Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fear And Ballast

No One Could Have Forseen

Soup Line; Margaret Bourke-White, 1937

On June 9, 2005, then-Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan (appointed to the Fed Chair by Ronald Rayguns in 1987, holding that position for nearly 20 years) appeared before the Congressional Joint Economic committee to deliver what, in retrospect, was testimony dipped in irony and about to be deep-fried by events.
... a "bubble" in home prices for the nation as a whole does not appear likely, there do appear to be, at a minimum, signs of froth in some local markets where home prices seem to have risen to unsustainable levels... Although we certainly cannot rule out home price declines, especially in some local markets, these declines, were they to occur, likely would not have substantial macroeconomic implications.
But too, also, of course, no one could have forseen what was about to happen. Just one of those things.
Toot, Toot.  Hey; It's Only Money.

In December, 2009, financial writer for BusinessWeek David Rosenburg noted in an article, "Why 2010 Looks So Dicey" that
The defining characteristic of this asset and credit collapse has been the implosion of the largest balance sheet in the world: the U.S. household sector. Even with the equities rally and the tenuous recovery in housing in 2009, the reality remains that household net worth has contracted nearly 20% over the past year and a half.

That's an epic $12 trillion of lost net worth [italics added], a degree of trauma never seen before. As households assess the damage, the impact of this shocking loss of wealth on spending patterns is likely to be enormous.

[Q]uestions of basic economic justice, and war and peace... [have] moved so far right that we have a political discourse which would have been largely unrecognizable a generation ago. The first step toward changing that situation is recognizing it for what it is.
-- Paul Campos, 'Single-Wing Politics', (Via Whiskeyfire)
Lawyers, Guns and Money; February 12, 2011

"Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story ... Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."
-- Matt Tabibi, 'Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail?'
Rolling Stone, March 3, 2011 Issue
Alan Greenspan: Money Printing Didn’t Work
 Greenspan Knighted By "Lil' Boots" For Enriching The Carlyle Group Service To America

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