“I was eating souffle at Rise Restaurant with Laura and two buddies,” Bush said on Wednesday at the SALT Conference in Vegas, when asked what he was doing when he received the call from President Obama. “I excused myself and went home to take the call,” Bush said. “Obama simply said ‘Osama Bin Laden is dead.'” [ABC]
While he applauded the influential think tank’s “courage to give an award to a banker,” he acknowledged in his speech that bankers had made mistakes with financial instruments that were too complex to understand the risks that were taken. Read more »
Granted, you might prefer to take with a grain of salt anything Hugo Chavez says, but it is amusing (because it is so biting) to hear him welcome President Bush into the realm of socialism. Cue Bloomberg:
I nationalize strategic companies and get criticized, but when Bush does it, it’s OK,” Chavez said on weekly television program Sept. 21. “Bush is turning socialist. How are you, comrade Bush?”
We’ve maintained for the last week that there is nationalization and there is Nationalization and that the “financial press” seems to enjoy using both interchangeably. When the Treasury forcibly seizes Barclays assets and takes its time paying $0.04 on the dollar, we’ll revist. Still, till then, it’s beyond amusing when Chavez scores a point.
Lula, Fernandez May Mock U.S. at UN After Financial Turmoil [Bloomberg]
It’s hard to think of a starker demonstration of the irrelevancy of George Bush than the split screen running now on CNBC. On the right, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke answers lawmakers’ questions on Capital Hill, warning everyone that economic growth will continue to be anemic for longer than expected. On the left, George Bush silently pantomimes something about asking Congress to do something about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, says weird things about the benefits of higher energy prices and moves around a lot behind his podium. Oddly enough, keeping Bush on mute somehow makes him seem more presidential.
Did the Bush administration intentionally schedule this press conference for the same time as the hearing on Capitol Hill? Why would they do that? Or is another example of White House incompetence?
Homeownership is overrated and the government went too far in pushing it on the American people, Paul Krugman writes in today’s New York Times. He suggests it’s time for America to “drop the obsession with ownership.”
We couldn’t agree more. Four months ago we wrote: “The social engineering program entitled the ‘ownership society’ has failed and ought to be abandoned.”