Thursday, June 25, 2009

Meltdown humor

In Meltdown, Tom Woods accomplishes two things no other author I know of has done. One, he's correctly assessed the primary and secondary causes of the current financial debacle (the Fed's cheap credit being primary, the cheap credit feeding a spending orgy, especially in the mortgage and home building markets, as secondary). And two, he explains the follies of the last several years with a healthy dose of humor. On page 40, for example, he says
The Fed's bailout of AIG was, in the words of the New York Times, "the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history." The Fed would lend AIG $85 billion in exchange for 80 percent of the company. Congress, as usual, was not consulted. Meanwhile, social studies teachers across the country continued to report for work to detail how a bill becomes a law, how the will of the people is the guiding principle of the U.S. government, and how the public good motivates their government officials.
Treating stats in this manner keep the eyes from glazing over.

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