everyone can blame it on everyone else. It drives people overseas crazy!!!! Please stand for something America!

  9. moonmullins says:

    Obama’s sandbags? How exactly does more wasteful deficit spending cure Pelosi-Bush’s deficit spending?

    Humor requires an element of truth. This cartoon offers neither.

  10. franklin411 says:

    Are people reading this as an anti-Obama cartoon? To me it looks like a pro-Obama cartoon. Obama’s working to prevent a horrible flood that was created by GOP economic policies while the guys that made the mess, the GOP, are carping about the cost of sandbags!

    It seems like some of the commentators think this is pro-GOP?

  11. Chief Tomahawk says:

    BEHOLD non-believers!

    The “Blutarsky” rally lives!!!!!!!

  12. franklin411 says:

    Moon,
    Because spending 6% of my income on measures designed to prevent 90% of it from being wiped out is called good risk management.

  13. mlomker says:

    Who was in charge during the Tulip mania? Republicans or Democrats? Oh, wait…that was another country.

    The economy doesn’t have a whole lot to do with politics from what I can see. World history is filled with examples of easy credit creating bubbles…and we’ve made the same mistake over and over again.

  14. CNBC Sucks says:

    The thing that really annoyed me about the Obama mortgage plan was that you would be more likely to get help if you have other forms of debt like credit card debt. Think about it. You are more profligate, you mismanage your finances more, so you are more eligible for government help.

    I didn’t like the Obama stimulus plan, and I don’t like the Obama mortgage plan. Both smack of government waste. See, I am not a Democrat, and I will never be a Democrat. I am a true-blue registered Republican. But I want high taxes on the rich because we need better infrastructure and our debt levels are unsustainable, and unsustainable because the rich haven’t been forced to pay what rich people need to pay in taxes. And I will keep voting for Obama because all of my party’s politicians work only for the ultra-rich.

  15. MRegan says:

    In this country we are stymied by our inability to agree upon and assimilate an accurate description of reality. This inability to manage the epistemological questions (let’s say knowing) and to establish a results oriented dialogue on our reality imposes a massive risk on our system.

    Until the main thrust of our national dialogue returns to a preferential option for the truth, then we will be stuck in an unending game of grabass. (for those of you keeping score I referenced Gustavo Gutierrez).

    Hell, we can’t even bring ourselves to contemplate fully the certain truth that the previous administration ordered the indiscriminate torture of hundreds of fellow human beings. And for all you Jack Bauer onanists, answer me this: where are Khalid Sheik Mohammeds two minor sons? Or tell me: do you feel safer knowing that Wuterich killed a 75 year old woman and an 18 month child so you could be free? ñocos!

  16. moonmullins says:

    franklin, don’t let the facts get in your way. And manufacturing phony numbers doesn’t persuade.

    First, Obama is proposing to spending bills that will creat more debt than all of his predecessors combined. Secondly, you miss the point that it is Pelosi & Co’s policies that have created the need for sandbags. The fact that republicans lost their way doesn’t exculpate the reckless policies of the party in charge of congress these last few years.

    As democratic Sen. Evan Bayh said in an editorial published today, we need to practice financial austerity (i.e., real sandbags) and what Obama & Congress has done is wrong, and that the president should veto the current omnibus spending bill that is working its way through Congress. Now there’s a politician I can support. Wanna bet whether this will happen?

  17. franklin411 says:

    Moon,
    It’s a fallacy to assume that all spending is bad. Let’s say I’m 400 lbs. I should stop doing what got me so fat, right? Stop eating so much. But should I stop eating veggies? No. Actually, I should eat more of what’s good for me and less of what’s bad for me. Actually, the more veggies I eat the more weight I lose, because they’re bulky, low in cals and high in vitamins.

    Spending on education, infrastructure, energy, and science is the only veggie that can save us from becoming a 4th rate economic player. If anything, Obama isn’t spending ENOUGH on these. I’d like to see a 5 year, $4 trillion stimulus bill. $3 trillion for infrastructure (a recent Society of Civil Engineers study stated that we needed to spend $3 trillion over 5 years just to get our existing infrastructure up to code), and $1 T for education/science.

  18. My goodness Barry, putting up that cartoon with the 60/40 comment is like throwing a chicken into a pit full of alligators. (And by the way, if you ever have to go Disneyland because your kids fucking insist, go see Gatorland one of your days there instead of doing the Magic Kingdom or some other nonsense–it really is cool watching a pit full of alligators devour a chicken).

    There’ s just summin ’bout politics that brings out the reptile in all of us. Yes, that means you, franklin411.

  19. Fredex says:

    Obama isn’t doing anything to hold back the flood.

  20. call me ahab says:

    @ mregan

    so . . .ah. . . what the hell are you talking about. If the truth shall set us free then maybe the truth is- that it isn’t that people don’t believe that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was tortured- it is that they dont’ care that he was tortured. You need to wrap your mind around that.

  21. flipspiceland says:

    I din’t grab nobody’s ass.

  22. call me ahab says:

    @franklin411

    I can gurantee you that spending more money on education will not do one damn thing. You see- people have to want to learn. That is the most important factor. Additionally- it is not the federal governments purview- it is the state’s responsibility. There are some sates that do better than others. Arbitrarily throwing money at education hasn’t done a anything yet and it never will.

  23. moonmullins says:

    Franklin:

    You’ve just made my point … this spending isn’t stimulus at all but wasteful pork. Had Obama done the equivalent of Eisenhower and INVESTED (not spent) on projects with LONG-TERM, HIGH RETURN ON CAPITAL, then I’d be all for it. They should’ve scrapped the $800B+ pork and invested a huge amount in nuclear plants and a new electrical grid. And don’t tell me that’s coming later – how will we afford it all??Even the left-leaning CBO denounced the stimulus plan as wasteful and said that the net result will be a negative to the economy. And now we’re adding an omnibus bill with more pork? Good grief.

    If only Congress was doing what you’re advocating (i.e., healthy eating) … regrettably they aren’t.

  24. Brendan says:

    CharlesHarris sums it up well there. But, of course we all know politicians lie, even about their own party platform. No one should be surprised at this point in history that both Democrats and Republicans stump on one thing and vote a different way once they’re elected. I think the main thing missing is not that the media is failing to blame Democrats for their part in the mess so much as it is that most of the Democrats aren’t getting hammered by the media for not following their own platform. At least when it comes to this issue, you can say the Republicans were doing what they were voted in to do, even if it wasn’t a good idea. On the other hand, the part of the Republican platform about cutting spending is a whole other story. The bottom line is that while the Democrats may be responsible for their fair share of blame, Obama himself wasn’t very culpable in this whole thing, so the cartoon is pretty accurate. 99% of the efforts by the other party’s defacto leader, Rush Limbaugh, to paint it that way are silly. So until Republicans kick out Rush and adjust their platforms to match the reality that they were wrong (though good soldiers for the cause), I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more cartoons like this.

  25. moonmullins says:

    Well said Fredex. Agreed.

  26. Marcus Aurelius says:

    I don’t care if the (R) or (D) camps take the blame. I’m more concerned that Democrats have become synonymous with Liberalism, and Republicans with Conservatism.

    Over the past 30 years, no group has been more fiscally liberal than the Republicans (although they still hold onto social conservatism and spin it as being conservative in all things). Fiscal liberalism and social conservatism is a recipe for disaster. Deregulation is liberal.

  27. Init4good says:

    I’m w Franklin411, and why do we entertain the idea that it’s 60/40?

    8 solid years of Republican ‘leadership’ (used loosely) had to have about 5+ yr worth of negative effect, no? We’re just starting to make a correction towards a realistic glidepath.

    How long could that party have continued? It wasn’t ‘balanced’ at all; we simply shifted a larger burden of the income taxes onto the lower & middle class. Does anybody really think things were going well? Sure if you’re in the top 5% of wage earners, you’re SOL now. Most in that category simply hang onto and hoard their money anyway. trickle-down myazz. If they’re not going to spend in tough times like these, then Uncle Sam has to do it – otherwise the country will fall apart,

  28. Froglips says:

    Let me see…hum wasn’t it republicans wanting cheap money to do their economic war stimulus getting Greene to lower the Fed rate to 1% or was it Pelosi? Crap! it was GOP couple Bush/Cheney that triggered this mess. Hard no to see the facts… Lets not forget, that they tried to pawn the cost of the war to the rest of the world with their 1%, life works in mysterious ways……My beef with the Dems is that the GOP turned them into gutless wonders incapable of standing up to the GOP criminal activities. Therefore, the 60/40 rule seems about right to me and if the Dems could do propaganda like the GOP can, we would not get another GOP congress and/or POTUS for the next 30-50 years.

  29. Andy Tabbo says:

    So. I completed my first day without CNBC on the Tele. And, it was good. Bloomberg TV on the computer did a fine job of alerting me to “breaking news” and I heard plenty of clear headed guests that sounded different than the typical CNBC crap interview. I was able to focus on my trading better without the distractions that come with “financial entertainment.” I encourage all traders to take the “pledge” to get off that garbage for at least a few days….see how you feel.

  30. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    I hold these truths to be self evident – the want to masterbate wherever we feel a need for growth. [cartoon follows]…did you get it?

  31. CNBC Sucks says:

    moonmullins – You want to talk about pork and wasteful spending, and then you bring up nuclear power. LOLOL. Ask those residents in Florida how they feel about the extra electricity costs they will have to pay as the cost overruns on those new nuke plants start even earlier than usual.

    John McCain’s Lexington Plan to build 45 nukes was a joke befitting the man’s simpletonian intelligence and dishonorable career. There isn’t enough nuke expertise in the US anymore to build 5 nukes. We would have to outbid the Chinese and the Koreans for the French expertise it would take to ramp up on radioactive, gene-mutating, flesh-eating-zombie-making energy. Not to mention the fact that Obama allowed the people of Nevada to say “not in my backyard” to avert their Yucca Mountain from becoming everybody else’s dumping ground of nuclear waste. Are you going to volunteer your community?

    And by the way, we ALL pay for Price Anderson indemnity insurance. It basically means we taxpayers cover most of the damages in case something wrong happens with those new nuke plants and you will have to wait 3 million years to visit the EPCOT Center again.

  32. Mannwich says:

    Welcome to the kick-the-CNBC-Habit, switch-to-Bloomberg club, AT. Nice to not have that bread & circus for the masses circa 2009 ringing in your head everyday, isn’t it? Feels great. A bit like a recovering addict. I won’t be going back, although I’ll disclose that I did just watch Fast Money while on the exercise bike at the gym. That’s the only show that I can tolerate anymore on CNBC.

  33. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    our people in Washington are demigods…

  34. fp says:

    Wow, I’m amazed there are so many deficit hawks around. The dollar up 24% from last March, oil down 70% from its high, housing prices falling, the market down 55%, unemployment rising, and everyone’s worried about inflation and deficits?? We’ve got a long way down…

  35. ottovbvs says:

    BR: Are you proposing the re-institution of Glass Steagall [BR: YES] ……Er I thought not……And neither is anyone else. Glass Steagall had outworn it’s usefulness. The problem was not the repeal of GS per se it was the failure to to properly monitor the institutions that it’s repeal called into being. If we’re going to say it’s impossible to repeal any obsolescent legislation because some people might take advantage of the situation we’re never going to repeal anything.

  36. ottovbvs says:

    You have to laugh at all this talk about pork. Firstly at just under 4 billion it’s less than 1% of a 410 billion bill. Secondly 40% of the items were put there by Republicans and the top three earmarkers were Republicans. In short this whole debate is just politics as usual…… Republicans making speeches about wasting money and they are doing nearly half the wasting……and it’s not even clear it’s all waste or against the public interest…..I can understand that in the biggest hog producing state in the country pig shit is a big deal, just as lighthouses are in Maine…..It’s 1% of the budget for godsake…..once again the TBP’ers see The Big Picture.

  37. Marcus Aurelius says:

    ottovbvs Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    “BR: Are you proposing the re-institution of Glass Steagall……Er I thought not……And neither is anyone else.”
    ________

    I am. I’m for regulation of banking and finance to the point that the pay difference between the President of a bank and a teller is 2:1. That will lose “talent”? Good. The last thing we need is more talented thieves.

    As for the repeal of laws, do you see some mandate to repeal laws? Is there a use-by date?

    Deregulation – especially of banking – is liberalism run amok.

  38. robertf says:

    Microcap leads off the comments with the comment that “this is a bipartisan screwup.”

    Sorry, it is not.

    We have had eight years of record budget and trade deficits, willful non-enforcement of regulations (Enron, Madoff), increasing income inequality, and two Republican chairmen of the Federal Reserve (Greenspan and Bernanke) who pumped asset bubbles to the sky. To try to lay this off on the Democrats with a “bipartisan” smear is delusional at best, dishonest at worst. The destruction of wealth we are living through is the inescapable consequence of pure Republican orthodoxy.

  39. CNBC Sucks says:

    Everyone has missed the point on this post, both on the left and right of this blog. The debate in our country is not over regulation or nuclear power or prayer in school or torture or abortion or even spending. The whole right-left divide is over one issue: taxes on the rich. Watch how the Republicans’ answer for every problem is tax cuts. The Republicans don’t really care if you regulate their banks or build wind turbines or spend our money on birth control for black people or if we concede Taiwan now to China or if we fund anti-Christian art, as long as we keep the Bush tax cuts and maybe get a few more tax cuts.

    There are a dozen or so red states of Christians all beseeching Jesus to strike down Obama, who are doing so unknowingly to allow Larry Kudlow to not have to pay his taxes.

    It’s all a smokescreen. Our country is where it is at because Art Laffer has allowed Larry Kudlow to minimize his taxes for thirty years, and they don’t want to give that victory up. If you aren’t a multimillionaire already, you shouldn’t be a Republican.

  40. robertf says:

    Moonmullins:

    Let’s be sure we’re clear on the data. Bush was president the past 8 years and BEFORE THE DEMOCRATS TOOK CONTROL OF THE HOUSE in 2006, expanded federal spending at a faster rate than did LBJ. He inherited a $236 billion surplus from Clinton, turned it into a $156 billion deficit his first year, and never looked back. In his eight short years, he has more than doubled the national debt accumulated over the prior 224 years. He never vetoed a single spending bill.

    He borrowed more from foreigners to finance his deficits than all other presidents combined. Not since before the Civil War have we been so dependent on borrowing from abroad to cover our finances. In fact, you could properly say that we are now a colony of China in the technical sense: that we send them raw commodities and import finished goods and the capital to make up the difference. All this happened on Bush’s watch.

    And what did he do with all the borrowed trillions? He gave tax cuts to the rich, he funded his dishonest war of choice in Iraq, and he encouraged investment in housing. NONE of these have added to the productive capacity of the U.S. economy. ALL have sold the American people further into debt slavery.

    From the beginning of the downturn until January–BEFORE OBAMA TOOK OFICE–Americans lost $8 trillion of their wealth on their houses and $10 trillion of wealth in the stock market.

    This is Bush’s legacy. Congratulations. What a way to wreck a country.

  41. Moss says:

    What matters now is that we recognize that the policies failed. Does it really matter who had the ideas? The political and business elites all bought into it hook line and sinker. You are beginning to see some of the elites admit as much.. i.e Immlet from GE, even Buffet. Helicopter Ben even got emotional at AIG mess. Uncle Alan has pretty much summed it up but did not take any responsibility. The facts speak for themselves. Every major money center bank and all IB’s would be bankrupt w/o the government involvement. Not to mention the International banks that followed suit. The question to ask is why did the Canadian banks NOT get sucked up into the hole. The politicians will never admit they are wrong or change their orthodoxy so we have this blame game. Way too many hedgehogs.. not enough foxes.

  42. robertf says:

    Fredex:

    “Obama isn’t doing anything to hold back the flood.” Hello?????

    Injecting $800 billion into the economy isn’t doing anything?

    Did you even study Econ 101? Remember the National Income Accounting equation where GDP=C+I+G+(X-M)? When C(onsumption) and I(nvestment) go down, the government corrects it by increasing (Government).

    It’s not even economics, it’s ARITHMETIC.

  43. robertf says:

    Moss, you say, “Does it really matter who had the [bad] ideas?”

    YES! Ideas matter. For the past eight years we’ve carried on with the delusion begun under Reagan that you make the economy grow by shifting wealth and income to those who already have the most wealth and income. What it has given us is stratospheric debt, greater inequality than at any time since 1929, and a massive economic collapse which is still accelerating.

    So, when people whose ideas wrecked the economy come to sell us more of the same “ideas”, we need to know the damage they have already inflicted SO WE CAN DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

  44. drey says:

    Andy T:

    If I swear off CNBC as you suggest, what on earth will I use as a contrarian indicator for my market moves? Case in point – on Monday afternoon there was palpable despair among the bubbleheads and no reason whatever to buy stocks, a sure indication that we’ll get an oversold rally here, so I stuck a toe in the water on the long side.

    When Dennis Kneale capitulates on-air (or better yet, gets fired) it’ll be time to go all in.

  45. Bob A says:

    the Elephant should have a girlfriend in this cartoon… Chicken Little
    (and Chicken Little would have the face of Larry Kudlow)

  46. franklin411 says:

    So let’s see what China is spending its stimulus money on:

    “Social welfare spending will rise 17.6 percent, Wen said. Science and technology investment climbs 25.6 percent.”

    The fools! Don’t they know that investing in people is a waste of money, per the GOP?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=awltlM7DDUSY&refer=home

  47. Marcus Aurelius says:

    robertf:

    Amen.

  48. Marcus Aurelius says:

    CNBC Sucks Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:58 pm
    ______

    Amen to that, too.

  49. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Moss Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    “Does it really matter who had the ideas?”
    _______

    Of course it does. Does it matter who caused a car crash? Does it matter who is poisoning the well water?

    Ignorance is no way to avoid repeating bad history. The only one who should be asking your question is the one responsible.

  50. Greg0658 says:

    robertf .. I’m High5in ya too … but
    “we send them raw commodities and import finished goods and the capital to make up the difference. All this happened on Bush’s watch” later you add “the delusion begun under Reagan that you make the economy grow by shifting wealth and income” another High5 .. the foundations were setup in Reagon & Bush 1

    the butt is … Clintons good years were the shipping of factory infrastructure machinery around the world (ie China and others) … our GOP base figured we would bring the world up into our dream standard of living and we’d have a great ride of profits to dispense via Wall Street and truck depots

    enters .. dwindling spare cash via slow drain of middle class jobs on the homefront .. create housing buddle (MEW) to mask mistake … throw in that commodity of oil … here now

    ps – “we would bring the world up into our dream standard of living” coulda had world peace even … butt

  51. Greg0658 says:

    duh – “housing buddle” = housing bubble … saw it as I hit enter

  52. MexicaliBlues says:

    AT:

    Agreed on cnbc, it is a rare moment to get anything worthwhile out of tuning in. Probably a better contraindicator than anything. I remember in early Jan all the “pros” calling the bottom, “Nov was THE low” yada yada off to the races.

    It has been two weeks since I have watched cnbc and it is quite refreshing. Bloomberg is fine for me when I feel like tuning in, otherwise just the laptop. I just finally realized that all the hours spent tuned into the talking heads never put a dime in my accounts.

    If someone I really want to hear speak does a piece there I am sure I can find it here or on youtube.

  53. robertf says:

    Greg0658,

    I am not a huge fan of Clinton’s. He repealed the financial industry regulation that had prevented the kind of predation that brought on the current collapse. He pushed and signed NAFTA to allow Mexicans to compete for U.S. workers’ jobs. And he signed into law communications industry deregualtion that have given us the media oligopoly (essentially five companies) that we have today.

    But he did partially reverse the Reagan/Bush tax on the wealthiest and lowered taxes on the middle class. The result was the longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history. The economy added 22 million jobs (vs. 4 million for Bush II). And he paid down the suicidal deficits run up under Reagan and Bush I, handing over a surplus to Bush II.

  54. NovBear says:

    This cartoon needs to be superimposed on John McCain’s profoundly trivial twitter feed. http://twitter.com/SenJohnMcCain

  55. Mannwich says:

    This is well worth a read. After reading this, I fail to see how our financial system is much different fundamentally Iceland’s (bigger and more complicated, yes, but fundamentally very similar).

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/04/iceland200904?printable=true&currentPage=all

  56. moonmullins says:

    Robertf:

    You not only lack an understanding of economics, you also can’t read.

    I clearly stated that Bush & republicans share in the fiscal irresponsibility. Why you wasted all that time telling me what I’ve already said is beyond me. The difference between you liberal whackjobs and others of us like Barry Ritholtz and me, we recognize that both parties were guilty of reckless spending.

    But that’s not the issue here. The issue is how is Obama protecting the economy? He’s not. He’s adding to the problem, as have Pelosi, Reid & Co. The cartoon is flawed. The problem you have is not with me but with people in your own party. Just ask Evan Bayh. Just ask Russ Feingold. The problem is you have no answer for this so you attempt all these diversions. Read Evan Bayh’s editorial – he’s got it right, not you.

    BTW, George Bush didn’t pass the recklessly irresponsible Commpodity Futures Modernization Act which set in motion the un-regulated derivatives market – Clinton did. Bush didn’t repeal Glass-Steagal, Clinton did. Bush didn’t prevent the increased regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Barney Frank did. George Bush didn’t engage in corrupt, illegal accounting at Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines (former OMB director) did.

    BTW, to Clinton’s credit he passed NAFTA. You know nothing about economics.

  57. ben22 says:

    @robertf

    you start out by saying “the past 8 years…” and then use Madoff and Enron as examples. Yeah, I’m no historian but I’m pretty certain those were both going on under some Dem leadership as well right?

    anyway, I find all this politic arguing on here a laugh. people seem so intent on arguing with each other over the dumbest things like gay marriage or the top marginal tax rate or pork spending that it seems what is missed is the fact that they are all guilty of something.

  58. Ventura2012 says:

    My goodness this blog just shows what clowns the liberals are, they are so in denial now that their savior whom was supposed to resurect the economy has CRASHED the markets. These liberal clowns do not realize that with the policies of Greenspan under Clinton and Bush that the economy was about to implode, whichever party took over be it democrat or republican. An economy based upon based lending on ever increasing values is bound to implode. Do you think if Al Gore or John Kerry would have won the presidency they would have stepped into the fed and told them not to continue to create false wealth through inflation? These same clowns who continually try to blame bush are the fools whose portfolios I have been stealing from over the last 16 months. They had no clue the real cause of the mess and wanted to blame party affiliation, thank goodness for them, hopefully 2009 will bring me another 6 bagger in my accounts.

  59. skardin96 says:

    I see, the best solution to this economic mess is that we call in sick from work. Instead invest our time on spamming our congressional leaders/representatives requesting they all vote “NO” on any government spending….Oh wait… GOP already done it. We just need to convince democrats as well???

    Step back and reflect a little here. Obama is damn by GOP (anti-christ, soclaist etc) if he does something by spending and cursed if he doesn’t by the rest of the world. Frankly, put yourselves in his shoes, you would pick the latter as well. We are in a global economy and we lead in GDP…if we collapse by doing nothing, imagine what happens to the rest of the world?

  60. SaneInSF says:

    If we’re going to talk about who did what, it’s a moot argument unless externalities are considered. Had 9/11 not occurred, how would things be different? Would Greenspan have flooded the economy with cheap dollars? If he didn’t, would we be here today?

  61. Ventura2012 says:

    @Clown Robert

    “But he did partially reverse the Reagan/Bush tax on the wealthiest and lowered taxes on the middle class. The result was the longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history. The economy added 22 million jobs (vs. 4 million for Bush II). And he paid down the suicidal deficits run up under Reagan and Bush I, handing over a surplus to Bush II.”

    What part do you not understand that the “longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history” was all a bubble created by the fed that just happened to collapse under the Bush and now Obama presidency.

  62. Andy Tabbo says:

    @drey.

    You raise a good point. CNBC does deliver the best real time “contra-indications” ….you can almost feel euphoria and depression through the pixels….

    What I can say is that for day to day “pattern” type trading I don’t need a lot of “fade” signals….but at “bigger” moments and at more signficant “inflection points” it is important to get a feel from the monkeys on CNBC ….i.e. Pete Najarian practically foaming at the mouth about gold when it was trading 980′s as the most recent example, among many, many examples.

    To be honest, one of my fears about turning off the CNBC was the “Breaking News” from one of the Tools, either Liesman or Gasbagarino, where they come on and actually might give market moving leaks from the government….Bloomberg TV seems to be pretty quick with some of those releases….we’ll see how it goes…

    You raise an important point…..

  63. dps says:

    “Liberal Clowns … Liberal Whackjobs”?
    Sounds like a couple people need to relax, take deep breath and wait for Rush to tell them what to think.

  64. Marcus Aurelius says:

    SaneInSF Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Had 9/11 not occurred, how would things be different? Would Greenspan have flooded the economy with cheap dollars? If he didn’t, would we be here today?
    _____

    As 9/11 and Iraq were not related, the Bush/Cheney International Arms and Warfare Company (a subsidiary of Halliburton and in partnership with Blackwater) would have used Iraq’s continued non-compliance with UN resolutions to launch the war.

    Being that Greenspan kept rates too low far longer than he should have as a response to 9/11, it’s not an absurd assumption that he would have behaved the same way, regardless. If I’m not mistaken, Greenspan’s meetings at the Bush White House were 12X more frequent than those during the Clinton Administration.

  65. Paul S says:

    There’s nothing to argue about. It only took 25 years, but it has finally been proven beyond any and all doubt that Reaganomics was a failure, and that is was indeed “voodoo”.

  66. Marcus Aurelius says:

    “The difference between you liberal whackjobs and others of us like Barry Ritholtz and me, we recognize that both parties were guilty of reckless spending.”

    Most disingenuous, self-serving statement of the day. F-
    ___________

    “The issue is how is Obama protecting the economy? He’s not. He’s adding to the problem, as have Pelosi, Reid & Co.”

    Let me guess – you’d suggest tax cuts for the top 1%, or perhaps no action whatsoever?
    ___________

    Gramm, Leach, and Bililey were Republicans. This was a Republican Bill.

    Bush failed in his duty to uphold the law. Our current fiasco is not a product of legislation it’s a product of a refusal to uphold the law. It’s a failure of law enforcement, and that’s the DUTY of the Executive branch.

    The only thing Barney Frank did was to prohibit redlining in lending. If Freddie and Fannie are the cause of our woes, why are so many Prime and Option-Arm loans going teats-up as I write this?

    And then, there’s this:

    Goal: Increase Minority Homeowners by 5.5 Million in a Decade
    Posted by Barry Ritholtz on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | 10:00 AM
    in Politics | Taxes and Policy | UnScience

    Guess who’s goal this was? You might be surprised:

    “More and more people own their homes in America today. Two-thirds of all Americans own their homes, yet we have a problem here in America because few than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the home. That’s a home ownership gap.

    It’s a — it’s a gap that we’ve got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We’ve got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap.

I set an ambitious goal. It’s one that I believe we can achieve. It’s a clear goal, that by the end of this decade we’ll increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families . . .

    Home ownership is also an important part of our economic vitality. If — when we meet this project, this goal, according to our Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we will have added an additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new home owners in America; the activity — the economic activity stimulated with the additional purchasers, the additional buyers, the additional demand will be upwards of $256 billion. And that’s important because it will help people find work.”

    - George W. Bush, U.S. President, October 15, 2002 1:55 P.M.

    From the horse’s mouth.

  67. Marcus Aurelius says:

    ben22 Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    “. . . it seems what is missed is the fact that they are all guilty of something.”
    _______

    that’s precisely what the argument is about. All crimes are not equal, nor are all levels of guilt. Were that not the case, everyone ever adjudged guilty of anything would get the death penalty.

  68. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Ventura2012:

    I think we’d still have our Constitutional Republic had Gore been President.

  69. SaneInSF says:

    Marcus: “t’s not an absurd assumption that he would have behaved the same way, regardless. ”

    I’m not so sure about that. If 9/11 had not occurred, the support for an Iraq invasion would not have been there. just because Greenspan was meeting with Bush more than Clinton means nothing in this context. Did he meet with Bush 12x before 9/11 or after? Given that 9/11 occurred only 7-8 months into the Bush Administration, I think you’re trying to infer something without a solid basis.

  70. Andy Tabbo says:

    @mannwich

    Thanks for the link on the Icleand and VF article.

    AMAZING.

    You know a few years ago I was hanging out with “commodities” traders when the Yen carry trade was the talk of the town and NONE of us could understand the whole concept. We understood why it was happening, but we couldn’t understand the “end game.” As someone raised as a commodities trader, everything must be a ZERO sum type equation, and the whole Yen Carry trade thing NEVER made sense to us. We now understand, in hindsight, what was going on…..

    And so it goes…..

    That was a GREAT article.

    AT

  71. Andy Tabbo says:

    @Mannwich

    To the point of your post…

    The difference is that ALL the debts were denominated in Yen or mostly U.S. dollars. All the world borrowed Dollars or Yen to fund asset purchases in other currencies: Euro/Aussie/Loonie/Pound/Krona, etc.

    So, when all the World is trying to retire debt, it must buy U.S. Dollars and Yen. The world has obviously now “covered” all the Yen debts…but the U.S. based debts remain “oustanding.” The U.S. dollar is due for a pullback, but the debts clearly need to be repaid….still.

    When the U.S. Dollar finally collapses, it will be time to buy all assets again…..

  72. robertf says:

    Moonie Mullins:

    Notice your last post doesn’t use any data or logic. It simply repeats the screed you offered in your original post.

    Serial repetition of fallacies doesn’t make them more true, any more than serial repetition of lies makes them more true. Why not write when you have something provable to say?

  73. dunnage says:

    Only thing I care about is what they do with this stuff. And since they’re doing just enough to be worse than nothing, cartoons and food stamps seem to be highlites in a growing number of homes. If it were simply selfishness on the case of Wall Street I’d nod and grouse a bit; yet a profound and horrifying stupidity prevails. May I be wrong please, but this ignorance from the depths may truly bring even these, the mortgage manipulators, to a personel ruin befitting folks unwilling to be satisfied with satiated greed. The Undertow.

  74. robertf says:

    Ben22:

    There was no evidence of Enron improprieties before 2000. However, Enron was the single biggest contributor to GWBush’s 2000 election campaign. Dick Cheney himself intervened to divert justice department investigations and state inspector general investigations into their manipulation of markets.

    The Bush SEC had been warned repeatedly and explicitly, beginning in 2001, about Madoff”s ponzi scheme. It repeatedly chose to not investigate.

    So, no, those are not Democratic lapses. Sorry.

  75. robertf says:

    Ventura2012:

    You say, “What part do you not understand that the “longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history” was all a bubble created by the fed that just happened to collapse under the Bush and now Obama presidency.”

    First, the expansion was created by Clinton commiting to lowered deficits on the advice of Alan Greenspan. As a result of lower federal borrowing, long term interest rates declined 40% under Clinton. This enabled the greatest expansion of business investment in U.S. history. Much of this went into technology investments, including the building out of the Internet.

    As for the “collapse under Bush”, actually the 2001 recession was the mildest in post-war history. Technically, it wasn’t even a recession since it did not involve 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. The second and fourth quaters of 2001 GDP declined, but very mildly.

    Data are important, Ventura. More important than your daily brain download from Rush.

  76. Jojo99 says:

    It was all CNBC’s fault! Jon Stewart, pissed that Rick Santelli bailed on his guest appearance, took a hatchet to all of CNBC Wednesday evening. It was a beautiful thing!

  77. VennData says:

    So why is it that every other country in the world combines all types of banking, but repeal of Glass-Steagall only hurts the US?

    Could it be the anti-investor culture of Wall Street?

  78. rktbrkr says:

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if GE had to sell NBC to cover their GE Cap losses and a disgustingly libruuuul buyer took over. And sell at a loss!

  79. Ventura2012 says:

    @robert

    Greenspan and his advice were a real savior….wow their is one Greenspan kool-aid drinker still out their. Thank goodness for old Greenie and Gore’s wisdom to create the internet.

  80. ben22 says:

    @robertf

    Look, Enron was doing 10 bil in revenue in 1990 and 100 billion in rev by 2000, I suppose that all happened in 2000 and then the whole thing just blew up right? They were the biggest contributor to Bush, weren’t all the Wall Street firms last year some of the largest contributors to Obama. Nice try.

    I could care less about any political party so this is not an argument against dem’s but if you think that Enron was a clean company under Clinton, you sir, are blind.

  81. ben22 says:

    Oh, robert, one more thing.

    Bernard Madoff has been a staple on the street for decades. To hint that he started his Ponzi in 2001 and that you blame the president for this, is a joke.

    You are a prime example of how anyone leaning towards one extreme or another is blinded by what they think and totally ignores reality.

  82. ben22 says:

    and I have to follow up with one more, if you actually read what I first posted I didn’t blame Madoff or Enron at all Democrats but certainly your party played a role.

  83. jonbo in AR says:

    CNBC Sucks Says:

    >>>>>>>>
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:58 pm
    Everyone has missed the point on this post, both on the left and right of this blog. The debate in our country is not over regulation or nuclear power or prayer in school or torture or abortion or even spending. The whole right-left divide is over one issue: taxes on the rich. Watch how the Republicans’ answer for every problem is tax cuts. The Republicans don’t really care if you regulate their banks or build wind turbines or spend our money on birth control for black people or if we concede Taiwan now to China or if we fund anti-Christian art, as long as we keep the Bush tax cuts and maybe get a few more tax cuts.

    There are a dozen or so red states of Christians all beseeching Jesus to strike down Obama, who are doing so unknowingly to allow Larry Kudlow to not have to pay his taxes.

    It’s all a smokescreen. Our country is where it is at because Art Laffer has allowed Larry Kudlow to minimize his taxes for thirty years, and they don’t want to give that victory up. If you aren’t a multimillionaire already, you shouldn’t be a Republican.
    <<<<<<<

    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!!

  84. Greg0658 says:

    “we would bring the world up into our dream standard of living” coulda had world peace

    interesting thread .. I’m pondering the LosAlamos thing and China rising …. maybe .. I don’t know . don’t have all the data .. Clinton realized in the BP . the world needed a major chess player to spur growth and balance

  85. AJS says:

    Another bump for Michael Lewis’ article in Vanity Fair. It had me ROTFL how anyone can walk in a see the prime minister.

  86. Greg0658 says:

    and on the GE subthread – performed work in a plastics plant (Sabic now) and I read GE Capital is funding a nearby wind farm. I heard the 166 GE 1.5 megawatts wind turbines .. total to be planted was downsized .. smart move in this enviroment (I guess). On the plastics end I’m hearing soy based plastics is up and coming so I guess that was a good move .. moving out of that plant … but I’m noticing a trend in business (stick somebody else with your almost worthless crap). The businessman side of me wished I dumped my chemisty darkroom before the digital revolution, but I didn’t. Maybe it’ll make wall decor for a Craker Barrel or some homebrew startup.

    Thomas Edison is one of my heros. He was so cutting edge with inventions. I think GE still has that. I love many of their commercials too. If I only had a brain (scarecrow). 10-4 over and out said the tinman (heart).