Monday, July 14, 2008

How do you stuff money into a Sleep-Number mattress?

If you’re able to ignore that knot in your stomach and maintain a dispassionate interest, then watching the reverse engineering of the US dollar hegemony is fascinating and the lessons learned will give you a leg up on what to expect during the soon-to-follow reverse engineering of the US economic hegemony.

The Cunning Realist has an excellent post up about Fannie and Freddie and Indy in general and the citizenry’s “serene, sedated acceptance” in particular.
Finally, does anyone else find the lack of national outrage about all this a bit unsettling? It's almost a serene, sedated acceptance. Maybe after seven-plus years it's outrage fatigue. Maybe the pain's not bad enough yet. Or maybe democracy's simply working as it should, and people will vote calmly in November to throw the bums out.

I'm not sure what I expected in terms of outrage. But in a week that saw oil wink at $150, one of the largest bank failures in U.S. history, and media speculation about a doubling of the public debt with a bailout of Fannie and Freddie, I didn't expect to hear a top economic advisor to one of the candidates claim that it's all in our heads.

I do think that if things get bad enough, eventually there will be calls to prosecute the policymakers -- both elected and appointed -- responsible for this mess. War crimes or something else might be the proximate cause for that prosecution, but economic collapse, if it happens, could create an environment in which the public demands it.
It could happen. Although Americans have revealed an astonishing tolerance for fabricated casus belli, war crimes, eroded civil liberties, a burgeoning kleptocracy, and Dubya‘s Goopish social skills, economic collapse would force us to downgrade our cable programming package -- and that’s something that simply won’t be tolerated.

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