One (or two) years on - they have learned nothing  

Posted by Big Gav in

Jerome has an interesting post at TOD on the political response to the credit crunch - One (or two) years on - they have learned nothing.

Just over one year after it became impossible to deny that the financial crisis that had started in 2006/2007 was a major, systemic event, it is rather depressing to see that nothing has really changed and, to the contrary, if anything has, it is for the worse.

The most striking item, of course, is the continued dominance of politicians by bankers. Banks are universally seen - including by bankers - as being at the heart of the problem, and having created the crisis through reckless behavior and worse. And yet, after having being bailed out at a staggering cost, in a highly asymmetrical way (the losses were socialised, but not the banks), not only have they managed to eliminate the likelihood of any meaningful regulatory change, but more importantly they have managed to maintain the fiction that finance was the reason for earlier prosperity and should thus be protected as a source of future prosperity. The crash has not made anyone question the quality (or reality) of the previous boom, but rather made them wistful for these times. Thus, the dominance of the finance sector on the economy and the airwaves has not changed one bit: we still worry about the stock market, it's still financial analysts and economists that drive the public debate, we're still talking about "reforms" of entitlements or the labor market as if these were the main problem today, and public policy largely avoids the big looming issues of resource depletion and climate change.

3 comments

Tim Auld   says 5:58 PM

Hi BigGav,

I can't find an email address, so I'm just leaving a post for you on this latest article.

It's been about a year since our bet. I've just made another bet with a friend, which reminded me of ours, and I thought I might touch base. If you remember, the terms were 1/10 Oz gold coin to you if US vehicle miles traveled was greater 15 years on from October 2008, otherwise the same coin to me.

The latest statistics are from July 09. US vehicle miles traveled is off 3.4% from its peak, but there has been a slight uptick recently.

Data here:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/09jultvt/09jultvt.pdf

Cheers :)

Hi Tim,

I'm glad you remembered this, because it had already slipped from my mind !

Thanks for the update - will be interesting to track it over the years.

My email is biggav at gmail dot com

Cheers,
Gav.

"I bet" they learn less as years and resources dwindle by and are 'shocked by upcoming energy prices that halt any signs of economic recovery'

Thanks for the link Jim.

Regarding the 'travel uptick'... relocation from housing foreclosures, 'cash for junk' in conjunction with laughably low pump prices = slight uptick?


Suckers take safe bets ;-)

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