Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'll be your first taker

From the NY Times:
Mr. CLINTON: When anybody asks me [whether the fact that the Clinton administration did nothing to stop the 1990s stock bubble is the main reason to be skeptical it would have done much to stop the housing bubble], ... I look at them and ask them, “Do you think this would have happened if we had been there? Look me in the face and say yes.” I haven’t found any takers yet.
I was youngish during his presidency and, in retrospect, I think he did a decent job (solely on the basis that he miraculously managed to balance the budget (how absurd does that prospect sound nowadays!!!)). But I'd be willing to look him in the face and say "YES!". If anything, Clinton exacerbated the problem with his housing initiatives and he would have been equally influenced by big banks, economic advisors, and rating agencies. Ex post it's always easy to prevent things. In fact, if Clinton thought the Bush policies were THAT bad, he should have either publicly sounded the alarm, or put down a big bet that would make millions/billions and then given that money away to the poor that he so desperately wants to help. I'm not trying to bash Clinton here, but I certainly don't think he would have done jack-poop to prevent this from happening.

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