This article will require a bit of thinking but -IMHO- is correct in it’s analysis. What we really face is a big time crisis in governance and ‘hope’ just will not get the job done.
An example is the ongoing concern about ‘entitlements’ when the real problem for ‘entitlements’ is the borrowing of Social Security funds for other than SS, the ongoing unwillingness to have a ‘single payer’ healthcare system, the ridiculous ‘Defense’ budget being held sacrosanct and which does nothing for ‘real’ growth (and does NOT make us ‘safer’) and the political class (yes, it IS a ‘class’) being ethically bankrupt and without moral courage.
Here are some quotes from the article but I hope others will read the whole article and take action.
"We stressed that this credit contraction had little to do with "globalization" as properly understood, and had no counter-part in history." —–and THAT is exactly why Obama’s economic team -especially the Goldman appointees- is so far off base in their actions.
"History Rhymes: More specifically, the contents of the figure will disturb those seeking to identify today’s US recession with earlier ones in 2001 or 1991 or 1981 or 1973 or even 1931. No such identification is possible since the three developments highlighted in the chart and their improbable synergies are different from anything we have seen before."
"The shift towards less consumption and more savings due to the implosion of household balance sheets and to demographics is most probably permanent. If so, this bodes poorly for hopes of a pent-updemand-driven recovery." —-are you listening Obama? Forget about getting ‘credit flowing’. All such will do is postpone the day of reckoning.
"In this regard, it is dismaying that, whereas we have now vented our anger at bankers and capped bonuses, we have not capped leverage. To be sure, there are calls for "improved bank capitalization" and related reforms, but the crucial role of excess leverage in bringing down the global financial system has not been properly recognized. Instead, excess "greed" has been the principal focus."
"Then again, from a game theoretic viewpoint, it may not be surprising that the role of leverage has been underplayed. For leverage is precisely what is required for financiers to reap those huge incomes needed to fund both political parties in Washington, not to mention those "blockbuster" exhibitions we all love so much at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Stay tuned for Loophole Analysis 101."
"Policies aimed at augmenting real growth are arguably the more important here. This is because more rapid growth not only reduces the Debt ratio, but also causes swelling tax revenues which can help to reduce the deficit each year. That is, stronger growth drives both the numerator and the denominator in the right directions.
"This reality underscores why "It’s the real growth rate" must become the mantra of recoveries not only in the US, but almost everywhere else as well. Note that this "strong growth" mantra is a far cry from the Obama administration’s counsel to the world at the recent G-7 conference: "Stimulate everywhere by running higher deficits!"
"How can democracy save itself from itself? How can people be made to realize that a reform of governance is what is now most needed, more so even than a reform of Wall Street? And even in the financial sector, it is increasingly clear that regulatory lapses in Washington were more responsible than "greed" for what has happened. Messrs. Rubin, Summers, and Greenspan actively encouraged the most pernicious of the deregulatory policies that brought down the system."