Monday, February 09, 2009

How to Look Stoopid

Five CNBC anchors, not a brain among them or in sum, interview the two hottest ticket economic thinkers around -- people Michael Dell and Bill Gates stood in line to hear in Davos -- and don't let them complete a single thought.
BTW, here's my own prediction about the recession: it will be at least as deep as the '81 recession and will last at least four years. (In Britain, a senior minister, the unfortunately-named Ed Balls, says this may be the worst recession in 100 years. And he's right that this mess resembles the Panic of 1907, especially in the role of Wall Street and commodities speculators.). Consider this. The entire Harper government stimulus plan involves a spending deficit of about $40 billion a year. That was a normal deficit during the Mulroney years.
As well, nothing is being done to address the dismantling of Canadian industry. Last year, because of the Harper government's high dollar policy, the last Canadian snow blower maker went out of business. Now you can't buy a snowblower in Canada for love or money. When the rest of Canada's industry is gone, all we'll have is commodities, leaving us in a perpetual boom and bust cycle. Yet, in this stimulus package there's lots of money for government construction and all the graft that goes with it, and very little else.
I don't think government spending, especially the type that Obama and Harper are doing, will save us from a deep and long recession and a lousy recovery. Changing government policy by weeding out bad banks and bankers and toughening securities law enforcement would help. So would an effective innovation and investment bank, similar to the Business Development Bank of Canada, except without the bureaucracy and patronage.

UPDATE


Stuck at home sick today (Tuesday). What's with CBC Newsworld? Do they think this is a nation of morons? Why do they talk like they're explaining quantum physics to a six-year old? And what's up with Colleen Jones? Could anyone be more insipid? Right now, she's backtracking on an earlier announcement that Ottawa schools are closed today. They're not. Ooooooopsie-woooooopsie.

2 comments:

Fabr said...

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Anonymous said...

More money is probably spent by cable networks on their studios, on-screen graphical "crawls" and vapid meat puppetry rather than on good journalists who i) can actually count and understand economic concepts; and ii) understand the global complexity that Nouriel Roubini is describing.

In order to fill the 12 hour cable news cycle, networks have turned to nice-looking know-nothings with mouths full of ideological vitriol. Pundits, Republican Strategists, Democratic Strategists, Political Commentators, Analysts, Bigots and Idiots are all welcome on the boob tube.

The problem is that this stupidity is taking the place of hard news. Oh well. Neil Postman figured we would all amuse ourselves to death eventually.