Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Our Officials Most Fear (Michael Rozeff)

Michael Rozeff knows what scares the state:

What do our officials most fear? They fear the public’s loss of confidence. Events are driving their improvised attempts to stem a general loss of confidence in the dollar, in them, the financial and monetary system, and the government as a whole.

It is not clear that they recognize that this is their greatest fear. But even if they do recognize that this is their greatest fear, they have no clear roadmap for dealing with it.

Barack Obama’s speeches have kindled some hope. If and when he takes office, he can maintain that hope and a degree of confidence for a spell, by strong government action, for, despite its perverse effects, strong measures are what give many voters confidence in the system. They feel good if something is being done, even if it means they’ll pay double or triple in the end.

A recent news headline reads "Obama gives Bernanke vote of confidence." Obama is not even President yet, and he is already trying to bolster confidence in the system.

On May 13, 2008, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke spoke of many things, as he often does, of economic growth, of housing losses, of liquidity, of financial strains, and so on. And in doing so, he obscured his main fear. He fears our fears. He fears fear itself. He fears our loss of confidence in the currency and the monetary system and in the entire system itself. If he doesn’t, he should or soon will. Such a loss of confidence is inevitable.

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1 comment:

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