By Paul Krugman
New York Times
Last month, when the U.S. Treasury Department allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, I wrote that Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, was playing financial Russian roulette. Sure enough, there was a bullet in that chamber: Lehman’s failure caused the world financial crisis, already severe, to get much, much worse.
The consequences of Lehman’s fall were apparent within days, yet key policy players have largely wasted the past four weeks. Now they’ve reached a moment of truth: They’d better do something soon — in fact, they’d better announce a coordinated rescue plan this weekend — or the world economy may well experience its worst slump since the Great Depression.
Let’s talk about where we are right now.
The current crisis started with a burst housing bubble, which led to widespread mortgage defaults, and hence to large losses at many financial institutions. That initial shock was compounded by secondary effects, as lack of capital forced banks to pull back, leading to further declines in the prices of assets, leading to more losses, and so on — a vicious circle of “deleveraging.” Pervasive loss of trust in banks, including on the part of other banks, reinforced the vicious circle.
The downward spiral accelerated post-Lehman. Money markets, already troubled, effectively shut down — one line currently making the rounds is that the only things anyone wants to buy right now are Treasury bills and bottled water....(Click here for remainder).
Palin has taken to smearing Obama. But it's her own record that continues to yield alarming information, undermining her skills and credibility.
Sarah Palin has had a lot of ups and downs in her time in the national spotlight. When she was first nominated, the Alaska governor exceeded expectations by successfully reading from a teleprompter at the Republican National Convention. Then, she sat down with CBS's Katie Couric to disastrous results -- disastrous, hilarious or downright frightening, given your point of view. Any way you look at it, Palin's awful interview with Couric set the bar so low that her embarrassing performance at the vice presidential debate, where she refused to answer the questions and flirtatiously winked at the camera, was deemed a success by many commentators in the corporate media. At least she didn't vomit on stage, seemed to be the general consensus.
Since the debate, though, Sarah Palin has dropped to new lows. She has maliciously gone after Barack Obama, using hate speech, dog whistles and every inexcusable attack in the book.
But no matter how ridiculous or sensational Palin's attacks on Obama are, her venomous words cannot hide all the skeletons that keep pouring out of her unvetted closet. And these are the things that should give the American public cause for concern....(Click here for remainder).