In 2008, as the U.S. economy teetered under the weight of years of reckless credit expansion, the Bush administration decided against proposals to sweep out the bad debts from the banking system and then fix the regulatory structure—an approach based on tried and tested models from the S&L crisis and other financial crises.
We will pay the price for this decision in 2010. That's because the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are plowing forward with Plan B: Nationalize credit creation and "stimulate" the private sector by spending in its stead.
Richard Nixon's famous line, "We're all Keynesians now" never seemed more apropos. With the budget deficit at an eye-popping $1.4 trillion, and on track to stay above $1 trillion indefinitely, Berkeley economist Brad DeLong writes breezily in his Nov. 30 blog that "anything that boosts the government's deficit over the next two years passes the benefit-cost test—anything at all."