The common theme from the media, the economists, and the government they serve is the failure of the Free Market. According to them, both the Obama and Bush administrations and both parties in Congress, more regulation, more interventionism, more spending and more debt will solve the crisis. Yet, the very people who caused the mess and were clueless to the approaching doom are the new found savants who will lead us out of it. As usual, ignoring government failure, they blame everyone but the government and use the crisis to justify more governmental power. The experts not only have given the wrong answers but are also asking the wrong questions.
The Free Market or Capitalism did not cause this crisis; government interventionism did. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two government sponsored enterprises or GSEs, receiving government tax and regulatory breaks, drew more resources into the housing market then would have been possible in a free market. Hypocritically, the Republicans have attacked the Democrats’ record on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, but their record on spending, debt, and government interventionism is just as shameful. Both parties have supported the bailouts; both parties attack the Free Market, one more honestly, the other more hypocritically. Those claiming to support the Free Market fail to grasp the real problem, attacking specific programs such as The Community Reinvestment Act, they ignore the cause.
Nobody in Washington and few elsewhere dare to question the single greatest intervention in the Free Market and the entity that has left its mark all over this crisis: the American Central Bank, known as the Federal Reserve System. When experts do bring up the Fed, they ask how it will cure the crisis, but never how it has caused the crisis. After stiff opposition to the bailout, President Bush addressed the nation on 24 September 2008. Addressing the “root causes,” he briefly mentioned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but said nothing about government interventionism or the central bank. In American political life, one rule is to never mention the inflationary monetary policies of the Fed or how it causes the boom – bust business cycles. President Bush following the rule, said nothing about the Fed.
Weeks later, Mike Shedlock said, when President Bush called for an economic summit, that “In response to the credit crises, President Bush is gathering up all the people who did not see what was coming, denied what was happening, and then failed to see the implication of what was indeed happening.” Bush then spoke of the need to “preserve the foundation of democratic capitalism,” in other words: more government intervention in the Free Market.
Of the world leaders who were also invited, French president and European Commission president offered his wisdom in calling for targeting offshore tax havens, strengthening the IMF, limiting executive pay, and other irrelevant suggestions. But it is an increase in government power, always what a politician likes to do. As usual, he failed to mention the 1 percent interests rates, which caused the unsustainable growth in the world economies. In October 2008 the editor-in-chief of Slate Group which publishes Slate, a popular website, announced the death of libertarianism because the financial crisis proved what a mess “unregulated markets” could cause. Did he mention the Fed or its destructive behavior on the Free Market? No, of course not. Better to attack economic freedom and support government growth.
The few who have warned against the coming crisis and have spoken out against the Fed, such as Jim Rogers, Peter Schiff, and James Grant are conspicuously absent from the government list of advisors. Is it because they broke the taboo? Rogers, when asked what he would do if appointed as Federal Reserve Chairman, said he would abolish the Fed and resign. Other “experts” laughed at Peter Schiff when he warned of the coming disaster. So, whom did Bush and Obama pick to advise them? The very same people who failed to predict the crises.
So now they’re listening to the new (or old?) experts to get us out of the crisis.
We are in trouble.
Inspired by Meltdown by Tom Woods