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In the last week I have seen two diaries screaming that Krugman admitted that Geithner was right, apparently seeking to score points.  Paul Krugman recently reviewed Geithner's book.  It's an excellent review and I learned a lot from it.  But he is quite critical of Geithner's policies in that review.

Paul Krugman,  Does He Pass the Test? (Review of Geithner's Book)

First, the two diaries I saw were literally correct in that Krugman admitted he was wrong about nationalization of banks and Geithner was correct.   I admire intellectual honesty and Krugman showed it here:

Finally, there was Geithner’s position, which was that despite its scale the financial crisis should be treated more or less as an ordinary lender-of-last-resort problem—that temporary nationalization would hurt confidence and was unnecessary, that once the panic subsided banks would be OK. A principal part of Geithner’s argument against nationalization was the belief that a “stress test” of banks would show them to be in fairly decent shape, and that publishing the results of such a test would, in conjunction with promises to shore up banks when necessary, end the crisis. And so it proved. He was right; I was wrong; and the triumph of the stress test gave him the title for his book.
Paul Krugman,  Does He Pass the Test? (Review of Geithner's Book)

But to focus only on that is to miss the entire point of the review, which is that Geithner misread the entire situation, treating it only as a financial crisis, when in reality something deeper was going on:  

Quite early on, two somewhat different stories emerged about the economic crisis. One story, which Geithner clearly preferred, saw it mainly as a financial panic—a supersized version of a classic bank run. And there certainly was a very frightening panic in 2008–2009. But the alternative story, which has grown more persuasive as the economy remains weak, sees the financial panic, while dangerous in its own right, as a symptom of something broader and deeper—mainly a large overhang of private debt, in particular household debt.

What’s the difference? A financial panic is above all about confidence, or rather the lack thereof, and the overriding task of policy is to restore confidence. And one way to think about policy in the crisis is to say that people like Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke dealt forcefully and effectively with the urgent task of restoring confidence in the financial system.

But confidence in itself is not enough to deal with the broader consequences of a debt overhang. That takes policies that go well beyond saving financial institutions—policies like sustained fiscal stimulus and debt relief for families. Unfortunately, such policies were never forthcoming on a remotely adequate scale, which is why true recovery has remained so elusive. And although Geithner denies it, one contributing factor to the inadequacy of policy was surely the fact that he seemed uninterested in, and maybe even hostile to, the policies we needed after the panic subsided.

snip

But a funny thing happened next: banks and markets recovered, but the real economy, and the job market in particular, didn’t.

Paul Krugman,  Does He Pass the Test? (Review of Geithner's Book)

Krugman's conclusion:

Or to use one of the medical metaphors Geithner likes, we can think of the economy as a patient who was rushed to the emergency room with a life-threatening condition. Thanks to the urgent efforts of the doctors present, the patient’s life was saved. But while the doctors kept him alive, they failed to cure his underlying illness, so he emerged from the procedure partly crippled, and never fully recovered.
Paul Krugman,  Does He Pass the Test? (Review of Geithner's Book)

Cherry picking one point obscures the actual article Krugman wrote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree that he left the system hobbled... (9+ / 0-)

    ... but Geithner wasn't really in charge of stimulus policies.  Bernanke did what he thought best which was feed the pig and expect it to shit out jobs... hasn't worked to well unless you count retirement accounts (which many have).  Reid & Co. bear most of the blame in my opinion.  How many times did you hear Harry say that they got as much as they could?  

  •  And, I think that Krugman might agree (23+ / 0-)

    that one of the underlying causes of the "disease" was the growth of inequality, a phenomenon which has contributed to the lack of resilience in the economy (and, for which, Geithner apparently does not care).   To continue the medical metaphor, think of a patient with a history of high blood pressure rushed to emergency for a heart attack.  He (or she)  is stabilized and released, but nothing is done to reduce the HBP.  Just how long before that patient ends up back in emergency?

  •  I hate the way we're reviewing the response... (14+ / 0-)

    to the recession like 12-year-old Twilight fans.

    Are you Team Krugman or Team Geithner? Derp.

    Krugman does a good job rising above this and actually talking about the policy and history in a serious manner, even when it means conceding the opposition's merits. We should try to emulate him.

    There are more important things to talk about then whether those people we totally hate in the DKos comments threads have been totally pwned.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:16:40 AM PDT

    •  I agree. There should not be teams. (7+ / 0-)

      No doubt Geithner could respond to Krugman, and it would be worth reading.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:24:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We had a once/generation opportunity in 2009 (35+ / 0-)

        We had the SOB's on the other side on the run.  Obama won biggest victory by Dem in 44 years, and he had huge majorities in both houses.  Alan Greenspan, the intellectual godfather of laissez faire, was openly conceding error:

        But on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

        “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

        Now 82, Mr. Greenspan came in for one of the harshest grillings of his life, as Democratic lawmakers asked him time and again whether he had been wrong, why he had been wrong and whether he was sorry.

        That opportunity was squandered.  The Stim (as Krugman, Stiglitz, and others noted at the time) was too small and too heavily tilted towards tax cuts.  Little was done to help underwater homeowners.  Bankruptcy reform died in a Senate filibuster.  Financial crimes were barely investigated, much less prosecuted.

        Today, U6 is 12.2%.  It hasn't been in single digits in 6 years, there are no proposals (much less enacted policies) to do much about it.  Wall Street is more powerful than ever.

        The issue isn't "teams."  The issue is that the Reagan ethos still dominates the FDR ethos, and it will be a long time before we get another chance to do much about it.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, it was a lost opportunity. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth, Jim P, Eric Nelson, dclawyer06

          With the country in crisis, there was a chance for a deep change in consciousness and polices.  

          I am far less critical overall of the Obama administration than you are, but we agree on that.

          You and I wanted a New, New Deal.   I think we got some good things, but we did not get a New, New Deal.

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:42:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed, but I don't know about "huge majorities" (7+ / 0-)

          Obama's majorities were significantly smaller than the ones Jimmy Carter had in 1977 and the one Kennedy had in 1961.  They didn't have a whole lot of success getting their agenda passed either.

          "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

          by puakev on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:04:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the difference was the weakness (7+ / 0-)

            of the Republican party.

            In 2008, the Republicans were reeling, divided and discredited by eight years of Bush. Moreover, the demographics favored the Democrats. The older, more conservative white voters that formed the core of the Republican coalition were dwindling, and the demographics that were increasing--Hispanics, Asians--leaned increasingly Democratic. More young people and more women were voting than ever before. The GOP hadn't been in such disarray since 1932 when FDR swept into the White House.

            Had Obama and the Democrats tried just a little harder, they would have easily cemented that coalition and held Congress in 2010. Instead they spent a year and half bargaining away the public option, and excusing their capitulation by claiming that tiny mobs of angry lunatics being bused into town halls by insurance companies were a popular movement that deserved to be listened too.

            Besides that, they did very little for their base. This was what allowed the GOP an opening in the low-turnout midterm election.

            Obama spent the two years between 2010 and 2012 pushing austerity politics in futile search of his Grand Bargain and more or less ignoring his base. Even so, he still comfortably won reelection and turnout was high enough to help the Democrats make gains in the House and the Senate. Imagine what the results would have been if he had actually tried to advance a Democratic agenda instead of trying to compromise with the GOP.

            Obama has given hostages to the Republicans from the beginning, since he stepped down the stimulus instead of going for the trillion-dollar-plus stimulus that Krugman and others were calling for. If he had done even just a little more, the voters that came out for him so enthusiastically in 2008 would've stayed with the Democrats in 2010 and 2012 and the Republicans would be wandering in the political wilderness.

            That they aren't is largely due to the political malpractice of the Democrats.

            "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

            by limpidglass on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:25:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Trying harder (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PsychoSavannah, FG, TomP, mcstowy, Nowhere Man

              would not have convinced Republicans to cease unanimous opposition to Obama.  This is where the FDR analogy fails.  When the first piece of New Deal legislation, the Emergency Banking Act, came up for a vote, it passed on a voice vote in the House, before printed copies were even available.  

              Or to put it another way, one Republican Senator, Arthur Clapper of Kansas, said at the time:  

              “I am for giving the President whatever he wants in the way of power.” (Smith, FDR, 315)
              By contrast, Republicans were already plotting to stonewall Obama's agenda on the very night of his inauguration.  

              I do believe Obama could've limited the political fallout and possibly helped Dems hold the House if he'd wrung more political advantage out of the financial crisis, primarily by bailing out more homeowners, by going hard after the financial sector before doing health care, and by at least indicting a few Wall Street bigwigs.

               

              "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

              by puakev on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:00:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yep they were on the ropes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, 3goldens

              We have had years of death and destruction due to this economy that could have been prevented if DC had an iota of interest in protecting this Nation.

              I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

              by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:53:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Huge majorities (9+ / 0-)

          in both Houses? What?  The Dems had a true filibuster majority in the Senate for about 5 minutes.

          In reality, they never had the numbers in the Senate to overcome the filibuster...so they never had a real majority.

          That is why the stimulus bill was at that number..they needed Snowe, Collins and Specter to even get that passed.

          •  2 weeks (14+ / 0-)

            From the day they finally seated newly elected Senator Al Franken (his opponent spent 7 months in court trying to pretend the election didn't happen) to the day that Senator Edward Kennedy died and Scott Brown (R) was elected in special session to his seat in MA.

            So yeah, in 2009 the Democrats had both Houses and the Oval Office for six weeks. Best of all, during that six weeks? The bloody Congress was on summer vacation for about three weeks of that time.

            From the Congressional Record

            Date    Action    Note
            Jan 6    Convene     
            Jan 8    Electoral ballot count.     
            Jan 19    State Work Period    Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
            Jan 20    Presidential inauguration     
            Feb 16-20    State Work Period    President's Day
            Apr 6-17    State Work Period    Easter. Passover begins at sundown Apr 8.
            May 25-29    State Work Period    Memorial Day
            Jun 29-Jul 3    State Work Period    Independence Day
            Aug 10-Sep 7    State Work Period    Labor Day- Sep 7

            Nov 11-Nov 13    State Work Period    Veterans Day- Nov 11
            Nov 23-Nov 27    State Work Period    Thanksgiving Day- Nov 26
            TBD    Target Adjournment Date
            Franken was seated on July 7, 2009.

            Kennedy passed away on August 25, 2009.

            Congress was out of session when Franken was seated and until August 10th. So that "super majority" actually lasted from August 10 to August 25. Also, as Kennedy was near death, it's likely he would have been unable to cast a vote for at least the last couple of weeks of his life.

            So yeah. 15 days of a Democratic super-majority in 2009.


            "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

            by Angie in WA State on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:55:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  She says huge majorities, and you turn that into (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, chuckvw, corvo, 3goldens

            60 votes and filibuster proof?   As if all Democrats are really Democrats and would vote in a block anyway.   He had 55, 58, 59 - why quibble.  If he had finished the GOP off, the few sane Republicans left would have jumped ship to join him and save their own jobs.   A leader would have taken charge, not gone in on his knees begging for the cooperation of a soundly defeated foe.  Obama was magnanimous to the Republicans and banks and stuck it to the people who voted for him and "change".   With Democrats like Clinton and Obama, who needs Republicans.

            I will not vote for Hillary.

            by dkmich on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:28:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  There Was No Opportunity. (12+ / 0-)

          No more than there was "opportunity" in the mid 70's when the strength of the people was many times greater than today.

          09, as mid 70's, was a time when numerous things if done would've fit together with various factors of those times to have made a world of difference.

          But we weren't capable of acting, at either moment.

          To begin with we always have a conservative Senate majority, it's not even imaginable to have a progressive majority.

          As for filibuster proof strength, we only had that for a few weeks between the final seating of Al Franken in summer 09 and when Teddy Kennedy was gone shortly after.

          Otherwise the Republicans always had filibuster strength against moderately progressive policy, and conservatives between both parties ensured there was no prayer for major progressive policy, for example a public option in health care which compared to the financial issues was a small tidbit of progressivism.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:20:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't worry too much: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          Surge : Iraq war :: Bailout : Economy

          so someone may soon have another "opportunity".

          "You cannot win improv." Stephen Colbert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6tiaooiIo0 at 16:24).

          by Publius2008 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:56:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lost opportunity, waste of money, (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wolf10, YucatanMan, chuckvw, corvo, 3goldens

          and why I'll never vote for another corporate owned Democrat.  As we've gotten is war, drones, bomb, jails, tax cuts and tax shelters for billionaires, TPP, and now this.

          WikiLeaks Reveals Global Trade Deal Kept More Secret Than the Trans-Pacific Partnership

          Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union federating public service workers in 150 countries, has reported that TISA threatens to allow multinational corporations to permanently privatize vital public services such as healthcare and transportation in countries across the world.

          http://www.truth-out.org/...

          I will not vote for Hillary.

          by dkmich on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:21:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All I hear from Village dems & friends these days (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, 3goldens

            is... couldn't, couldn't, couldn't, can't, can't, can't... grand bargain... surrender... eat the cat food!

            And mostly: We came, we saw, you have no choice... Ha, ha, ha!

            PSI, TISA... you're welcome!

            If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. - Thomas Pynchon

            by chuckvw on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:28:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I have some doubt on that front. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Deep Texan

        Geithner seems like a wunderkind who hasn't really faced a serious setback or failure.

        People like that don't always have the internal resources of a more mature type like Paul Krugman.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sure, joe, but it wasn't TomP who ... (15+ / 0-)

      ...came prancing in here chortling vindictively about how HE had been proved right by Krugman's conceding to Geithner and doing that chortling by mischaracterizing the Krugman review by omitting most of it.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:47:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Geithner "saved" the economy to insure that... (18+ / 0-)

    ...the vampires in Wall Street could continue sucking its blood.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:19:30 AM PDT

  •  Geitner saved the evil big banks only; he shot (9+ / 0-)

    shot "economy" in the gut. He left us to rot.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:30:19 AM PDT

  •  Like Dragging somebody out of a burning building (18+ / 0-)

    down 6 flights of stairs feet first. Just a little brain damaged.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:32:23 AM PDT

  •  Saving the economy was a no-brainer (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, JesseCW, Rithmck, corvo, chuckvw

    Half the people in this forum could have done a better job.

    Geithner had the benefit of excellent advice from the likes of Krugman and others. He chose to ignore it, including Krugmans call for a larger stimulus. Geithner chose to line his own pockets instead with big tax cuts for the wealthy.

    So, no, Krugman isn't praising Geithner, please stop making it seem as though he is.  That's a stale, old DLC trick.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:33:43 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, and the other half (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      would've asked Geithner and Summers types for advice.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:36:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You mean saved the economy for the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Rithmck, corvo, chuckvw

    1%, and screwed the rest of us. Here is one looking forward to the day when Krugman falls off of his soapbox for good.

    •  ^^^ Best comment so far. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      Krugman is quickly approaching "faded jaded mandarin" status.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:36:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, TomP. Thank you for showing the... (21+ / 0-)

    ...intellectual dishonesty of one of the diarists written on this subject, a diary that had to ignore 90% of the Krugman's review so that it could take potshots at Kossacks who had criticized Geither. Anyone unfamiliar with the conflict would have thought from that diary that Krugman was mea culpa-ing over all his previous critiques of Geithner's approach. Far from it.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:43:40 AM PDT

  •  Tremendous intellectual honesty by the diarist. (12+ / 0-)

    Much respect to you for posting this, TomP.

    The Krugman diaries I have seen the last week were all promoting his praise for Obama's second-term effort -- while intentionally ignoring his continued, re-stated critique of Obama's first-term failings.

    One of the most prominent of these failings was appointing neo-liberals like Larry Summers and Tim Geithner and following their pro-1% dictates and bromides to the letter.

    We got the exact economic recovery they wanted.

    Maintaining massive private debt was the plan all along. Give regular Americans the minimal possible, leaving them precarious, desperate, compliant, and willing to accept ever lower quality jobs and public services.

    Get ready for a repeat when the next crisis comes along.

  •  As someone who supported TARP (6+ / 0-)

    an thought there were 2 banks that were candidates for receivership, BoA and Citi, I find the entire discussion about that kind of weird.

    First, I don't see how you can declare anyone "right" or wrong" on the point. We didn;t nationalize ANY banks so we don't know what the result o such an approch would have been.

    Did we expect the aks to collapse f they were not placed in recieivership? Not that I am aware of. So Krugman's statement strikes me a just strange, not intellectual honesty.

    And I don;t know if Krugman touches on it, he wasn't particulalry good on the homeowner assistance issue imo, but I always felt that was Geithner's greatest and most tragic mistake.

    •  What's up with softer, gentler 2014 Krugman? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, The Wizard

      Does anyone know why he has spent the last few months softening his rhetoric against neo-liberals and pols?

      My theory is that he was trying to appear more centrist to audition for a role in a Hillary administration.

      But maybe it's something else. Strange indeed. Anyone?

      •  Well He Does Have an Employer Too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, corvo

        Is any major news and commentary medium not a neoliberal soapbox overall?

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:28:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is it possible he just realized he's wrong once in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, duhban, Lying eyes

        a while? That he too is not all-knowing and wise and doesn't always get everything right?

        I've seen a few articles that kind of take him to the woodshed on his many failed predictions over the years ... which I think are a bit unfair, because anyone who makes a living making predictions will be wrong sometimes, but also when you make yourself a high-profile critic, you invite such comparisons of your record.

        The point is, Krugman has been wrong, quite often actually. He's made bad calls and given wrong advice on some key issues. One of these articles even went back to him saying in the 90s that internet commerce would be a fad. :) So maybe he's just decided to try to be more fair to those he attacks on a regular basis... feet of clay, human, no one is perfect... etc.

        I don't think anyone really believes that there was not more that could have and should have been done, and Geithner himself admitted as much in his book - if people want to play the game of being proven right by what these guys say now.

        There is an argument that congress wouldn't have passed an ideal stimulus regardless, and this gets to what frustrates me most about Krugman, he consistently fails to consider the politics of getting his ideal solutions implemented. Woulda, coulda, shoulda from the sidelines it seems to me. Easy to lob criticisms from there, but he refuses to work in government where he'd be tasked with actually getting things done his way. And as noted he's often wrong too. His opinion isn't the be-all end-all of any argument as far as I'm concerned, and I don't really get why people think he's all that.

        •  Because someone has to tell the truth. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth

          What policy would work best?

          If we can't answer that, we don't even know what to work for.

          That's why people like Krugman matter. It's vital that people outside government constantly remind all of us, politicians included, what the best way is to resolve a problem.

          Take global warming. How to fix it? Stop burning fossil fuels.

          Scientists must keep saying it and saying it. Maybe, eventually, politicians can be made to implement the right solution.

          No economist in the history of time issues perfect predictions.

          Krugman always identifies his predictions as speculation, not truths. It is incorrect to insinuate otherwise. When it comes to analysis, Krugman has been right far more often than he has been wrong.

          Geithner was faulted for vapid neo-liberal lies, not poor predictions.

          None of this is brings us closer to an answer to why Krugman makes more centrist noises of late while continuing to slam Obama for poor first-term decisions.

          •  truth is meaningless if you can not implement it (0+ / 0-)

            and like CS that's what frustrates me about Krugman maybe he's learning that and why he has been more 'centrist'.

            I will point out that no one can answer what policy would work best because everyone's magic 8 ball is just as unreliable which is kind of ironic given Krugman's apology.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:24:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Politics is not the art of truth. (0+ / 0-)

              It is the art of the possible.

              We need truth-tellers by which to judge politicians' efforts.

              There is a difference between analysis and speculation.

              Simple analysis told us that Geithner's policies were flawed.

              Everyone also engages in learned speculation. Careful thinkers like Krugman clearly identify when they do so, and cheerfully admit when their speculation does not come to fruition.

              Krugman did not apologize for his critique of Geithner or Obama.

              Because he was right.

              •  here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

                as long as the 'truth tellers' sit back and lob bombs as if it is some how 'helpful' I will remain skeptical about the worthiness of their efforts.

                There is the world as I wish it and then there is the world as it is. We can work for the world as it but we can only do while remaining aware of the world as it is.

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:32:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Global warming is scientific fact. (0+ / 0-)

                  Neo-liberal economic policies enrich the 1% and hurt everyone else.

                  These are truths. You can't wish them away.

                  If they appear to be "bombs" lobbed by crazies to you, the problem lies with your lens. Not with the truth-tellers.

                  •  I really wish you wouldn't view this as either/or (0+ / 0-)

                    there's a wealth of options and opinions inbetween the 2 positions that you are ignoring

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:43:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, between truth and policy many opinions lie. (0+ / 0-)

                      That is the entire point.

                      If we refuse to acknowledge truth and accredit truth-telling, then we give up the means to evaluate opinions and determine how close policy has come to optimal.

                      It's not a good thing to be so far gone as to deny the validity of truth (and valorize practicality as some sort of god in itself).

    •  That's what baffles me too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, JesseCW, cama2008, corvo

      Just because the "lender of last resort" approach averted total disaster doesn't mean nationalization wouldn't have done better.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:21:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we're going to go back in time and (7+ / 0-)

    woulda/coulda/shoulda.....the one thing that could have solved all the problems at once (except for maybe the employment issues because I think technology is doing much more damage than anyone will admit) was to give the TARP money to taxpayers.  The vast majority of us would have paid off debt with $25,000 or $30,000.  All of that money would have gone to the banks anyway in the form of debt erasure.  It would have made Joe Public whole while also "fixing" the banks.

    But, alas, that was too easy.....

    "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

    by PsychoSavannah on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:50:52 AM PDT

    •  Yet, many on here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, PsychoSavannah, FG

      maintain that too much of the stimulus was in tax rebates to the bottom and middle class...this was direct payments to the bottom 90%.

      Lets just say that this was not an exact science, altho all of us amateur economist as seem to have the answers...as Betty says above....anybody off the street could have solved this crisis in 5 minutes.

      TARP was loans, and was repaid.  Should they have given that cash to taxpayers, and then required them to pay it back like the banks did?

      This is like conducting life-saving surgery in the middle of a hurricane and then having all the Monday morning QBs come back afterwards and complain that the surgeon left a unsightly scar  on the patients chest.

      Reminds me of football fans who question the coach after a play fails....was not drawn up to fail, but shit happens.

      •  I don't know....a tax credit doesn't pay (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth

        the Citi credit card bill, or the BoA home equity loan.  And Joe Public didn't have any money because the Citi credit card carried an interest rate of 32% that, in turn, trickled over to ALL of his cards if he was a day late with a payment.  The credit card law kind of helped in that regard, but the fuckers are inching back to their shitty ways.

        We all know the fundamental mistake was not getting money to the little guy.  I wrote letters to all of my reps letting them know I wanted the following to happen:

        1.  TARP payments directly to taxpayers a la GWB's $300 tax credit, but times 10, with no repayment.  Call it a "sorry we fucked up really bad" settlement.

        2.  tax and penalty moratorium on ALL 401(k) and IRA accounts for 1 year.  Take the play money away from the assholes on Wall Street who have not managed it well at all.

        3.  all student loans re-financed at 3% interest, through the government, removing the blood-sucking middlemen completely.

        4.  ANYONE who wanted to refinance their house at 4% interest rate could do so and any company that didn't oblige would be sanctioned the value of the house, plus 25%.

        6.  Tax increases on capital gains income over $10,000 per year.  That would leave the small investor alone and hit the fuckers who don't work where they care - their wallet.

        Just a couple of ideas off the top of my head :-)

        "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

        by PsychoSavannah on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:07:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There were (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shrike

          direct tax rebates in the form of lowered tax taken out of paychecks immediately...that is cash in pocket.

          Now, the tax credits to small businesses do fall in your characterization of no immediate cash boost.

          Changing the capital gains tax rate was not going to be possible in a stimulus bill.
          Thankfully, now that rate has been increased by 59% to 23% on the wealthy.

          The rest of your suggestions have merit. Wish they could have been smarter.

        •  What would TARP be if given to each person? (0+ / 0-)

          Bush's $300 per person cost about $150 billion iirc.

          $1200 per person?

          That would not save many debtors.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:10:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It Would've Flown Against 70 Years of Vengeance (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, PsychoSavannah, corvo, chuckvw

      lust over the New Deal.

      The American power structure is the most vicious and vindictive anywhere on earth. It never forgives no matter how wrong it is, and the wronger, the more bitter.

      The people won the New Deal and the nobility lost.

      And they vowed "never again."

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:30:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just read it (9+ / 0-)

    the idea that Krugman is vindicating Geithner is hilarious. The critique is scathing!

    For example:

    And then there’s the issue of debt relief. Geithner would have us believe that he was all for it, but that the technical and political obstacles were too difficult for him to do very much. This claim has been met with derision from Republicans as well as Democrats. For example, Glenn Hubbard, who was chief economic adviser under George W. Bush, says that Geithner “personally and actively opposed mortgage refinancing.”

    Furthermore, Geithner seems to want it both ways—to portray himself as a frustrated advocate of more debt relief, while at the same time asserting that such relief would have made little difference. And his eagerness to make the latter assertion leads him to engage in some demonstrably bad arithmetic. The economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi are our leading experts on the problems created by debt overhang (and the authors of an important new book on the subject, House of Debt); they looked at Geithner’s claims about the benefits of debt relief to the economy and showed that they are absurdly low, far below anything current research suggests.

    He also calls him a liar, BTW.
  •  No amount of smelling salts will (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Wizard, corvo, chuckvw

    save the dying, planet-killing "patient"--capitalism. It would have been worthwhile for the crisis to have been used to press for ratification of the U.N. covenant on economic rights, which President Carter signed. That would have been a good policy change. Doing right by people, especially in hard times, should not require the name "stimulus." Recognizing that people have economic rights no matter how the voodoo, crises, and larceny of capitalism works out would have been a dose of honesty.

    Nationalism of banks should have occurred, and probably will one day, but the farce of neoliberalism will have to play out.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:25:33 AM PDT

    •  Karl is that you? Or Friedrich? OR BOTH?! (0+ / 0-)

      And is that the faint strains of the Internationale in the distance?

      •  You say that as if it were a bad thing. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, chuckvw

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:42:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  right because Marxism has been so successful (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep

          how many of Marx's predictions have come true again?

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:26:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Marx was a brilliant analyst of capital's dance. (0+ / 0-)

            He was crappy at predicting things. As all humans are.

            •  The countries that most aggressively adopted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duhban

              Marx's and his followers ideas, are the countries that suffer the greatest poverty, starvation and environmental destruction. Many of these countries that transitioned away from these policies have seen rising standards of living.

              See China, USSR, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, India, etc..

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:28:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  History's devils were almost all right-wing. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                First off, I said Marx was an excellent analyst of capital.

                And he was.

                I never praised "Marxism", which is something else entirely.

                Marx himself was a theorist of revolution. He wrote virtually nothing about what post-revolutionary politics or economics would be like.

                Enter the Marxists. Lenin, Stalin, Mao and company.

                The places where "Marxists" ruled for a time were all poor to start with. They had deeper problems than the silly ideology their dictators used to justify authoritarian rule. I'd also add that capitalist dictators were also quite adept and ruining and impoverishing their lands.

                Countries historically were enslaved, sacked, pillaged and ravaged by capitalists and communists alike. Both theories cared nothing for poor countries' environments or living conditions. They both exploited, used and burned.

                It's only in the last century that reforms crafted a socialist path (there is no existent laissez-faire capitalist country) that produced rising standards of living around the world.

                It also produced stark and mounting wealth inequality, both between nations and within them. We haven't figured out the best way to live together just yet.

                •  Marxism is "snake oil" sold to the ignorant to (0+ / 0-)

                  put a small group of brutally ambitious people into dictatorial  power.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:10:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just like every other ideology in human history. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuckvw

                    That only changed very recently. Due to critics from the left.

                    Dismissing Marx because of Pol Pot is like dismissing Adam Smith because of Hitler or the Koch brothers.

                    Of course, Adam Smith was a fan of government intervention...

                    •  Hitler's economic policy was not right wing (0+ / 0-)

                      see my long comment on National Socialism's economic policies.  Hitler's policy had very big government, high taxes, government planning of the economy, government owned businesses, opposed high profits, etc..  What was right wing in his economic policy?

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Many of History's devils were of the left. (0+ / 0-)

                  Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Kim Il-sung, Pol Pot, etc.

                  Hitler's platform for National Socialism had many policies of socialism.  Most of the horrors of German's National Socialism came from the extreme and perverse view of nationalism.

                  The 25-point Program of the NSDAP can be seen here http://en.wikipedia.org/...  below are excerpts from the points showing the socialism (and sometimes extreme left) component of National Socialism, and these policies were implemented.

                  • We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.
                  • Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes.
                  • Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
                  • In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
                  • We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
                  • We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
                  • We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
                  • We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
                  • We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
                  • Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
                  • The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:38:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Vast majority of history's devil were right wing. (0+ / 0-)

                    It isn't close.

                    (1).Right-wing authoritarianism is not Marxist.

                    Thorough government control of the economy can stem from right-wing or left-wing ideologies.

                    (2). Human history in society started before 1917.

                    Both in the 20th century and before, right-wing despots, tyrants, conquerors and madmen have exponentially more corpses to their credit than the left-wing maniacs could manage.  

                    So if you want to blame sick ideologies for all human political violence (rather than just humanity's innate tendency to spill blood), start with the main culprit -- the right.

                    •  There are far more dimmentions to policy (0+ / 0-)

                      that right and left economics.  Nationalism has been accepted and rejected at various times by both the right and left, for example.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:45:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Since 1917, devils inspired by Maxism have been (0+ / 0-)

                      far more prevalent and imposed more misery and death on far more people than those inspired by regulated market economies.

                      The numbers are not even close.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:05:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Who's "inspired by regulated market economies"? (0+ / 0-)

                        That's not an ideology.

                        That's an outcome forged by lengthy, protracted fights led by the left against the forces of big money.

                        And again, history did not begin in 1917. It's important to take the full view of human society.

                        Unless you're insisting on a distorted view of the world.

            •  by what metric? (0+ / 0-)

              I'll grant you that at the time many of his critiques of 'capitalism' had merit but most of those were fixed or no longer apply. And frankly his predictions were flat out wrong.

              Marx is basically a person that had a couple of brilliant insights and that's it

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:27:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  most people today don't have a clue what (0+ / 0-)

      Captialism means. Wherever Smith is he has to be furious to see what his ideas have been twisted into.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:27:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same could be said about Marx. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charlatan

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:45:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no most people understand Marx (0+ / 0-)

          and recognize that he was utterly clueless about how to effect change. One only has to look at his predictions to see that.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:26:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Uh no they really don't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            Marxism is probably the most complex framework in philosophy, history and economics -- one that's inspired a multitude of movements and thinkers with widely varying ideas. I did a few semesters worth of work on Hegel, Proudhon, Marx, Gramsci, Habermas, etc. and I barely scratched the surface.

            Your attempt reduce Marx to some kind of failed Nostradamus is a great demonstration of how little the average person knows.

            •  here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

              Marx's views are not that terribly complex and really can be reduced to 'eventually' it is inevitable that capitalism will fuck up the world so bad that people will rise up in revolution and revolt.

              Now  that's wrong on both accounts to date and if anything capitalism has actually made life better for most involved. And Marx's need for revolution? Well that's his biggest weakness because the man seems incapable of recognizing that change does not come at the point of a gun or the edge of a knife.

              So no I found nothing complex about Marx. If you want to read something Complex go read The Prince and try to decide if it's satire or not or read Nietzsche's early work before his sister likely corrupted it. Marx was just one of many to see that the so called 'capitalism' of their day was unsustainable and so it was. But Marx not being unique in that observation gets no special credit on that and given his predictions have utterly failed to occur (not to mention the utter failure of every attempt to produce a Marxist government) leads me to think he was an interesting man that said some academically interesting ideas. That's it.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:47:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please stop (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo
                Marx's views are not that terribly complex and really can be reduced to 'eventually' it is inevitable that capitalism will fuck up the world so bad that people will rise up in revolution and revolt.
                This alone tells me you haven't read much Marx. Marxism is above all a theory of history and a framework for understanding the political implications of the (at the time) emerging industrial economy. Marx correctly surmised that capitalism is inherently self-destructive, which is why, by golly, the world's most advanced nations these days are social democracies.
                Now  that's wrong on both accounts to date and if anything capitalism has actually made life better for most involved.
                Guess what? We owe the vast majority of the economic rights we have today to workers who were willing to take to the streets in protest of capitalism's self-destructive tendencies. Aside from the rights for which these folks fought, science and technology -- not capitalism itself -- have made life better for most involved. I am not opposed to innovation driven by financial gain but it is foolish to conflate financial gain with innovation.
                And Marx's need for revolution? Well that's his biggest weakness because the man seems incapable of recognizing that change does not come at the point of a gun or the edge of a knife.
                Hilarious. Marx didn't have a yen for revolutionary thought that his contemporaries didn't. He was a student of the numerous actual revolutionary moments of the time, and he was hypercritical of most. Had he lived to see the Bolsheviks run amok he would certainly have taken shots at them as well. And change most certainly can arise from violence: it's not the only way but it's a way with which Americans, with our Revolutionary War and Civil War and violent labor movement, are certainly familiar.
                So no I found nothing complex about Marx. If you want to read something Complex go read The Prince and try to decide if it's satire or not or read Nietzsche's early work before his sister likely corrupted it.
                What the fuck does this have to do with anything? Do you think I am unfamiliar with Nietzsche and Machiavelli? Only a lightweight dismisses Marx as uncomplicated.
                Marx was just one of many to see that the so called 'capitalism' of their day was unsustainable and so it was. But Marx not being unique in that observation gets no special credit on that and given his predictions have utterly failed to occur (not to mention the utter failure of every attempt to produce a Marxist government) leads me to think he was an interesting man that said some academically interesting ideas. That's it.
                Please name these other intellectuals who defined the problem in equal terms. Please name a 'prediction' of his and explain how it has been proven false. Please tell me what a Marxist government is. And please do provide an example of one of these 'academically interesting ideas' because that sounds an awful lot like anti-intellectual posturing.
                •  sure whatever you want to think about Marx (0+ / 0-)

                  That said Marx PROPOSED that capitalism is inherently destructive. He never proved it. In fact his 'proof' was his prediction that capitalism would implode. How's that prediction going again?

                  Guess what? We owe the vast majority of the economic rights we have today to workers who were willing to take to the streets in protest of capitalism's self-destructive tendencies. Aside from the rights for which these folks fought, science and technology -- not capitalism itself -- have made life better for most involved. I am not opposed to innovation driven by financial gain but it is foolish to conflate financial gain with innovation.
                  Guess what? They didn't do that because they were socialists or marxists. And more over real captialism, the kind Smith argued for has always argued that workers need to be fairly compensated if not more so. Happy workers are better workers and that's been clear since Smith. As I said earlier most people really do not know what capitalism  really entails any more. It's been corrupted by Randian libertarianism and greed.
                  Hilarious. Marx didn't have a yen for revolutionary thought that his contemporaries didn't. He was a student of the numerous actual revolutionary moments of the time, and he was hypercritical of most. Had he lived to see the Bolsheviks run amok he would certainly have taken shots at them as well. And change most certainly can arise from violence: it's not the only way but it's a way with which Americans, with our Revolutionary War and Civil War and violent labor movement, are certainly familiar.
                  This is factually and historically incorrect. The Revolutionary war while we did win over the British did not result in a stable government. In point of fact it took a couple more years and the failure of the Articles of Confederation for a real government to be created and that was done without arms. Same with the Civil War, yes the North won and yes for a short period blacks were free but then Reconstruction ended and Jim Crow became the law of the land. Blacks were virtually slaves at that point and it would be so until MLK and civil disobedience.

                  War is a poor tool for conversion unless you're willing to kill every single person that disagrees with you.

                  As to Marx his preoccupation with revolution speaks for itself.

                  What the fuck does this have to do with anything? Do you think I am unfamiliar with Nietzsche and Machiavelli? Only a lightweight dismisses Marx as uncomplicated.
                  cute but not an argument
                  Please name these other intellectuals who defined the problem in equal terms. Please name a 'prediction' of his and explain how it has been proven false. Please tell me what a Marxist government is. And please do provide an example of one of these 'academically interesting ideas' because that sounds an awful lot like anti-intellectual posturing
                  I don't particularly like to use wiki as a source but this one is fairly accurate

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:07:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Cute but not an argument (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    corvo
                    That said Marx PROPOSED that capitalism is inherently destructive. He never proved it. In fact his 'proof' was his prediction that capitalism would implode. How's that prediction going again?
                    If one ignores the international banking crisis, the bailouts, the long recession, the jobless pseudo-recovery, the financial permaflu that's gripped formerly vibrant European economies, the persistent and widening income inequality, and major industries' unwillingness to stop poisoning the biosphere, capitalism is doing just great. LOL.
                    Guess what? They didn't do that because they were socialists or marxists.
                    Guess what? Socialists and Marxists built the labor movement! Holy moly, how can a Democrat be this clueless about the history of organized labor? Never mind, I know how.
                    And more over real captialism, the kind Smith argued for has always argued that workers need to be fairly compensated if not more so. Happy workers are better workers and that's been clear since Smith.
                    It's like you don't even realize what site you're posting on right now. Front page discussions about raising the minimum wage ring a bell? Universal healthcare? Social Security? Piketty? If Smith's capitalism guaranteed anything close to adequate compensation the Democratic party could have packed it in a century ago.
                    As I said earlier most people really do not know what capitalism  really entails any more. It's been corrupted by Randian libertarianism and greed.
                    You have to be kidding me! Randians would be delighted to see a return to the kind of Smith-style laissez-faire economics you're advocating.
                    This is factually and historically incorrect. The Revolutionary war while we did win over the British did not result in a stable government. In point of fact it took a couple more years and the failure of the Articles of Confederation for a real government to be created and that was done without arms. Same with the Civil War, yes the North won and yes for a short period blacks were free but then Reconstruction ended and Jim Crow became the law of the land. Blacks were virtually slaves at that point and it would be so until MLK and civil disobedience.

                    War is a poor tool for conversion unless you're willing to kill every single person that disagrees with you.

                    Are you really trying to argue that the Revolutionary War and the Civil War didn't change anything? Hilarious!
                    As to Marx his preoccupation with revolution speaks for itself.
                    It certainly does; it says Marx -- like innumerable other thinkers, scholars, and activists then and now -- was a student of the massive social upheavals that characterized the 19th century.
                    I don't particularly like to use wiki as a source but this one is fairly accurate ...
                    It's amusing to me that in an attempt to win a lesser point you link to a page that shows just how varied Marx's influences are, thereby undermining your central thesis that it's all just so goshdarn simple. Every great thinker has influences. I asked you to back your claim that Marx didn't bring anything new to the table with specifics and all I got in return was squid ink.

                    I'm a die hard Social Democrat and incrementalist myself but I have great respect for the American radical left tradition. The red-baiting that goes on here is embarrassing.

                    •  ..... (0+ / 0-)
                      If one ignores the international banking crisis, the bailouts, the long recession, the jobless pseudo-recovery, the financial permaflu that's gripped formerly vibrant European economies, the persistent and widening income inequality, and major industries' unwillingness to stop poisoning the biosphere, capitalism is doing just great. LOL.
                      nice attempt to twist events to fit your theory
                      Guess what? Socialists and Marxists built the labor movement! Holy moly, how can a Democrat be this clueless about the history of organized labor? Never mind, I know how.
                      No they didn't this is revisionism from the Marxists trying to be relevant somehow
                      It's like you don't even realize what site you're posting on right now. Front page discussions about raising the minimum wage ring a bell? Universal healthcare? Social Security? Piketty? If Smith's capitalism guaranteed anything close to adequate compensation the Democratic party could have packed it in a century ago.
                      You seem to only have insults and bluster. If you truly knew anything you'd not be making as much of a fool of yourself as you are right now.
                      You have to be kidding me! Randians would be delighted to see a return to the kind of Smith-style laissez-faire economics you're advocating.
                      That sound you hear is your  credibility exiting the earth. Smith never argued laissez faire and in point of fact repeatedly argued that the more one pays their workers the better the return. I was going to answer you point by point but given you know so little what is the point?

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:11:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This is just sad (1+ / 0-)
                        nice attempt to twist events to fit your theory
                        What events did I twist? Are you arguing the banking crisis isn't happening? That income inequality isn't accelerating? That Spain, Greece, Italy et al aren't ailing? That the big energy companies aren't doubling down on destructive carbon schemes?
                        No they didn't this is revisionism from the Marxists trying to be relevant somehow
                        Holy cow! I can't believe you're committing to this. Ever heard of Eugene Debs?
                        You seem to only have insults and bluster. If you truly knew anything you'd not be making as much of a fool of yourself as you are right now.
                        Absurd levels of projection. You are the one making ridiculous claims like the howler above re the origins of the labor movement while offering literally nothing to back them up.
                        That sound you hear is your  credibility exiting the earth. Smith never argued laissez faire and in point of fact repeatedly argued that the more one pays their workers the better the return.
                        Nonsense. Smith's core belief was that self-interested competition in the free market promotes the public good and ought to be the organizing principle of civil society. He believed government should provide a relatively small number of supporting services such as enforcement of contracts and patents, basic education and so on. This is the essence of laissez-faire.

                        Smith also had a number of moral reservations about the influence of big business and believed workers should be treated well. Well who doesn't in the abstract? But in the end the system he supported generates these moral hazards. Absent a mechanism for enforcement his wishes don't amount to anything.

                        You are basically arguing companies will pay their workers more if we just point out that Adam Smith said it's in everyone's interest. That's beyond naive.

                        I was going to answer you point by point but given you know so little what is the point?
                        Sure you were.
                        •  ...... (0+ / 0-)

                          Smith also argued for government regulation. Seriously get a clue

                          Der Weg ist das Ziel

                          by duhban on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:03:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Smith was against crony capitalism (0+ / 0-)

                            and supported regulations designed to maintain a competitive market. While this is admirable the New Deal it ain't. However you slice it his brand of capitalism tends toward the freewheeling end of things.

                          •  utterly wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            and the fact you're now back pedaling furiously proves my point

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:53:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                            It isn't backpedaling to acknowledge that markets depend on competition and the rule of law. I alluded to this upthread. If you don't protect markets you end up like Putin's Russia. No sane proponent of laissez-faire capitalism would disagree. Are you incapable of grasping nuance?

                            My claim is that despite his misgivings, Smith believed in free markets largely unfettered by government intervention. Even Otto von Bismarck had more to offer the working class.

                            You keep claiming I'm wrong without offering any specifics. If you think Adam Smith was really a progressive reformer then kindly point us in the direction of any of his proposals that support your view.

                          •  you're still wrong (0+ / 0-)
                            My claim is that despite his misgivings, Smith believed in free markets largely unfettered by government intervention. Even Otto von Bismarck had more to offer the working class.
                            Smith never said that. Yes in Wealth he talks a great deal about the value of competition and enlightened self interest but he talks equally about preventing businesses from colluding and from forming monopolies and from basically behaving as we have allowed them to behave for the last 40 years. That's not capitalism that's the furthest thing from capitalism and that is exactly what I have been saying to you from the start and all you've responded back is insults. Further Smith talks a great deal about fair compensation to workers and so on.

                            Go read Wealth or hell just go browse Smith's wiki article if you're too lazy to read Wealth. Though I highly recommend reading both Wealth and Moral Sentinents.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:44:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If wishes were horses beggars would ride (1+ / 0-)
                            Smith never said that. Yes in Wealth he talks a great deal about the value of competition and enlightened self interest ...
                            LOL. In other words he said that. Come on man, it's his main argument! He was railing against the mercantilism and protectionism of the time. You're lost in the rough here.
                            ... but he talks equally about preventing businesses from colluding and from forming monopolies and from basically behaving as we have allowed them to behave for the last 40 years.
                            And you won't find a serious free-market economist who disagrees in the abstract. The problem is Smith gives us precious little in the way of remedies.

                            He may be worried about 'pinheads' but he nonetheless advocates a maximal division of labor. He may fret over fair wages but he promotes the elimination of tariffs and other measures designed to protect domestic industry. He's concerned about big business but his economic program guarantees multinationals will grow unchecked.

                            Smith's economic program is in many ways antithetical to his moral program.

                            That's not capitalism that's the furthest thing from capitalism and that is exactly what I have been saying to you from the start and all you've responded back is insults.
                            That is capitalism as defined by your hero. The freewheeling international trade environment championed by Smith is what created these ill-behaved multinational monstrosities. The implied loss of sovereignty is why even well-regulated economies have suffered over the past 40 years. Please tell us how Smith's capitalism thwarts the rise of Standard Oil, or the Koch Brothers -- he basically says 'well these are some potentially bad outcomes but I'll leave it to others to figure out a solution'. His conception of the market as 'good' and 'natural' dooms us to forever applying band-aids and scratching our heads about what went wrong this time.
                            Further Smith talks a great deal about fair compensation to workers and so on.
                            And what's his proposal? When someone in China is willing to do my job for ten cents on the dollar what then?
                            Go read Wealth or hell just go browse Smith's wiki article if you're too lazy to read Wealth. Though I highly recommend reading both Wealth and Moral Sentinents.
                            I already read Wealth and have precisely zero interest in Sentiments. Please do take your own advice because you appear to have missed the point entirely.
                          •  ..... (0+ / 0-)
                            LOL. In other words he said that. Come on man, it's his main argument! He was railing against the mercantilism and protectionism of the time. You're lost in the rough here.
                            Holy picking and choosing batman!

                            When you understand that you are only talking about maybe 40% of Smith's arguement while hypocritically ignoring the rest let me know. Till then we're done here.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 03:08:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I must have missed the 60% (0+ / 0-)

                            where he takes it all back. "Just kidding folks... tariffs are great!"

                            The "oh he's saying one thing but he really means another thing" argument is a sure sign the author doesn't mean what you want him to mean, or that the work itself is muddled. The onus isn't on me to find evidence in the text that supports your interpretation.

                            As you said, we're done here.

  •  doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, PsychoSavannah, Lying eyes

    FED doesn't have the tools to do much else. Congress does and they (republicans) had no intention of helping the economy except for those at the top.

    It's not debatable imo.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:55:36 AM PDT

  •  I actually concur with Krugman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Lying eyes, duhban

    although it's relatively easy to sit in an armchair and decide action items.  He didn't have the worst Congress in our lifetimes to deal with.  

    I think what I read in this article is, in spite of all the sky is falling folks that branded Obama a sellout for enlisting Geithner, he turned out to be a guy that did what he felt best to fix the nation.  I think Krugman understands that.

    Now under a Republican President I doubt Geithner would have done so well.  In the end he had input but the policies came down from the President who managed the triage well considering the historical roadblocks and subversive activities of his opponents.

  •  I read Geithner's book (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jrooth, CS in AZ

    and agree with Krugman's critique of it.

    For someone who, both at the Fed and as Treasury Secretary, came up with incredibly creative 'fixes' for failing financial institutions he employed none of those skills in addressing the broader economy.  He does indeed take a passive voice when it comes to unemployment, stimulus and helping underwater mortgage holders.

    In the end, it appeared that shoving money back to the 1% was priority #1 and when it came time to address the needs of everyone else, well, he just wasn't that into us.  I felt a tremendous amount of distaste after finishing the book, as the trajectory we're on isn't going to change anytime soon.

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

    by Dem Beans on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:16:18 AM PDT

    •  How did TG shove money back to the 1%? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, FG

      Yes, equity and asset values recovered and benefited the 1% (well 50%) most but it is not like money was handed to the 1% like a gift.  The TARP loans were punitive ranging up to 25% in effective interest rates.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman gets it wrong too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, corvo, Teiresias70, chuckvw

    And this is one of those times.
    Geithner wasn't right. He never was.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:18:21 AM PDT

  •  Alternatively, you could argue that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Eric Nelson, chuckvw, PsychoSavannah

    the government intervention saved the banks temporarily, by intefering in the market, and not letting the marketplace sort out the weak from the strong. The intervention left largely undisturbed a vast number of players that deliberately lied on paperwork submitted to the federal government for home loans, and left them largely unscathed for their transgressions. What they have learned is that they could commit illegal acts, and get away with it. Until the government gets serious about prosecuting financial crimes, the abuses will continue. Bernie Madoff was hardly an isolated phenomenon. There is no urgency about the social phenomenon of a corporate crime wave, despite the overwhelming evidence of widespread and deliberate abuses. Eric Holder continues to disappoint, for missing too many opportunities to correct the abuses known to have taken place.

  •  Very balanced and fair assessment.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..of Krugmans article TomP

    It seems as more an issue of the language/rhetoric, or maybe mostly a different in language than a difference in what actually happened. The banks were bailed out - which is a form of temporary nationalization.

    And 'stress test' sounded stronger (and less controversial to the "conservative") than nationalizing banks. Especially with the expected lashing coming from "conservatives" and what their spin cycles would have done at the time

    Fear of big bank losses led to a three-sided debate. On one side were the people who warned of “moral hazard”—that bailing out banks would reward bad actors, and encourage future irresponsibility.

    On another side were the nationalization people, myself among them (Geithner describes me as “the intellectual leader of the nationalization brigade”), who argued that the banks needed to be bailed out—the risks of financial collapse were too great otherwise—but that bank stockholders didn’t.

    The idea was that the government, in return for taking on big risks, should temporarily acquire ownership of the most troubled banks, so that taxpayers would profit if things went well.

    This wasn’t an outlandish position, by the way—it was what had happened in many historical bank bailouts, and was in effect what happened in the case of AIG, the giant insurance company, in which the government supplied cash and temporarily acquired a 79.9 percent ownership stake.

     - emphasis added

    It seems to me  also, that the bail-out was indeed a form of nationalization albeit temporary, so Paul Krugman is giving credit to Geithner's stress test as a good move to restore confidence in a system that (unfortunately relies on confidence more than solid tangible value - as Wall Street is at its core a platform of gambling that does require - again unfortunately -  protection against rhetoric taking hold like "moral hazard" etc. that could reduce confidence), and that the label "stress testing" was rhetorically a less scary term the "nationalizing" - and wouldn't incite the predictable "conservative" backlash

    The word "nationalizing" would have (whether accurate or real or even if  manufactured fear by "conservatives" against nationalization) scared Wall Street. So Krugman concedes that Geithner's language  was better suited during those very tenuous financial months.

    Because I've read that the stress tests were not that real from business friendly Bloomberg:
    Bloomberg: If Fed’s stress tests were real, most big banks would fail - March 20, 2014

    This week, the Federal Reserve will present the results of stress tests designed to ensure that the largest U.S. banks won’t turn the next financial crisis into an economic disaster. There’s just one problem: If the tests were realistic, most of the banks would fail.

    Previous stress tests helped to restore confidence in the U.S. banking sector after it almost collapsed in 2008

    Further on is this point:
    What, then, would a rigorous stress test say about U.S. banks today? Researchers at New York University have created a tool to answer the question.
    [...]

    The results aren’t pretty. Using a start date of Sept. 30, 2013, the same as that of the Fed’s latest round of stress tests, the NYU model gives only one of the six largest U.S. banks - Wells Fargo - a passing grade. The other five - JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley - would have a combined capital shortfall of more than $300 billion. That’s not much less than they needed to get themselves out of the last crisis.

    So  Krugman was correct. The bail out was a temporary from of nationalization - imo -, yet he is very generous to Geithner by giving Geithner credit for understanding that a financial system of Banks/Wallstreet based on speculation/gambling and word of mouth and "confidence" are very vulnerable to the language and terms of language used when facing a meltdown of 2007-2208 proportion.

    Hence the term "stress test" (real or not) - very tough sounding, and if banks pass the test. "confidence" is restored in a system of speculation and gambling on those guesses

    Thx TomP for the very balanced reporting - imo

    P.S. sorry so long winded - someday I'll learn precision of words

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