Former Treasury Secretary is A-Scared; Should You Be?

At the Davos World Economic Forum, the insider's insider's insider's secret backdoor path to power, Robert Rubin, talks crazy scary talk that nutcase goldbugs have been warning for years, but never mind them, mind him. Quoted from the Economic Policy Watch blog, liberated from behind Financial Times's paywall. (All the bolding is thanks to Econ Policy Watch):

The risks of our fiscal position are serious and multiple. And while these risks become more severe over time as our debt position worsens, all of these either have begun to materialise or could do so in the near term....
To be specific about the risks, deficits could crowd out private investment, which could choke off a private investment recovery. Moreover, the capacity for public investment is already diminishing, and could be exacerbated by growing entitlement costs and mounting interest payments...

Most dangerously, there is a risk of disruption to our bond and currency markets from the fear of much higher interest rates due to future imbalances or from fear of inflation because of efforts to monetise our debt. The result could be significant deficit premiums on bond market interest rates, seriously impeding private investment and growth or, worse, acute bond market declines that cause an economic crisis. This could also start in the currency markets.

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  • Brian Sorgatz||

    This stuff amuses me in a Dr. Strangelove sort of way.

  • The Truth||

    According to some of the most respected economists in the world, the writing is on the wall. An annual gathering of economists in Denver, Colorado last week, called the 2011 ASSA Meetings, have some pretty grim outlooks on the American economy for the short term, the medium term and the long term.

    The assessment of these alphabetically-inclined group warns that the U.S. Recovery may slog as government stimulus packages dry up. Ultimately, they forecast the the Unites States must face up to the fact that China will be the world's largest economy with a bullet. The economists included Harvard's Martin Feldstein who believes that all the cheer leading in the world cannot help U.S. Economic growth in 2011.
    "There's really not much help coming from fiscal policy in the year ahead," Feldstein said.

    Feldstein believes that renewal of expiring tax cuts is no more than a decision not to raise taxes, and the impact of one-year payroll tax cut is likely modest. He forecasts that woes from the dire situations of state and local governments may actually be a drag on growth and growth got a lift from a lower saving rate in 2010, but that probably will not last this year as households worried about an uncertain future return to paring back debt and socking more away, Feldstein added. Discouraging declines in home values mean there is less to save from.
    "People are worried, so there's a strong reason for precautionary saving," he said.

    Another Harvard man, Dale Jorgenson, opined on China's current push toward the number one position and its momentum. He contends that most estimates put the size of the Chinese economy on par with the United States by the early 2020s. Jorgenson sees Asian emerging markets as the most dynamic in the world, eclipsing other emerging market contenders such as Brazil and Russia with steady growth over the next decade.

    "The rise of developing Asia is going to accompany slower world economic growth," he said.

    Beside the facts and figures being bandied about, Jorgenson believes that Americans will have a difficult time reconciling their inevitable position. The United States must come to terms with the fact that its prevalence in the world is fated to come to an end. He warns that this will be difficult for many Americans to swallow and the United States should brace for social unrest amid blame over who was responsible for squandering global primacy.

    MIT's Simon Johnson said it more directly.

    "The age of American predominance is over," he told a panel. "The (Chinese) Yuan will be the world's reserve currency within two decades."
    Johnson said he believes the United States has failed to learn its lesson from the financial crisis and continues to implicitly back its largest financial institutions.

    "I'm concerned about the excessive power of the largest global banks," he said. "Who are the government-sponsored enterprises now? It's the six biggest bank holding companies."
  • The Truth||

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Replace every mention of China with Japan and yuan with yen, and it's like I'm back in 1990 again.

  • The Truth||

    LOL, Japan was never a serious contender for #1. It has half our population and no military, whereas China has three times our population and a rapidly modernizing military.

    If there's any parallel to Japan, it's Japan around 1970, not 1990. The Chinese economy has LIMITLESS room to grow.

  • ||

    Limitless? Come on.

    Besides, the idea that China will remain stable without any political unrest--especially if U.S. consumption dips very much--is untenable.

  • The Truth||

    1.8 BILLION people. And everyone of them wants to, for example, own a car.

    Imagine how much economic growth that ALONE will create there.

  • ||

    It's 1.3 billion. And a very large number of them are disenfranchised and lack the wealth to buy consumer products. Do you think they'll be patient when their turn to benefit doesn't come?

    I see India as a much more likely long-term Asian economic power, along with South Korea and an eventually resurgent Japan. China's got some serious political issues to work out before it can aspire to long-term economic power.

  • The Truth||

    Hahahahah. That's hilarious coming from someone who lives in a country (ours) with much more serious political issues. Namely, an inability to do anything at all.

  • Id||

    Yes, if /only/ we had an enlightened form of government like the Chinese, that were *allowed* to DO THINGS. Sigh. But here we are, stuck with this darn representative democracy crap that hasn't ever produced a wealthy, productive society. Whatever shall we do?

  • The Truth||

    Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Canada, the UK--those are representative democracies.

    The USA is a degenerate, broken unrepresentative democracy with a Constitution (when interpreted literally, anyway) made for an 18th Century agrarian republic.

  • ||

    That makes almost no sense at all. If anything, we're more democratic than those nations. We used to be less so, but we've been moving to a more populist model for quite some time now.

  • Amakudari||

    1.8 BILLION people.

    ...

    Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Canada, the UK--those are representative democracies.

    Not sure which is dumber, the idea that China has 1.8 billion people or that South Korea has a model representative government.

    Also, the US has always been in the middle of the OECD pack in terms of corruption perceptions.

  • ||

    China has some serious political and demographic issues also. Being nominally communist, it has some very inefficient and large government industries which are sucking up resources (Iron Rice Bowls). Also, it has the disadvantage of having large social security and pension programs--unlike the US and Europe who instituted these social programs after they got rich, China must get rich while they have these outsized burdens. Additionally, with 1.3 billion people and a one child policy, they will have to fund these programs with a limited pool of young workers.

  • dr kill||

    + 100

  • ||

    THE YELLOW PERIL!!!

    Yawn. Again.

  • ||

    Dude, you're going to be among the first to go, being in Seattle.

    There's a lot of Hong Kong expats in Vancouver, too, just waiting for the opportunity to kill you.

  • Spiny Norman||

    They're inscrutable, with their mysterious Eastern ways.

  • ||

    What has China actually contributed to the world? I just have to look at the reality of the situation, the only thing China does well is super cheap labor, and they have few environmental regulations to get in the way of, for example, the steel industry. The largest corporations are still in the United States, this is where all the innovation happens, the innovators will bail on China. You won't ever see a company like Apple Computer set up shop in China. The government operates like the Soviet Union, the wheels will eventually fall off, that's the aspect of this that nobody accounts for. Wheels falling off.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Yawn. Once their real estate bubble pops and their economy goes in the tank you'll be saying the same think about India. I guess some people just like to be dramatic.

  • The Truth||

    They may have a small real estate bubble but they'll survive it.

    Why?

    Because the Chinese pay cold, hard cash for their real estate, instead of dumbass Americans who finance it through shitty sub-prime mortages and take out home equity loans to mask the fact that their incomes have been stagnating since the early 70s.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Because the Chinese pay cold, hard cash for their real estate, instead of dumbass Americans who finance it through shitty sub-prime mortages and take out home equity loans to mask the fact that their incomes have been stagnating since the early 70s."

    I inherited my estate. I own if free and clear. I am extremely well off. There are tens of thousands like me in this country. Perhaps even millions.

    You, and others like you, are a dime a dozen.

  • The Truth||

    So, you think the US will be #1 forever? That the laws of the universe will be suspended in our favor...just because?

  • ||

    Who the fuck cares? Why is it important to be #1?

  • Jewish Tiger Mom||

    You are stupid and utterly worthless, you dim-witted behema! OY, why I bothered to carry you to term is beyond me! You gotta be the best or those nice yentas just aren't give you the time of day! You wouldn't deny the woman who only gave birth to you the joy of manipulating my grandchildren, would you?

  • ||

    Yeah, because it's a binary choice: America #1 forever or China is #1. All other choices are disallowed.

  • Amakudari||

    Yeah, I'm sure people are chomping at the bit to own a currency with capital controls. And China's GDP won't even surpass the US's in 20 years.

    And the USD, when it's replaced, will be replaced gradually by a basket of currencies. Period. There's no sense in owning RMB any more than China's share of the world economy, especially given the drawbacks in liquidity and sovereign risk.

  • The Truth||

    And China's GDP won't even surpass the US's in 20 years.

    *sigh* some people still don't understand the difference between nominal GDP (which is bullshit) and PPP adjusted, which is the real measure.

    By PPP they will surpass us in the second half of this decade, some say even in the first half by 2013.

  • Amakudari||

    Bullshit I don't. I know what PPP is, and it's not "the real measure." It's an appropriate measure for comparing living standards, but not the attraction of a reserve currency.

    Trading partners care about the nominal terms. If a phone sells for $100 in country A and $60 in country B, they'd rather sell to A. Period. Citizens in B may live as well as A, but ceteris paribus they will conduct less trade.

  • robc||

    Their PPP per capita wont pass us in my lifetime.

  • Amakudari||

    By PPP they will surpass us in the second half of this decade, some say even in the first half by 2013.

    Let me meet these people who claim China's economy will grow by over 25% a year.

  • The Truth||

  • Amakudari||

    Jeremy Warner is an idiot (who also can't hyperlink), then.

    In PPP terms, Chinese GDP has never, NEVER grown 25%, much less 17%. And target GDP growth is 8%. And the Conference Board's GDP/PPP figures overstate China's economy by around $2.5 trillion. See the World Bank, IMF, World Factbook, etc. figures, which put it around $9-some trillion for 2009. The only citation I find for the CB's apparent figure is in parrots of the article.

    Sheer ridiculousness. You can only fall for something like that if you really have no exposure to economic reality.

    Yes, China's economy will be larger than the US's in PPP terms, and it will surpass the US in market exchange rate (i.e. nominal) terms sometime in the next 30-40 years, which is not a terribly huge accomplishment given its population. But it will not be bigger than the US in two years, the renminbi will not be a reserve currency until they can float it, and the idea that its growth is limitless while the growth of other countries is bound yet by gravity is ridiculous on its face.

  • The Truth||

    So....have you met those people yet?

    The silence to my link is deafening.

  • Amakudari||

    And I was getting some coffee. Geez, chill.

  • ||

    Your stupidity is deafening.

  • The Truth||

    They're also not dumb enough to the listen to Wall St. and let their currency appreciate, which is what caused Japan to collapse. That's right, we did it, and did it intentionally.

    The Chinese know that.

  • Amakudari||

    Oh, and bullshit on that. Everyone over here blames the Plaza Accord, too, but you know what? It happened five years before the asset price bubble burst, and Japan's banks weren't even recapitalized until ten years after that. And no one forced them on the path of massively expansive monetary policy.

    Japan suffers from overcapacity, poor investment decisions, zero entrepreneurship, an export-subsidization mentality, and weak financial institutions. 25 years is plenty of time to get over it, and they haven't, and the Plaza Accord is a sidestory in all of it.

  • The Truth||

    It happened five years before the asset price bubble burst,


    Yeah well it took a while for all that hot money and price increases on exports to wreak havoc.

    Why do you think the Chinese are REFUSING to let their currency float? They learned your lessons well.
  • Amakudari||

    Yeah well it took a while for all that hot money and price increases on exports to wreak havoc.

    Read the rest of what I said. There were zombie banks making bad loans as far as the late 90s. Regulators let them cook the books, and there was an implicit backstop on large banks. And if you look at retail banking in Japan, it's a bunch of behemoths like Mitsubishi, Mizuho, and Mitsui, and that's it for major players. They're all massively inefficient, still.

    There's absolutely no reason why the huge boom in Japan had to lead to a bust that wiped out 70% of its major companies' market capitalization for the next 20 years.

    Why do you think the Chinese are REFUSING to let their currency float? They learned your lessons well.

    I know why they're not floating the yuan. It's because they can hardly contain their bubbles as is.

  • Monty||

    “There were zombie banks making bad loans as far as the late 90s. Regulators let them cook the books, and there was an implicit backstop on large banks. And if you look at retail banking in Japan, it's a bunch of behemoths like Mitsubishi, Mizuho, and Mitsui, and that's it for major players. They're all massively inefficient, still.”

    Wow change a few words and that sounds a lot like Americas present and future.

  • Amakudari||

    True to a degree, and I'm negative on some of the US's recent growth, but it's much more extreme in Japan's case. I say this as someone who's worked for major financial institutions in both countries. Japan's considerably less competent in terms of banking, and I really mean that. The US banks are not dragging the country toward 20 years of stagnation.

    The US has a much larger variety of banks and a strong base of regional banks, even more so than many European countries. The aforementioned Mitsubishi, Mizuho and Mitsui plus the nominally privatized postal savings system (yūcho) hold around 40% of the country's total household savings in the form of deposits. Compare that to the US, where Wells, JPMorgan, BofA and Citi combined hold around 10%.

    And the response was different. In the US, if you recall, banks stopped lending when they realized everyone was now a much worse credit risk. They were forced to raise capital, and they did. Most banks can function as going concerns now, and that process took less than two years. In Japan, banks convinced regulators to offer them a backstop (which they happily did) and then proceeded to make bad loans in the hopes they would pay off so they wouldn't have to raise capital. That led to a glut of poor lending, which is why ten years after the real estate bubble burst, they had to go hat in hand to the last entity that would give them money: the government.

    And if you think it's bad that US banks charge overdraft fees, well, in Japan they don't have debit cards. If you think it's bad that US banks upped their ownership of Treasuries, well, in Japan they own most of the national debt and accept rates of less than 1% for their depositors. If you think i-bankers are overpaid in the US, well, consider that all good business in Japan is handled by foreign banks who quickly expatriate the money. Take any problem in the US banking system, and it just looks so much worse for Japanese banks.

    Bottom line: Japan has no financial competence. For a country with no entrepreneurship, weak results from its research institutions, a demographic nightmare, a national pension system that's worse off than Social Security, and no political leadership to confront the inefficiencies in these areas, it's really safe to say the US is better off.

  • ||

    Suppose we had no deficit or national debt, what then? Well, we obviously would not have all the economic problems that we now face. So, where did the national debt come from? The national debt has three components:

    LBJ's War on Poverty lasted thirty years and cost $6.6 trillion dollars. WoP had no lasting effect on reducing the poverty rate and was wasteful and corrupt, substantially destroying Black family life and values. WoP was belatedly cancelled by Clinton leaving a national debt of $6 trillion.

    Clinton's Dot.com Bubble, like all economic bubbles, cracked and did so one solid year before Clinton left office, as the NASDAQ lost $2.5 trillion before Clinton was gone. All economic indicators (government revenues/taxes, GDP, DOW, NASDAQ) were falling rapidly as Clinton left office and continued to fall for nearly three more years. The Clinton recession added $3 trillion to the national debt that then totaled $9 trillion.

    Carter and Clinton passed all the laws and economic policies that generated the Housing Bubble, and the Community Organizer-in-Chief actively participated in the agitation that drove up the Housing Bubble. The Fan and Fred mortgage policies were fraudulent, such as classifying sub-prime mortgages as investment-grade paper. The crash of the Housing Bubble and the Obama response resulted in an additional $5 trillion in the national debt just in the last four years. The national debt now totals $14 trillion and counting.

    It should be abundantly obvious by now that Democrat's collectivist solutions to all problems are both faulty and wasteful, having much the same effect as the collectivist policies of the Soviet Union which went bankrupt. Democrats have a catastrophic record in both social and economic policy decisions. The effects of the Democrats' disastrous attempts at social and economic engineering would be minimized by following the Constitution, which contains a central principle of personal freedom from government confiscation of private property.

    A person has a right to what he earns, and neither the government nor the government's dependent constituents has a claim on what a person builds for himself and his family. On the contrary, the Constitution encourages individual independence and prosperity through personal effort, an idea that is seemingly foreign to collectivist Democrats and most of the world. But none of the nations of the world were as free and as prosperous as the United States, at least until the Democrats started applying Marxist philosophy to the greatest nation in the world.

  • ||

    That's crap. People who really pay any attention to China (rather than envy its despotism) know that China is nowhere near being a threat to American economic preeminence. Used to hear the same nonsense about Japan in the 80s.

    What is more likely is that the gap between the U.S. and a number of other countries (India, China, Japan, South Korea, etc.) will shrink as those countries continue to grow. However, for the U.S. to fall into second-class territory would require us to simply stop growing while China and others continue high levels of growth. Extrapolating trends without any acknowledgment that they may change is almost always a poor practice in predicting the future.

    Besides, who do you think buys most consumer goods? If we really tank, China is totally fucked.

  • The Truth||

    Google "Plaza Accord". That's the only reason Japan didn't crush us. We pressured them into letting their currency rise and it killed them.

    The Chinese know it.

  • ||

    The sheer bulk of the U.S. economy is ignored when people suggest that Japan or China are going to knock us off. We could continue to fade, but the size of our economy (as opposed to the growth figures that people focus on) makes us by far the preeminent economic power on Earth. That's right now, during recession+. If we get on a deregulatory kick and/or hit on some major technological innovations, we could go right back into supergrowth mode.

  • The Truth||

    The Chinese economy is already 60% the size of ours when adjusted for purchasing power.

    It's only a few years before its bigger.

    They're where the US was in 1910, and we're where Britain was then.

  • ||

    Don't think that's accurate. I believe we're still close to three times as big as China in GDP.

    Montani Semper Liberi is right. I heard the exact same nonsense about Japan. There are systemic problems there, just as there are in China. We have our own, but we could, in theory, reform ourselves fairly quickly. That's not the case for China.

    China is also waaaay behind us, Japan, Europe, and so on in innovation. They're trying to work on that, but they're very far behind. Mostly, they have cheap labor that allows our companies to order products from factories there. That's not a compelling or Earth-shattering economic model for the long haul.

  • The Truth||

    . I believe we're still close to three times as big as China in GDP.

    Yes, in nominal terms. But not when adjusted for purchasing power(the Yuan is undervalued as you well know). PPP adjustment is the true measure of an economy's size.

  • robc||

    PPP per capita you mean. Who gives a fuck if you have more people?

    GDP nomimal
    or
    PPP per capita

    The others dont matter.

  • Amakudari||

    PPP adjustment is the true measure of an economy's size.

    Herp derp.

    PPP is a measure of living standards, and it's only relevant to the extent that it implies underlying exchange rates are wrong (and it rarely does).

    Interestingly, if you're going to make that claim, it means a rise in the yuan, which will choke off China's growth.

  • The Truth||

    we could, in theory, reform ourselves fairly quickly.

    Ahahaha.

    Not if Jim Demint and Tom Coburn put secret holds on any kind of reform because it's not in the "plain reading" of The Constitution (tm) with the original intent of The Founders (tm), even if 98 other Senators support it.

  • ||

    Oh, right, we need more government to improve our economy. If only we were just like China!

  • The Truth||

    Of course we don't! The free market will repair all our infrastructure and fund basic R&D that won't pay off in the market for decades but is nonetheless extremely useful (internet, anyone?)!

    The Market Knows All!

    What would The Founders (tm) do about high-speed rail?

  • robc||

    What would The Founders (tm) do about high-speed rail?

    Mock it.

  • ||

    What would The Founders (tm) do about high-speed rail?

    Invite you to form a private company to raise capital to build it?

  • ||

    That sounds like some sort of evil, limited liability scheme to me, Mr. Dean. Why do you hate the People?

  • ||

    Why do you hate the People?

    Because they need hating so very, very much?

  • fish||

    Tony! I knew that was you in the new super hero outfit that mom bought you for Halloween. "The Truth".....pretty catchy.

  • The Truth||

    And I still see everyone on here is completely ignorant about the Plaza Accord which was our deliberate gambit to sink the Japanese economy (it worked).

    The Chinese aren't that fucking stupid, which is why they're not going to let the Yuan float.

  • ||

    BOOOHOOOOO SOMEONE ELSE IS WINNING THE ECONOMY GAME. WE MUST STOP THEM!

  • ||

    And the Japanese were that fucking stupid?

    Only a megalomaniac would have your handle...

  • Alan Vanneman||

    This is the guy who charged Citigroup $100 million to run them into a ditch. How long have been people been warning about inflation? Well, if you keep saying the same thing long enough, you're bound to be right, I guess.

  • ||

    STOP SPELLING MY NAME WRONG!

  • fish||

    So what's the problem....Rubins preferred position was always to delay for six months on all matters anyway.....I'm sure it will all be sorted out by then.

  • Tim||

    We're winning the future!

  • ||

    WTF+1

  • Pauly Krugnuts||

    MORE DEFICIT SPENDING IS OUR ONLY HOPE!!!

  • PIRS||

    One thing to pay attention to with regards to China (and a lesser degree with India) is the phenomenon of a disproportionate number of boys thanks to a one child policy that leads to aborting girls and adopting out baby girls to other countries. The end result will eventually be one HELL of a lot of sexually frustrated young men in a decade or so. What this will result in is anybody’s guess. Some suggest it will lead to war or revolution.

  • Applederry||

    I'm thinking mail-order brides from North Korea is most likely.

  • PIRS||

    The population of North Korea is much smaller than that of the PRC. Even if every single woman in North Korea became a mail order bride this would not completely solve the problem.

  • ||

    Send in the clones.

  • ||

    I see a Real-Doll-driven Japanese recovery in near future.

  • The Truth||

    The sex imbalance is blown out of proportion and is mostly western myth.

    Dubai has a sex imbalance, too, that's even worse--why aren't people hand-wrining over them?

  • Billy!||

    'Cuz they're tiny little country, maybe?

  • PIRS||

    Here is an article on the topic from BBC News:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8451289.stm

  • Amakudari||

    Dubai has a sex imbalance, too, that's even worse--why aren't people hand-wrining over them?

    Because they're already fucked and in their own debt crisis?

  • JD||

    The sex imbalance in Dubai and other oil-rich Middle Eastern nations is because they import so many temporary workers (largely young, single Muslim males) from other, poorer, nations (mainly South and Southeast Asia) to do menial labor. They work there for a few years then go back home to marry.

    That's not what is happening in China (and India too)--it is cultural factors leading to an actual imbalance.

  • Old Salt||

    THANK YOU!!!

    Waaay to many economists focus on the numbers and forget that sociology (not just psychology) plays a very big role in a nation's economy!

    China and India ARE growing at a huge rate but you also have to take into account that the vast majority of their populations could be accurately described as peasants. Get outside the major cities and the infrastructure isn't much better than the U.S. at the dawn of WWI. Take into account the looming social concerns of China with their lack of women, youth who are increasingly frustrated that the path to professional success is bought with political favors, and you have a huge fucking problem that the government is aware of but has no will to take on (like the USA and their finances). India is still dealing with the left overs from the Caste system and neighbors who are extremely unfriendly (not to mention that India would start bouncing off the fucking walls if Pakistan collapses like most experts think it soon will)!

    The growth models I keep getting shoved in my face seem to take the stance that China and India won't have any socio-political problems and that the U.S. will just keep stumbling along as is with nobody addressing it's financial crisis.

    There are a lot of major problems that the USA-India-China love triangle will soon HAVE to deal with and nobody in this circle jerk seems ready for any of it!

  • Chinese Porn Investor||

    Business will be amazing.

  • Dr Giggles||

    Not as much as it will be for the doctors who end up treating all those cases of carpal tunnel and tennis elbow!

  • ||

    To be specific about the risks, deficits could crowd out private investment, which could choke off a private investment recovery. Moreover, the capacity for public investment is already diminishing, and could be exacerbated by growing entitlement costs and mounting interest payments...

    No

    fucking

    way.

  • ||

    There's a lot of Hong Kong expats in Vancouver, too

    Swarming.

    Like ants.

    Killer ants, only yellow and perilous!!!!111

  • ||

    And everyone of them wants to. . .

    KILL EPISIARCH!

    Must all be Hit & Run fans or something, I guess.

  • T||

    The yellow hordes may be devious, but I really don't think they're prepared to deal with Epi.

    But that's probably my American Exceptionalism talking.

  • Mango Punch||

    the insider's insider's insider's secret backdoor path to power


    So the path to power for those who are already powerful? Makes sense.

    I'm now thinking about things I'd rather spend the $40k price tag on.

  • ||

    It's too bad there weren't any Citi shareholders there to punch Rubin in the nuts.

  • Brett L||

    He doesn't have a cushy NYT column to fall back on, so he has to talk sense in between jobs, at least.

  • Mango Punch||

    It's Roubini, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't the cause of Citi's shares going from $55 to $1.

  • Mango Punch||

    Haha, I'm an idiot, you're talking about Robert Rubin... Is he at Davos?

  • Mango Punch||

    Wow, I just realized I'm an even bigger idiot... he's what the post was about.

  • Virginia||

    Whenever Rubin talks about private investment, there should be a MASSIVE qualifier attached to show it's really govt-financed investment in the FIRE economy that he's talking about.

  • ||

    Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Canada, the UK--those are representative democracies.

    Louder!

  • ||

    America's problem is most assuredly not that it isn't democratic or "representational" enough.

  • ||

    What's Hit&Run; coming to?

    If it's not Greg Smith telling us how ungrateful the darkies are for not appreciating how good slavery was, it's morons like The Truth talking about how the chinks are going to fuck all our white women, or something.

    Where the fuck do these fucks come from, and how do they find their way here?

  • Amakudari||

  • ||

    Dude that's awesome. Where have you been all my life?

  • ||

    how do they find their way here?

    I blame Matt Welch.

  • ||

    Well, back when Virginia Postrel was running the joint . . . .

  • Spiny Norman||

    It's been going downhill since the redesign.

    I think Weigel's behind it.

  • ||

    The one thing that seems to unite conservatives like Greg and liberals like Tony is the thinking that the only way that a country's citizens can have a good life is if their country is the boss of all the world.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Rubin is playing his part perfectly:

    1. Banks collapse.
    2. Destroy nation's balance sheet to save them.
    3. Complain about the deficit and government finances.

    What's next?

    4. Raise taxes on ordinary folks instead of those responsible for the collapse and those who were bailed out.
    5. Cut benefits and social services to ordinary folks.

    This is exactly what has happened in Ireland. It's coming here next. Wealth redistribution, Louis XIV style.

  • sevo||

    "5. Cut benefits and social services to ordinary folks."

    Sounds like a plan to me; ordinary folks don't need benefits and social services.

  • ||

    This stuff amuses me in a Dr. Strangelove sort of way.

    "Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious."

  • ching chung chang||

    One reason China will never rule the world . . . their Jewish population is virtually nil. Gotta have some Heebs in there!

  • ]||

    Comedy gold.

  • ||

    Overseas Chinese are considered the Jews of Asia. I remember introducing my then BF to my Japanese family. We were speaking Japanese in front of him, and they asked what his racial background he was. I knew where this was leading so I just said he was "white." My uncke told me that he could see that, but all Americans came from somewhere else. I answered that he was Jewish, and then I got the "Congratulations- Jews and Chinese are all rich" comments. And he was very very rich.

  • ||

    One of my favourite sayings: "Things are not as good and not as bad as they seem".

  • Cruz||

    The true story here is how a troll named "The Truth" managed to garner so much attention. With the graces of a deranged howler monkey, I'd guess it was because his name was "The Truth." Everyone knows of course that they have a monopoly on the truth.

  • sevo||

    Cruz|2.2.11 @ 5:19PM|#
    "The true story here is how a troll named "The Truth" managed to garner so much attention...."

    Naah. It's just amusing to poke holes in the same damn 'end-of-times' theories we all held as adolescents.

  • sevo||

    And to make it clear:
    The Truth|2.2.11 @ 1:12PM|#
    "LOL..."
    'Nuff said.

  • Chester White||

    Hey, Rubin, welcome to the party, pal.

    Overrated, overpaid jackass.

  • ||

    Missouri Gov was seeking ideas for how to piss the sugar-fed $s back in 09. I submitted a design to buy gold, store it around the state in willing [armed] households (no buying of fortresses). They laughed. The money's gone, not the debt.

  • ||

  • sevo||

    "read this http://www.businessinsider.com.....-12?slop=1"

    Hard to argue the capital is being used to best advantage.

  • ||

    These are hardly goldbug ideas. . .read the FOMC meeting minutes from november 1937 sometime; they were all too real then.

    (I'm not arguing for rapid fiscal contraction--those same minutes point out how rapid cutting in 1937 caused a recession--but we do need to phase out government consumption spending and phase in private investment).

  • ||

    All our problems can be blamed squarely on the blacks and the liberal/socialists that push their agenda. So before calling me a racist, please review all the facts.

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