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Archive for October, 2008
Boohoo: The Mainstream Media Are Ignoring Me

In an article in the New York Times yesterday, Edmund L. Andrews and Mark Landler report that the U.S. government will inject taxpayer money directly into private banks by purchasing their corporate shares, in addition to purchasing “troubled assets” from them, as authorized by the bailout law enacted on October 3. And why not? After…
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MY Credit Is Not Frozen (Nor Are Most Others’)

My VISA bill came in today’s mail. Normally its arrival is not an especially joyful occasion. Today, however, the envelope contained not only the bill, but also an offer to lend me money on very good terms. Three checks were provided, and I was invited to use the first one, prior to December 4, to make a…
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The Stock Market Proved . . . Or Did It?

On September 29, the day the House of Representatives voted down the bailout bill, the S&P 500 opened at 1,209 and closed at 1,106, registering a loss of 8.5 percent. Other stock-market indexes recorded similar declines in share prices. Politicians and the media were virtually unanimous in interpreting these declines as evidence that the…
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“Saturday Night Live” Lampoons the Bailout

In a recent sketch, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) superbly and hilariously lampoons the $700 billion bailout and the foolishness, deception, and hypocrisy of many of those who support it. However, according to the Los Angeles Times, NBC has since pulled the original version of the segment from the SNL website apparently as a…
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U.S Imperial Forces Pay Homage to George Orwell, As It Were

Suppose you are the publicity officer for a U.S. imperial legion in some God-forsaken hellhole, where your job is to tell the world what the forces have been doing there lately. What they’ve actually been doing, of course, is killing people, with little regard for who they are, and destroying a lot of property, with equal…
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The Data Don’t Justify Financial-Market Panic

As the hysteria has grown in the discussion of financial markets and related government policies, I have been puzzled by the discrepancy between the best available data and the descriptions quoted in the press—statements by financial gurus, traders, and professors, as well as by government officials. To hear these spokesmen tell the story, you’d…
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Two Unspoken Assumptions in the Credit-Crisis Debate

In the heated, sometimes almost hysterical discussions and debates of the “credit crisis” now swirling through the press, the Internet, and the programs broadcast on radio and television, nearly everybody is making two, usually implicit assumptions: I. The volume of outstanding credit should never decline. II. If the volume of outstanding credit has declined, the government should act to reverse that…
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Metaphors Reveal the Economic Ignorance of Politicians and Journalists

The past few weeks have been a difficult time for economic educators. Never has it been more obvious that all their efforts have been in vain. Neither the politicians nor the journalists, who have been spewing out words at a rapid rate with regard to the so-called financial crisis and the proposed financial bailout, have a…
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Bailout Will Only Worsen Federally Caused Crisis

On the second try in a week, the $700 billion bailout (“rescue”) bill (“The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”) was easily stampeded through the House with a vote of 263 to 171, despite public opposition. The measure strongly and eerily resembles the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), which as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert…
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Much More Than A Bailout

This will go down as a landmark day for American political economy. Far more than a “mere” multi-hundred-billion-dollar bailout, the package passed by the Senate and House with the support of most of the establishment and both major presidential candidates, which can now be expected to be signed by Bush, is indeed revolutionary as…
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