"John Broder of The New York Times has an interesting piece on Al Gore’s financial profit tied to his global warming alarmism and push for renewable energy. Gore’s venture capital firm invested in Silver Spring Networks, a company that makes hardware and software to improve efficiency in the...
Video: The Forgotten Cause of Sound Money
"The triumph of crony capitalism occurred on October 3rd, 2008. The event was the enactment of TARP — the single greatest economic-policy abomination since the 1930s, or perhaps ever.
Like most other quantum leaps in statist intervention, the Wall Street bailout was justified as a last-resort exercise in breaking the rules to save the system. In the immortal words of George W. Bush, our most economically befuddled President since FDR, 'I've abandoned free market principles in order to save the free market system.'
Based on the panicked advice of Paulson and Bernanke, of course, the president had the misapprehension that without a bailout 'this sucker is going down.' Yet 30 months after the fact, evidence that the American economy had been on the edge of a nuclear-style meltdown is nowhere to be found.
In fact, the only real difference with Iraq is that in the campaign against Saddam we found no weapons of mass destruction; by contrast, in the campaign to save the economy we actually used them — or at least their economic equivalent.
Still, the urban legend persists that in September 2008 the payments system was on the cusp of crashing, and that absent the bailouts, companies would have missed payrolls, ATMs would have gone dark and general financial disintegration would have ensued.
But the only thing that even faintly hints of this fiction is the commercial-paper market dislocation. Upon examination, however, it is evident that what actually evaporated in this sector was not the cash needed for payrolls, but billions in phony book profits, which banks had previously obtained through yield-curve arbitrages that were now violently unwinding."
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