Volcker: American ‘Lack of Urgency’ Will Cripple Us
Posted by Larry Doyle on May 19, 2010 11:30 AM |
We’re different, right? The economic problems in Greece and other nations within the EU are their problems and not ours. Really? In my opinion, Americans are far too complacent regarding our economic problems. We shouldn’t be.
Will the economic, political, and civil waves of unrest rolling across Europe come ashore here in America? It is only a matter of time unless those in Washington charged with addressing the underlying issues take swift action. I have seen zero inclination and political will to do just that. Our Washington elite are so used to feeding at the trough that they would not know how to pull themselves away. How is America responding to these fat pigs?
Last night’s elections in PA, AK, and KY are further evidence of the anti-incumbent, pro-Tea Party political wave sweeping our country.
Will Washington incumbents ever listen? They have no choice, as they will continue to be thrown out on their ass or preemptively leave of their own accord having stuffed their coffers with campaign funds and lobbying dollars. True public service and public servants have been corrupted by the political process. Where are our true statesmen?
I regard Paul Volcker as one of the few true statesmen in our country today. Volcker is sending a strong warning signal to our nation. Will we listen? What is Volcker saying? Bloomberg highlights Volcker’s warnings in reporting, Volcker Says Time Is Running Out for U.S. to Tackle Fiscal Woes:
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, a top outside adviser to President Barack Obama, said time is “growing short” for the U.S. to address problems ranging from its budget deficit to Social Security obligations.
“We better get started,” the 82-year-old former central banker said in a speech yesterday in Stanford, California. “Today’s concerns may soon become tomorrow’s existential crises.”
In today’s economy and today’s markets, years go by like weeks so tomorrow will be here all too soon.
“Little has happened to allay my concerns” raised five years ago that “dangerous and intractable” problems were rising in the U.S., said Volcker, chairman of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
“Intractable not just because of the combination of complicated issues, but because there seemed to be so little willingness or capacity to do much about it,” he said during a dinner at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
That willingness and capacity is a direct shot at the incestuous and corrupting nature of our political-economic system. The civil unrest in Greece is directed at that same dynamic. Don’t think it can’t happen here. The Tea Party movement is a direct result of the American public’s anxiety on this front. While the media and political elites from both sides of the aisle would like to marginalize the Tea Party, they miss the big picture and what Americans are saying.
Volcker said in an interview yesterday it will take “years” to restore economic balance in Europe following the debt crisis. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet has been “particularly effective in maintaining the credibility of the euro,” he told Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio.
Years? As in the Japanese style approach to dealing with excessive debt? Yes, exactly that.
“In the United States, we don’t seem to me to share the same sense of urgency” as countries such as Ireland, Volcker said in his speech. “The time we have is growing short” and “there are serious questions, most immediately about the sustainability of our commitment to growing entitlement programs.”
Americans lulled into a false sense of security by a market inflated by borrowed funds provided by Uncle Sam should be exceptionally careful. They should also wake up to the underlying issues as highlighted by Volcker.
Any thoughts that participants in the financial community might have had that conditions were returning to normal should by now be shattered,” he said. “We are left with some very large questions: questions of understanding what happened, questions of what to do about it, and ultimately questions of political possibilities.”
I see little inclination by those in Washington or on Wall Street to truly address these questions with the needed degree of seriousness and urgency.
As a result, the future pain will be that much worse.