Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speaking of Responsibility

First Mr. Greenspan discovers that there is greed messing up his perfect little free-market view of the economy. And now we're supposed to feel sorry for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who has to clean up this big ol' economic mess that has been foisted upon him.

From today's Washington Post:
In reflecting on his term, which comes to an end in January, Paulson said his biggest regret was not seeing the extent of the financial crisis as it developed. ... "We were always behind. We saw the problem, but it took us a while to see the severity of the problem," he said. "But even if we had been more clairvoyant, we wouldn't have been able to do much differently that what we have done."
Well, excuse me, but boo-hoo.

As Dean Baker points out:

The point is extremely simple. There was a huge housing bubble that should have been visible to any competent economic analyst. The bubble was fueled by an enormous chain of highly leveraged finance. (As head of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Paulson personally made hundreds of millions of dollars from this bubble.)

It was entirely predictable that the housing bubble would burst and that its collapse would have a huge impact on the financial system and the economy as a whole. There is zero excuse for Paulson being caught by surprise by a "storm" that he helped create.
Can't put it much more succinctly than that. Not only does Paulson personally and professionally bear responsibility for creating the situation in the first place, he has also been in a position to do something about it for some two-and-a-half years. Now we're supposed to believe this all came as a surprise to him?

Here's a hint, Henry: If you want to see where this economic crisis came from, or maybe see some of Mr. Greenspan's newly-discovered greed, just look in a mirror.

I am so ready for this pack of rats to be run out of town. Even if the next bunch is bad (and I don't see how they can be nearly as bad), it will at least be fresh rats. Oy.

1 comment:

Sue said...

So, the buck stops... where, exactly? Does anybody accept responsibility for anything anymore? Has "I'm sorry; I was wrong" been expunged from our cultural vocabulary?

I'm sick of the Bush/Cheney et al rats, but I'm increasingly sick of our society in general. Few manners, little compassion, and no acceptance of one's own shortcomings. Successful people always find others to blame, right?

Oy, oy, oy!