Another weekend of digesting bad economic news and radical policy proposals and the market sells off again, setting a new bottom for the financial crisis. Would somebody in the White House please read Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man, and perhaps leave it in the Oval Office for POTUS to find? Investors aren’t coming back into the market until they are assured of the rules under which the economy will be governed. The early promise of competence in the Summers and Geithner appointments has completely evaporated, and absent some rapid moves that demonstrate a coherent economic strategy, it won’t be recoverable. The new president’s unnerving demands for sweeping changes to all programs immediately has capital on the sidelines, and it won’t be coming back unless and until the new Administration sets its priorities and its parameters, and abandons its worst ideas such as reducing the deductability of charitable contributions and mortgage interest. The president’s rhetoric is driving uncertainty and fear, violating every rule of presidential leadership in a recession. The DOW is down nearly 3000 points since President Obama’s election. American business and the people who buy equity in it aren’t buying the Obama program. Democrats can tell themselves they won’t be blamed for this come 2010, but they already own this economy as a result of the porkulus, the president’s budget message, and the failure to have developed a plan for the banks in the nearly four months since the president won in November.
I am off the radio this week, and Geraghty the Indispensable fills in for me today, tomorrow and Wednesday, Mark Larson on Thursday and Duane in hours two and three on Friday after the playing of the next installment of my interview with Thomas P.M. Barnett on his new book Great Powers, recorded last week.
Blogging is on the vacation schedule –intermittent.