Woke up this morning to hear ABC radio playing an interview John Howard did on Fox News. Can’t find a link for it right now (Update: footage and commentary at Larvatus Prodeo), but the gist of it was that we shouldn’t respond to the current financial crisis by putting constraints on capitalism because it was caused by government regulation in the first place. Sounds like he’s pushing the CRA talking-point – i.e. the attempt by market fundamentalists to cope with current events by blaiming it all on the Community Reinvestment Act. There is a great analysis of why this is a load of rubbish by Daniel Gross at Slate, who sums it up with
Lending money to poor people doesn’t make you poor. Lending money poorly to rich people does.
He also links to this post about it by Barry L. Ritholtz at The Big Picture which is well worth reading
There are too many people who are trying to duck responsibility for the current mess, and seeking to place blame elsewhere. I find this to be terribly important, as we seek to repair the damage amidst an economic crisis. Rather than objectively evaluate the present crisis in an attempt to craft an appropriate response, the partisan hacks are trying to obscure the causes of the current situation. Like burglars trying to destroy the surveillance tape, they are all too aware of their role in the present debacle.
Shame on them for their foolishness or cowardice.
So where is John Howard getting these ideas from? Perhaps this quote from the Slate article can tell us
These arguments are generally made by people who read the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and ignore the rest of the paper—economic know-nothings whose opinions are informed mostly by ideology and, occasionally, by prejudice.
Not the first time I’ve heard something like this about the WSJ. This is what Tim Lambert at Deltoid had to say about them after knocking down one of their regular pieces of stupidity on global warming
Why does the Wall Street Journal combine superb news coverage with absurd nonsense on its editorial pages? My theory is that the editorial pages are just p0rn for right wingers. The readers need accurate information on the news pages for business decisions, but the editorial pages aren’t used that way, so are filled with fantasies to make the readers feel good.