Apr 30, 2009

Henry Morganthau on the New Deal spending binge

We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…..I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot!

~ FDR's Treasury secretary and close friend, Henry Morganthau, 1939

Apr 29, 2009

Jim Rogers on the government's ability to fix the economic crisis

[T]he government can't fix the crisis. Everything the government's tried for the past two years has been wrong. That's why the crisis continues. The idea that you can solve a problem of too much debt and too much consumption with more debt and more consumption is ludicrous on its face. What they should have done is just let everybody go bankrupt, let the bankruptcy courts reorganize everything. The Japanese tried this approach of propping up zombie banks and zombie companies; it did not work. And it's not going to work in America either.

~ Jim Rogers, "Q&A: Investment Guru Jim Rogers," Time, April 28, 2009, by Tim Morrison

BofA's Ken Lewis named 2008 Banker of the Year

Despite one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression, 22 bank failures and a $700 billion government bailout, the American Banker -- a daily chronicle of the industry -- was expected to proceed with its annual ritual at a black-tie celebration on Thursday night in New York.

The publication named Bank of America Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis as Banker of the Year, for the second time in six years. If anyone deserved the award, it is Mr. Lewis. Bank of America, of Charlotte, N.C., is one of the year's survivors, and Mr. Lewis rescued two big firms -- California mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. and New York securities firm Merrill Lynch & Co. -- from collapse.

Still, some shareholders and even banking executives are asking, why name a laureate at all this year?

A new Gallup poll shows only 23% of the public views bankers positively, a record low.

The financial crisis hasn't been kind to some past honorees. Kerry Killinger, the 2001 winner, was ousted as CEO of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc. in September over disastrous bets on risky mortgages. The 2005 winner, Ken Thompson, was forced out as CEO of Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp. in June. In 2006, American Banker gave a Lifetime Achievement award to Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, who gambled on subprime loans and saw his company disintegrating before selling out to Bank of America. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. acquired WaMu in September, and Wells Fargo & Co. is buying Wachovia.

~ The Wall Street Journal, "Believe It or Not, There's a Banker of the Year," December 5, 2008, by Dan Fitzpatrick

Apr 28, 2009

Cato Senior Fellow advocates inflation as economic cure

Recent massive injections of bank reserves by the Fed are probably intended to reverse expectations of price declines. Under current conditions, slightly higher inflation and inflationary expectations could be the very balm essential for pulling the economy out of recession. Of course, it remains true that the Fed must later ensure that demand-driven inflation does not spin out of control. But that's a balancing act for the future, the need for which would not arise unless the economy recovers. Currently, price increase expectations appear to be a precondition rather than a hindrance to achieving an economic recovery.

~ Jagadeesh Gokhale, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, "Inflation at Cato," LewRockwell.com Blog, April 27, 2009, by David Gordon

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Apr 27, 2009

Walter Block on charity vs. welfare

[T]here are those who view charity as a blessed state, and consider contributions a moral obligation. Such people would make charity compulsory, if they could. If, however, an act is made compulsory, it is not charity, for charity is defined as voluntary giving. If an individual is forced to give, he is not a contributor to charity, he is the victim of a robbery.

~ Walter Block, Defending the Undefendable, p. 124

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Apr 19, 2009

Anonymous woman on dating prospects

Finding a good man is like finding a parking place; the only available ones are handicapped.

~ Anonymous woman

Apr 13, 2009

Thomas Paine on value of freedom

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

~ Thomas Paine

Apr 11, 2009

Sheldon Richman on trust, freedom, and power

How, if we can't trust people with freedom, can we trust them with power?

~ Sheldon Richman

Will Rogers on government

Thank goodness we don't get all the government we pay for.

~ Will Rogers