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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Economists Tell the Masses: "It Could Have Been Worse"

 

It is amazing that angry mobs have not risen up and chased all the economists out of the country. While the greed of the Wall Street gang provided the fuel for the bubble, the economists played an essential role as enablers. This was most directly true for economists in policymaking positions, like Alan Greenspan at the Fed. It was Greenspan's job to stop the housing bubble. A competent and honest Fed chair would have recognized the bubble by 2002 and taken whatever steps were necessary to rein it in. And we should be 100 percent clear, in spite of all the song and dance about how the financial reform bill will prevent another bailout, the Fed absolutely had all the tools needed to stop this disaster. They just lacked either the competence or the integrity, or both. But the economists in policymaking positions are just the beginning. There are thousands of macroeconomists across the country, in government, academia and private industry who track the economy as a full-time job. It is actually a well-paid job, with many drawing six-figure salaries and big name types getting close to $1 million a year.

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