Barack Obama

Reason Writers on Freedom Watch: Matt Welch Talks About Obama and Wall Street

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On Thursday, Aug. 4, Reason Editor in Chief appeared on Judge Andrew Napolitano's Freedom Watch program, to talk about President Barack Obama's relationship with Wall Street, and the possible meanings of yesterday's stock market plunge:

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  1. *knock knock*

  2. Wait a second, is that the same shirt/tie combo Matt was wearing on the Alyona show?

  3. He’s out of uniform without his top hat and monocle.

  4. Has the media connected the Tea Partiers to the market crash yet?

    1. They closed the market the last time terrorists attacked the country, so I don’t see why they didn’t do it this time, too.

  5. So, I gotta ask… how ugly is it gonna be when a Republican Congress and Obama reach some agreement on entitlement reform in 2014-ish?

    And yes, I see a lame duck Obama agreeing to entitlement reform simply because he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his “progressive” base and wants to have a legacy.

    1. But he won’t want to do any damage to the incoming Biden administration.

    2. (Sadly)

      You always told us we were your legacy.

  6. The reason the market fell so hard yesterday was because it has become increasingly likely that Spain and Italy won’t be able to cover their debts because of their bloated budgets–and this perception has raised their cost of borrowing to the point that it’s unclear they can afford to continue to cover all that bloat with borrowing.

    The reason the market was coming back today was because the ECB announced that it was prepared to buy Spanish and Italian debt–in exchange for tightening their budgets.

    Italy is promising to amend its constitution in exchange for ECB action to–wait for it–pass a balanced budget amendment!

    According to the American left, I guess that means Italy has fallen victim to the Tea Party now? …because obviously the only reason anyone would want to do something like that is because they’re stupid Tea Party people, right?

    No wonder the Left hates free markets–they force reality onto bloated government budgets when nothing else will. That’s how the left should look at fiscal conservatives–we’re trying to save the government from being forced into fiscal conservatism. It’s a whole lot easier when we choose to be fiscally conservative. …but if we keep going like we’re going, we will end up like Italy. We will become fiscally conservative eventually just like Italy–we just won’t be fiscally conservative on our own terms.

    We’ll have to cut indiscriminately like Greece and Italy–and that really hurts a lot of people. …especially the poor and elderly. The world economy is stagnating because of the bloated budgets of the developed world–the left should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. The reason the market fell so hard yesterday was because it has become increasingly likely that Spain and Italy won’t be able to cover their debts because of their bloated budgets–and this perception has raised their cost of borrowing to the point that it’s unclear they can afford to continue to cover all that bloat with borrowing.

      According to NPR this morning, Italy is just fine, it’s their ugly neighbors, Greece and Portugal that are dragging Italy down.

      1. “According to NPR this morning, Italy is just fine, it’s their ugly neighbors, Greece and Portugal that are dragging Italy down.”

        See the story I linked below about what the European Central banks said Italy needed to do if they wanted the ECB to buy their bonds.

        See what Berlusconi said the Italian government was going to do to get their budget under control–can you imagine if Barack Obama felt like he had to do that?

        Here’s a chart for what Italian government bonds have been doing lately–and realize that the cost of borrowing for the Italian government has gone up 50% since November. …and that’s assuming anybody wanted to buy their bonds!

        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/…..TPGR10:IND

        I appreciate NPR can be a good news source–but when there’s a conflict? I’ll take the ECB’s, Berlusconi’s, the European Central Bank’s and the international bond market’s collective opinion over NPR’s, thank you.

    2. This should be the lead story on every newscast tonight…

      “The Italian government has agreed to speed up its fiscal consolidation timetable, push through labor reforms and introduce a balanced-budget amendment in its constitution as part of an agreement with European Union authorities, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires…”

      The report followed other media accounts that the ECB had agreed in principle to buy Italian and Spanish bonds if key structural reforms were brought forward.

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/44035627

      …but it won’t be.

    3. According to the American left, I guess that means Italy has fallen victim to the Tea Party now? …because obviously the only reason anyone would want to do something like that is because they’re stupid Tea Party people, right?

      No wonder the Left hates free markets–they force reality onto bloated government budgets when nothing else will.

      ________________

      The left will get around to “fixing” this eventually, if we let them. Given the opportunity, I firly believe the democrats would seize 401(k) accounts or at least force new accounts into Treasuries. Here’s the “logic” I am sure they will use:

      It’s those rich, selfish tea partiers who are investors in the bond market, and they’re refusing to loan their own money to profligate governments, even if it means that those governments can’t write as many welfare checks! It is a fucking scandal that the wealthy are permitted to invest their own money in any damn thing they want and drive up interest rates on soveriegn debt. What right should anyone have to buy Apple stock when Italy/Greece/Spain needs the money so badly? Government employees have to go without a pension just so the rich can seek the highest return? It is high time that governments band together and require all investments to be parked in sovereign debt. At a reasonable rate of return, of course — say 2.5%, regardless of maturity. This will provide a fair deal to all, especially those who depend on transfer payments that can only be financed by endless borrowing.

      1. Wanna come see my rifle collection?

        1. That’s the only thing that might convince them to not do it. Seizing retirement funds like that might result in armed resistance. That said, so few people bother to save money that maybe the left would get away with it anyway.

          1. Seizing retirement funds like that might result in armed resistance.

            Meh.

            1. Hey! I just realized it’s too hot in here!

    4. Countries are not having debt crises because they all suddenly started spending on social programs. There was a recession that reduced government revenues. All you offer is more contraction. EU members may not have a choice, but the US does, and without the US leading economic growth, none of us will be able to solve debt problems with any measure of efficiency.

      1. All you offer is more contraction.

        The contractions are getting closer together, too.

      2. “EU members may not have a choice, but the US does…”

        That was my point, Tony. And part of the reason Italy has so many problems is because of demographics–they’re graying now like we’re gonna gray over the next ten years.

        Italy is the canary in the proverbial coal mine. Their old people are hitting their Social Security and Medicare equivalent programs now–like our baby boomers are gonna hit Social Security and Medicare over the next ten years!

        Look at Italy now. That’s our future. We either cut voluntarily now–on our own terms–while we have the choice? Or the markets will force us to make those cuts one way or another by refusing to finance our debt.

        Everybody who cares about keeping Social Security and Medicare solvent should be raging fiscal conservatives right now. …and just so you know? That’s what they are!

        That’s why I’m a libertarian and not Tea Party–because the Tea Party has pretty much always been about keeping Social Security Medicare solvent, and I think we’d all be better off with something better.

        If Barack Obama wants to win reelection, he better jump on board the fiscal conservative express quick–despite his ObamaCare catastrophe, which has done more to threaten the long term solvency of Medicare and Social Security than any fiscally conservative Tea Party budget ever could!

        1. If Barack Obama wants to win reelection, he better pretend to jump on board the fiscal conservative express quick

          FTFY

      3. Countries are not having debt crises because they all suddenly started spending on social programs.

        No, they’re having a debt crisis because they’ve always been spending on social programs which libertarians have always warned would be unsustainable the minute your revenues take a dive during a bad economic cycle.

        Unfunded mandates are debt. Even if the government doesn’t account for them that way.

  7. As and aside, I am continually amazed that no matter how much I bash the Wall Streeters, I can still count on their contributions for my Billion-Dollar Obama WAR and WELFARE 2012 campaign fund.

    1. That’s mostly protection money.

      1. I mean, it’s hard to imagine that in the United States of America that somebody in the White House reelection campaign might keep track of who on Wall Street made donations and who didn’t–because that information might be useful in the off-chance that Obama get reelected?

        But I guess you’ll just have to color me jaded.

        1. Careful, that information is top secret. I have the most transparent administration since Richard Nixon, but some things…..I’m not sure I like where you’re going with your insinuations, Ken Shultz…

  8. And I thought the only thing holding down our economy was the evil extremists who were refusing to increase the debt limit.

    1. paying attention aint ur strong suit is it?

      1. And sarcasm ain’t yours, is it?

  9. More evidence that we are screwed: Democrats refuse to cut $16.5 million to end subsidies to airports in the middle of nowhere.

    http://news.yahoo.com/reid-con…..40538.html

    These people are deranged, pure and simple.

  10. Morgantown, W.Va.; Athens, Ga.; Glendive, Mont.; Alamogordo, N.M.; Ely, Nev.; Jamestown, N.Y.; Bradford, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Jonesboro, Ark.; Johnstown, Pa.; Franklin/Oil City, Pa.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Jackson, Tenn.

    All for only $16.5 million!

    Who’s deranged now?

    1. Even worse than I thought. Athens GA is about 75 minutes from Atlanta. Lancaster PA can’t be more than an hour from Philly. Morgantown is probably an hour or two (tops) from Pittsburgh. Not sure about the others but I’d bet it is the same.

      Here’s an open request that if Lahood re-ups this waste of money: somone — Reason, anyone — get an interview with that asswipe LaHood and devote it solely to attempting to justify this mond-boggling waste of our fucking money, airport by airport. Spend 20 minutes on Athens GA alone. Why do those people need a government subsidy to catch a connecting flight to Atlanta? If we can’t cut this we can’t cut anything. Fucking shit.

    2. Nice. Explicit rephrasing:

      One aspect of our problem is that some people simply cannot understand why some other people might not want to “contribute a little of their money for the good of their fellow human beings”.

    3. Democrats are.

      Because if these airports are necessary, the market would subsidize them.

      They are one of a zillion of those subsidy receptacles none of which “can or should be cut”, amounting to NOTHING being cut and hence proving once again how deranged Democrats are.

      You may as well subsidize horse carriages, and then say “a million horse carriages for only 16.5 million dollars. Who’s deranged now?”

      You are, because they ARE NOT FUCKING NECESSARY.

      You think these airports are useful? YOU pay for them.

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