February 2, 2009

They Knew It All Along

Jack Risko quotes Business Week about the new conventional wisdom at Davos.

1. Everyone stupidly failed to see the financial calamity coming except roughly four economists who now must be heeded in everything they say and all they predict.

Ouch. I thought the shoe would drop at some point, but didn't expect it in 2008. I made decisions on the basis that the establishment had the minimal competence to duct-tape together a decent election-year economy.

I'm pretty sure that some economists who were correct last year have been wrong for many prior years. Hopefully sooner rather than later, the pessimists will go back to being wrong. That is not to say that their views are without merit.

Speaking of wrong economists, Alan Greenspan was just about the only major culprit with the intellectual integrity to admit he was mistaken. I wish he would resume speaking out. His thoughts have value and the derision they would attract would be appropriate penance.

2. The private sector has ruined the global economy and can no longer be trusted. 3. Government is ascendant, with regulation closest to godliness.

I don't mean to shug off a dangerous and inexcusable situation, but it remains true that risk is a cost of progress.

IMHO the people who are shocked shocked to discover they can't trust the private sector have, in fact, never had much good to say about it. Since we can't trust the private sector, apparently it follows that we should trust the government.

Regulation keeps us brutish greedy peasants to a semblance of civilized behavior. Regulation is not intended to waste the invaluable time of the extremely busy idealists who serve as regulators. (/sarc)

4. These conclusions are correct and will stand the test of time…

Per Jack, my fear is that these conclusions are incorrect but will stand the test of time.

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