An Unheeded Stimulus Warning And Ignored Financial Lessons

I ran across this article via  I would suggest reading the entire article (a news release, really).  Interestingly, the release, entitled “FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate“, is from 2004 (long before “stimulus” became a hot political topic).  Here’s my favorite quote, however:

“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

I also find it interesting that everyone is having a coniption about the AIG bonus money.  The architects (Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) of the financial crisis threw money at them, one of which (Senator Dodd) made sure their bonuses were protected by law (especially since they are one of his big contributors).  We were told, at the time, that the whole point of the money was to keep the ‘lucky’ institutions from bankruptcy.  By so doing, contracts must, by law, be honored – which would not be the case in bankruptcy.  Ed Morrisey sums this up well – I highly recommend reading his post, especially, his concluding statement:

In the future, we can avoid having taxpayer dollars go to Wall Street bonuses by not bailing out private companies with taxpayer dollars.

Ultimately, AIG is a distraction from the true culprits of this mess.  We would be better served by getting rid of those who instigated this and those who supported the poorly enacted bailout and stimulus packages.

So far, however, everyone is focused on AIG while it is clear we haven’t learned our lesson and are pushing to repeat the same lending mistakes.

UPDATE: The Fed, and Treasury knew about the bonuses since December.  Merry Christmas!

UPDATE 2: Michelle Malkin also chimes in and provides more details on Dodd’s amendment with a very appropriately titled piece: The Kabuki Theater of AIG Outrage

Kabuki theater, indeed: Obama, Congress knew about AIG bonuses for months

FINAL UPDATE: The “hits keep on coming”.  Freddy Mac has a nice bonus plan too.  Go to HotAir for further information/updates on this issue.

4 thoughts on “An Unheeded Stimulus Warning And Ignored Financial Lessons

  1. The New Deal was “ill-conceived”? The guys who wrote the credit-default swaps are not the “true culprits”?

    Another example of what Josh Marshall calls Up-is-Downism. The new right-wing philosophy.

  2. I wish I had been “part of the problem” instead of an innocent bystander. Maybe I could get a multi-million-dollar bonus, too 😉

  3. You need the right connections and a multi-billion dollar bailout! Tell them that you are “too big to fail”.

    At least we can get a laugh out of all the shenanigans.

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