I'm growing tired of the ever-narrowing gap between reporting and commentary in the current financial mess. CNN and CNBC, although not alone, seem particularly guilty in this regard. The past day I've heard the situation defined as a "crisis," requiring immediate and radical action that--coincidentally?--places more power in the hands of government in general, and in particular the hands of many of the people most responsible for this mess.
Where are the questions? How do we know the crisis is a big as we're told, or the proposed solution would work? We're told "everyone knows"--just like the intelligence leading up to the Gulf War, or the threat analysis after 9/11. Look how well those worked out.
Yesterday morning it struck me that we'd seen this before. And we have: the proposed bailout is to the American financial system what the PATRIOT Act was (and is) to American civil liberties.
But the expert opinion has not been unanimous, no more than it was before the war. Here are a few smart people who make a good case against the proposed bailout:
Jeffery Miron argues that bankruptcy is preferable to the bailout, and gives reasons why.
David R. Henderson argues against it, too.
So does Alan Meltzer, in his NPR interview.
David Cay Johnson discusses what the press should be doing.
Maybe the American people, and the House of Representatives, aren't are dumb as some think they are.