Bafflement; Trying to Analyze the Meltdown

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

Bafflement; Trying to Analyze the Meltdown


Byline: Tony Blankley, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

There was a joke going around conservative circles during the mid-1960s that we were warned that if we voted for Barry Goldwater, America would get deeper into the Vietnam War. The punch line was that we did vote for Mr. Goldwater and America did get deeper into Vietnam. (Of course, President Johnson had campaigned on that warning, and then it was he who got us deeper in.)

I couldn't help thinking of that old joke on Monday. It had only been on Friday that members of Congress had been warned that if they voted against the $700 billion dollar bailout, the world's stock exchanges would crash. Well, about 170 congressmen did vote no, and sure enough on Monday from Moscow to London to Paris to Frankfurt to Asia to New York - the markets of the world did crash.

Moreover, by Monday, experts were divided on why the markets were going down and what should be done about it. I was in a hotel room in Santa Fe, N.M., waiting to give a luncheon speech. All morning I couldn't take my eyes off CNBC's coverage of the worldwide market crashes. What caught my attention (along with the vertiginous market drops taking place), were the opinions of many of the world's leading financial experts and practitioners that ranged between conflicting certainties and admitted bafflement at both causes and solutions.

There were several experts who said that the market crashes indicated that the $700 billion bailout was judged insufficient. Many others argued that the market crashes had nothing to do with the bailout - but rather were reactions to the increasing evidence of economic contraction around the world. Particular attention was paid by a few experts to the news that China would not be importing any gasoline next month - thus evidence that China's (and therefore Asia's) economies would also be contracting.

Others pointed to Europe's banks, which only last week had been loudly predicted by elite Europeans to be safe from financial contagion, suffering contagion from New York's financial disease.

Experts were equally conflicted over cures. There was a large group of confident-sounding experts asserting that what was needed was an immediate worldwide coordinated interest-rate drop of 100 basis points by the central banks of the world. But for each such assertion there was another confident-sounding expert firmly pointing out that the problem wasn't the price or quantity of money at banks, but rather that the banks were sitting on their cash rather than lending it because they didn't trust any borrowers - including fellow banks.

And so the morning went: a mix of false confidence, bafflement and fear in the faces of grizzled stock-market pit operators, pension-fund managers, Ivy League college finance professors, hedge-fund operatives, elegant European financiers, worldly Muslim bankers, hard-faced New York asset managers, richly dressed private equity-fund owners, shrewd Asian bankers, and an occasional foolish-looking politician shaking his fist futilely at the disgraced former Lehman Brothers CEO. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bafflement; Trying to Analyze the Meltdown
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.