Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama the Swede

Remember me saying that Obama was saying all the right things on the economy? Well here is another one, this time comparing America's way out of recession to Sweden's crisis vs. Japan's decade long disaster.
So how long and how deep a recession should the American public be ready for?

"I don't have a crystal ball, and economists are all over the map on this. I think we should anticipate that 2009 is going to be a tough year. And if we make some good choices, I'm confident that we can limit some of the damage in 2009 and that in 2010 we can start seeing an upward trajectory on the economy. But this is a difficult hole that we've dug ourselves into. You know, Japan found itself in a somewhat similar situation in the '90s, made some poor decisions, didn't squarely face some of the problems in its banking system and, despite significant stimulus, still saw this thing drag on for almost a decade. On the other hand, you've got countries like Sweden that went through this and acted forcefully and boldly and in two years were back on track and were growing at a really healthy clip. So the decisions we make are going to have an impact on it. But next year's going to be tough."

What does it mean when the pinko-commie Swedish government gets involved and nationalizes the countries largest banks? Here is how one of the architects described it after,
"We approached the problem as a commercial undertaking and determined how we could maximize profits to the government or minimize cost."
Communism! And in the end, they did turn a profit for the government and the banks are now private entities again. And the entire process only took six years, instead of the projected ten.

Japan on the other hand, fiddled after their crisis and slowly worked to fix their system while things stagnated. Bad banks were left to run poorly, and they have kept their interest rates at 0% for years. America just hit zero yesterday. It will really be up to an Obama administration to see if we are going to come out golden like Sweden or enter into a multi-decade mire like Japan.

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