Bernanke's Reappointment
One Big Herbert Hoover...

links for 2009-08-25

  • BURGESS, ALAN (chron.): They Killed Heydrich, (ar) The Saturday Evening Post Jun 18, Jun 25 19
  • Another term for Bernanke was hardly a given. Obama has built a team of economic advisers with high profiles and strong personalities, including Summers and Christina Romer, a top Obama economic adviser. Others mentioned included Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Roger Ferguson, the former No. 2 Fed official. In the end, Obama's team decided that Bernanke — like the banks he tried to save — was too big to fail.
  • resident Barack Obama will announce Tuesday that he is nominating Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said...
  • Perhaps worst of all, the Report notes that many of the detainees who were subjected to this treatment were so treated due to "assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence" -- meaning there was no real reason to think they had done anything wrong whatsoever.  As has been known for quite some time, many of the people who were tortured by the United States were completely innocent -- guilty of absolutely nothing.
  • For starters, the Post showed exceptionally poor judgment by choosing to publish the authors of this op-ed, right-wing attorneys David Rivkin and Lee Casey. The same duo labeled Amnesty International “un-American” after it criticized widespread human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, and they recently claimed that Bush-era DOJ memos authorizing the use of torture “prove we didn’t torture.”  Rivkin once claimed that President Bush had unilateral authority to use weapons of mass destruction on Russia.
  • he debt is manageable, though of course long-run structural budget issues will eventually have to be addressed. The other thing to point out is that increased deficit expectations are largely about reduced revenue expectations, thanks to a weak economic outlook. This means that if the growth outlook improves then the deficit forecast will improve as well. It also means that if budget balancing measures exert a contractionary force on a vulnerable economy and lead to even weaker economic conditions, then they won't be of much help in reducing the size of future deficits. Those actually concerned about government finances should be supportive of current deficits and should focus on ways to resolve long-run budget issues.
  • The government essentially bet that markets were beset by panic, and that once fear subsided banks would find themselves in better conditions and healthy enough to earn their way out of insolvency. At this point, even AIG is telling the government it will eventually be able to repay its assistance. This doesn't mean that the government couldn't have crafted a better solution to the crisis, but it does suggest that those bemoaning the high cost of the bail-out and basing their estimates on worst case scenarios involving no repayments were way, way off base.
  • I'm more interested in this idea that we shouldn't make large social investments until we're out of recession. First, we probably are out of recession. Second, health-care reform is scheduled to begin in 2013, by which time we will almost certainly be out of recession.... Lieberman might be uncommonly pessimistic about our prospects for growth, but that would imply support for health-care reform, as it will pump a trillion dollars into the economy and thus stimulate demand. Third, the costs of reform largely manifest in the later years of the decade, namely 2015-2019.... There is... no connection between whether GDP growth is slightly negative in the third quarter of 2009 and whether we should spend money between 2013 and 2019 building a universal health-care system. When [Lieberman says] we shouldn't do health-care reform because of the recession, [he is] saying something about their preferred approach to health-care reform, not to recessions.
  • For 35 years Manley had a thriving health clinic in Kansas.... In the late 1980s... trouble with his own health... involuntary muscle movements... difficulty swallowing. Fellow doctors failed to diagnose him.... [H]is lack of motor control interfered with his work to the degree that he was forced to give up his practice. He fell instantly into a catch 22 that he had earlier seen entrap many of his own patients: no work, no health insurance, no treatment. He remained uninsured and largely untreated for his progressively severe condition for the following 11 years. Blood tests that could have diagnosed him correctly were not done because he couldn't afford the $200...
  • "Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht Anders tun. Gott hilfe mir. Amen."
  • Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking