Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not quite so fast...

...before turning the tables on people calling you "dumb".

Jessica Alba recently ranted against Bill O'Reilly, who made fun of her for her suggestion to "be neutral, like Sweden", saying that the predominant neutral country in Europe is Switzerland, not Sweden. She then calls O'Reilly stupid, saying that Sweden was a non-aligned country during World War II.

If we were in the 1940s, we'd have a fair argument here. But we aren't. Sweden is a full member of the European Union, and has entertained the thought of joining the Euro. Sounds really neutral to me.

O'Reilly might be a pompous blowhard with scattershot accuracy, but his calling out Alba in this case, much to her chagrin, is correct (insomuch as she didn't say "like Sweden in the 1940s"). Had she gone one country to the West, and said "like Norway", then maybe.

But she didn't.

Needless to say, geopolitics isn't particularly the realm of the Hollywood glitterati, nor do I expect it ever will be. After all, they're not paid to be intelligent.

Ya think?

As usual, George Soros has a flair for understatement.

Soros is criticizing the idea of creating a publicly-held "bad bank" through which the government could isolate the toxic mortgage debts the banks hold and thereby limit further damage from the credit crisis.

What he wants to do instead is create a government-held "good bank", consolidating all of the non-toxic assets into one central depository, although he cautions that it would "too closely approach nationalization".

Yeah, I think governmental control of the near entirety of good capital in the financial sector would be just a bit more than "approaching nationalization".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back from the abyss...

...with a rejoinder to Keynes as well.

Supporters of the current proposed economic stimulus keep telling me, quoting Keynes, "in the long run, we are all dead." They use this as justification that what matters is getting the economy back up and running in the short term, and worry about future problems when they arise.

My response to "in the long run, we are all dead"? "In the last major recession (1979-1982)... today was the 'long run.'"