02 July 2007

The Fed's Role in the Bear Stearns Meltdown

Here's an article from Mike Whitney at Counterpunch. Many of the issues he raises have been covered by articles referenced on this blog. While you may draw different conclusions, this summary of bearish arguments is worth reading...

Mike Whitney: The Fed's Role in the Bear Stearns Meltdown
A Subprime Chernobyl

The Bank for International Settlements issued a warning last week that the Federal Reserve's monetary policies have created an enormous equity bubble which could lead to another "Great Depression". The UK Telegraph says that, "The BIS--the ultimate bank of central bankers--pointed to a confluence a worrying signs, citing mass issuance of new-fangled credit instruments, soaring levels of household debt, extreme appetite for risk shown by investors, and entrenched imbalances in the world currency system."

The IMF and the UN have issued similar warnings, but they've all been ignored by the Bush administration. Neither Bush nor the Federal Reserve is interested in "course correction". They plan to stick with the same harebrained policies until the end.

The "easy credit" which created the subprime crisis in mortgage lending has now spread to the hedge fund industry. The troubles at Bear Stearns prove that Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson's assurance that the problem is "contained" is pure baloney. The contagion is swiftly moving through the entire system taking down home owners, mortgage lenders, banks, rating agencies, and hedge funds. We are just at the beginning of a system-wide breakdown.

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