Friday, December 12, 2008

George Bailout

Not So Wonderful Now says Ross Douthat in the Washington Post, October 12, 2008
In a mid-movie peroration, the hero lectures Potter and a gaggle of local entrepreneurs on the virtues of democratizing homeownership: "You're all businessmen here," he presses them, sounding for all the world like a politician defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against their critics in 2004 or so. "Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? ... What'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? ... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars?"

Yet 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!' said Gary North at LewRockwell, December 11, 2002
It was not honeymoon cash that solved bank runs in America. It was the government’s extension of an insurance subsidy and its implied promise of a fiat-money bailout by the Federal Reserve System. This solution has guaranteed inflation ever since, in order to keep home owners happy and depositors asleep.

Here George Bailey explains fractional reserve banking.

Mr. North continues.
But the movie isn’t about fractional reserve banking, any more than it’s about angels getting their wings. It’s about the positive, cumulative, but unseen benefits to many people of individual acts of charity and honesty. It’s also about capitalism: home ownership, small businesses, and sacrificial hard work.

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