Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Economy and the NYT Editorial Board

This NYT Editorial shows some of what ails the "mainstream" picture of the economy and what is wrong with it:
"Rate cuts won’t attack the proximate causes of today’s economic turmoil — widespread mortgage defaults at one end of the economic scale and a credit squeeze afflicting Wall Street at the other, both rooted in the excesses of the housing boom."

No, rate cuts won't attack the proximate cause even though its not what NYT asserts, those problems are symptoms, the problem is that the bottom has fallen out. Wages have been falling for years, as those have fallen the middle has started to get dragged down, the only thing holding the mess together was the "housing boom." The easy credit available for housing, whether for purchase or simply equity refinancing, has kept many people in the consumerism game. New housing drives a huge portion of the consumer market, that new house frequently means new furnishings and appliances, lawns and gardens and related equipment. and some "rewards" for the stress. Refinances mean the down for the new vehicle, the vacation, the new TV, etc, etc, including those stock buys. As the middle has gotten squeezed they have to cut back on investments they might have made and some of those investment dollars went to the "dream home" possible with lower interest rates or ... gamed interest rates.

It seems that the NYT and a bunch of others all want to look up for the source of economic difficulties, not surprising, BushCo plays that game as they cater to the plutocrats, most of the "mavens" spout the same stuff. Of course, they're the same bunch that made a big deal out of rising average income...

I wonder if it is an inability to connect dots that are unfamiliar, or if it is willful stupidity. What I do know, is that the plight of ordinary Americans just does not count with the big players.


Steve Culley said...

Front page of the business section of the Sunday Oregonian has a graft. 31% of Oregon mortages are intrest only. 15 % a negative amortation.

Chuck Butcher said...

that's trouble in spades