Friday, January 9, 2009

Good Riddance to 2008

One of the more interesting economic contrarians is Bill Bonner, whose daily essays are always interesting and, well, contrarian. Here's a good example:

The year of our Lord 2008 died in disgrace. It was tossed in a hasty grave...and mud was thrown on its face as though on a dead dictator. ‘Good riddance’ says practically everyone. But here at The Daily Reckoning , we’re going to miss and mourn it. It may have been the worst year in stock market history, but we can’t remember when we had such a good time. We barely broke a sweat the entire year; never were there more jackasses to laugh at or more con artists to admire. So, today, we hang black crepe...spread tea roses...and bid adieu.

Among the other milestones of 2008 came word that 1 out of 100 adults in the USA was in prison; but as the year progressed, that seemed like hardly enough. Each week brought new evidence that there were still many miscreants who should be behind bars. On January 11, 2008, when one of the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders – Countrywide Financial – went bust. On February 17, Britain’s Northern Rock was nationalized. Still, America’s rulers missed the calamity taking place right under their noses.

“I don’t think we’re headed to a recession,” said George W. Bush. “I don’t think I’ve seen any scenario where the American taxpayer needs to be stepping in with more taxpayer dollars,” added Henry Paulson. Then, on March 11th, the Treasury Secretary went on to explain that the fallout from sub-prime mortgages was “largely contained.” From the report in the Wall Street Journal :

“Paulson, a former chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group, repeated his view that the U.S. economy is fundamentally on sound footing and would dodge a recession.”

Bonner's daily essays can be found at

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