Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Wages Of Mendacity Is....

zero credibility when it's most needed:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Sunday repeated comments that a strong dollar was in the U.S. interest and expressed confidence that financial markets would recover from their current turmoil. ...

Paulson said the Bush administration continued to believe that "long-term economic strength is going to be reflected in the dollar."

Look, you cannot preside over an ongoing devaluation and continue to spew this nonsense month after month, year after year. Before the extraordinary events of last week (more on that soon) Paulson's credibility had been seriously damaged. As I argued -- realistically or not -- in this post a few months ago, he should have been gone already. Now, in the teeth of a crisis, we have an embattled Fed chairman and a discredited Treasury topper whose one-liners prompt belly laughs from forex traders just before they short some more greenbacks. Brilliant.

14 Comments:

Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Paulson is a Wall Street guy? Has he sold his soul to the devil to work for Bush? And for why? He's quickly becoming more than just a laughing stock.

3/16/2008 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, experts are expecting Helicopter Ben to drop rates another 3/4 point (if not a whole point) this week, further reducing the dollar's value to toilet paper. This being due to depressing consumer sentiment but "tame inflation". Yeah right...anyone checked the supermarket or the gas station last week?

3/16/2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early in the Bush administration I tried very hard to listen to, read, and otherwise "internalize" his appointees' statements as though they were well-reasoned and based on reality.

Until the headaches started. Now I'm in total agreement with the comedian Lewis Black: "One of us is crazy, and for the first time in my life, it's not me."

3/16/2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger LFC said...

It doesn't matter what Paulson's background or abilities are. He now works for the Bush administration. That means he must check his conscience at the door and follow the orders of a handful of nitwits.

Talented people have just two paths in this administration; shut up and do as you're told or don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

3/16/2008 4:11 PM  
Anonymous I Can't Believe It's Not a Recession said...

More on the Inflation Watch from the L.A. Times:

The wholesale cost of wheat (50 lb. bags) has risen from $12 a year ago to its current cost of $27and is projected to rise to $60 within the next three months.

Article entitled: "Our Daily Bread? It's Costing More"
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-fi-bread16mar16,1,6138796.story

From a letter to the Business section of today's L.A. Times:

- Gasoline is up 27%, auto maintenance 26%, bank fees 25%, trash fees up 10%; water 7%; electricity 11%; unified school tax (added to property tax bill) up 26%; sanitation up 6%; home gas bill up 17%.

Lastly, from articles featured in last week's Business Section on the high cost of living:

- Gas for home heating goes from $8 a month to $40 a month

- How to cook and prepare meals from the 99 Cents Only store

3/16/2008 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching Bush's speech to the Economic Club on Friday, I felt that historians in the future would point to it as defining the idiocy of the Bush presidency. I can't remember Bush ever being quite so arrogant about his stupidity.

Not being a financial person, I'd like to hear CR's view about the Federal Reserve taking worthless collateral for a "loan." Doesn't sound right to me. And why do the taxpayers have to prop up Bear Sterns because it made bad investment decisions?

3/16/2008 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Dear Leader, who has an MBA, made a speech the other day, and he said that the American economy is resilient, or rubbery, or something. Surely that appearance can only inspire confidence, right?
-- sglover

3/16/2008 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Jackofalltirades said...

On the PBS financial show the other night, Bush was attempting to hold court and talk about the rising cost of gas. Of course, he had to add the throw-away line "but then again, I'm just a simple president."

No truer words were ever spoken.

3/16/2008 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After CR posted, the news came out that Bear Stearns is worthless.

I'm interested in CR's opinion about the latest press release from the Federal Reserve:

...Credit extended to primary dealers under this facility may be collateralized by a broad range of investment-grade debt securities. The interest rate charged on such credit will be the same as the primary credit rate, or discount rate, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Does this mean that the banks are going to foist worthless collateral on the taxpayers?

3/16/2008 9:39 PM  
Anonymous NeilS said...

Abuse Paulsen and Bernanke if you like, but remember, the blame lies with the Bush administration and Congress.

They decided that huge deficits and trade imbalances were ok, (or at least the inevitable crisis would come after they were out of office).

It was willlful neglect.

And yes, I think that the previous comment is correct. Taxpayers have guaranteed Morgan Stanley's purchase of Bear Stearns assests, and thus saved stockholders and management. In short, the US has just bought a load of BS.

3/17/2008 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have an embattled Fed chairman and a discredited Treasury topper whose one-liners prompt belly laughs from forex traders just before they short some more greenbacks

Well let's be fair it's not entirely his fault. Benji, like every other banker, believed all those happy tales about free trade and outsourcing being good for everyone, wages and employment being strong, tax cuts trickle down for eveyone's benefit.

They forgot that those were convienent lies to cover up what the actual results of these policies would be.

3/17/2008 1:21 PM  
Blogger LFC said...

Bushco created a false sense of a good economy through a toxic combination of out of control gov't spending (and borrowing), tax cuts we couldn't afford, ridiculously low rates (req'd for the housing bubble), 0% down FHA mortgages, complete failure to regulate mortgages and markets (the SEC is a joke), and continual devaluing of the U.S. dollar. Glad Bush has an MBA.

And so Tinkle Down Economics fails miserably once again. Who was the last GOP President whose economic views didn't end up adding ever increasing amounts of debt? Can we get a reality check from die-hard supply-siders now that indeed their theories have never worked in this country without enormous amounts of borrowing?

3/17/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel a Bush, "Heck of a job Brownie" coming on, and maybe some Presidential Medal's, and executive compensation bonus awards. Yippy!

3/17/2008 1:43 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Wow...finally you guys get it. LOL...you are even more cynical than me now.

3/19/2008 12:29 PM  

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