Nothing about our economic system has really been fixed, or even diagnosed, and time is running out.

June 7, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

According to SANDY B. LEWIS and WILLIAM D. COHAN, nothing about our economic system has really been fixed or even diagnosed, and time is running out. This is the theme of a powerfully and clearly written Op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, entitled “The Economy Is Still at the Brink“:

We’re concerned that nothing has really been fixed. We’re doubly concerned that people appear to feel the worst of the storm is over — and in this, they are aided and abetted by a hugely popular and charismatic president and by the fact that the Dow has increased by 35 percent or so since Mr. Obama started to lay out his economic plans in March. But wishing for improvement and managing by the Dow’s swings are a fool’s game . . .The storm is not over, not by a long shot.

Lewis, who owns a brokerage house and Cohan, a Wall Street banker, succinctly present the problem and some solutions:

Image by with permission

Image by with permission

Six months ago, nobody believed that our banking system was well designed, functioning smoothly or properly regulated — so why then are we so desperately anxious to restore that model as the status quo? . . .  Instead of hauling out the new drywall to cover up the existing studs, let’s seriously consider ripping down the entire structure, dynamiting the foundation and building a new system that rewards taking prudent risks, allocates capital where it is needed, allows all investors to get accurate and timely financial information and increases value to shareholders and creditors.

The authors lay out numerous areas of concern, many of them in the form of pointed questions.  Why, indeed, haven’t we taken steps to change the system?   As Einstein once said, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Lewis and Cohan urge President Obama to take these real steps, to get serious about the faux solution so far imposed (the massive injection of federal money in the absence of any systematic fix).

Instead of promising the imminent return of good times, why isn’t Mr. Obama talking more about the importance of living within our means and not spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need? . . . We are 139 days into his presidency, and while there is still plenty of hope that Mr. Obama will fulfill his mandate, his record on searching out the causes of the financial crisis has not been reassuring.

Lewis and Cohan’s Op-ed is must-reading and disturbing reading.


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Category: Economy, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's a Democrat with some fight in him and integrity: Dennis Kucinich:

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