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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A correction is supposed to correct mistakes

David Einhorn, one of the few people to make money in the crash of sub-prime debt:

“The financial reform on the table is analogous to our response to airline terrorism by frisking grandma and taking away everyone’s shampoo. It gives the appearance of ‘doing something’ and adds to our bureaucracy without really making anything safer.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that even bankruptcy can be a good thing. “Household Debt Can Hasten Recovery…when it goes unpaid,” says a headline.

The whole idea of a correction is to wash out mistakes. If people can pay their debts down, the mistakes are corrected. The system is strengthened. If they can’t, the process of correction can happen faster. Bad debts are written off quickly. Then, a real recovery can begin. Either way, the system comes back in better shape.

Too bad the feds are getting in the way!

A decent correction should carry off those who made the biggest mistakes – in the present case, the firms on Wall Street that wagered billions on a bigger and bigger bubble. But instead of letting them go broke, the feds rewarded them.

Wall Street profits are a ‘gift’ from the state, says George Soros.

But wait, what kind of gift is this? If you give $100 to your neighbor, that’s a gift. But what if you tax your neighbor on the left $100 in order to give the money to your neighbor on the right? That’s a gift too…but of a special kind. You’re ‘redistributing the wealth,’ you might say.

And what if you do a quantitative easing? You know, you print up a $100 bill and give it to your neighbor? That’s a gift too.

Yeah, thanks a lot.

Meanwhile, the recession is said to have come to an end in the US. GDP growth is positive, say the papers. But if this is a recovery, let’s hope it comes to an end soon.

Existing house prices continued to fall in September.

Unemployment continued to worsen. “Signs of recovery don’t extend to jobs,” says the WSJ.
-- from "Economic Correction Disease" by Bill Bonner

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