Archive for February 23rd, 2011

Secretary of the Treasury doesn’t understand economics

| February 23, 2011 | 13 Replies
Secretary of the Treasury doesn’t understand economics

Tim Geithner, appointed to Secretary of the Treasury despite being unable to calculate his own taxes, has just proven he does not understand the role of oil prices in modern economies. Speaking at a breakfast today in Washington, Geithner claimed that:

“The economy is in a much stronger position to handle” rising oil prices, Geithner said…. “Central banks have a lot of experience in managing these things.”

This is the opposite of truth. Central banks do not, in fact, have a lot of experience in dealing with rapidly rising oil prices in a worldwide recessionary environment where there is no clear deflation nor inflation. Hell, central banks do not even have a lot of experience in managing an out of control real-estate bubble, or dot-com bubble, or any of the economic crises that hit over the past decade or so. Nor is the American economy in a “much stronger” position than it was in 2008, which was the last time a major oil price spike played a role in devastating the world economy.

In fact, there is no shortage of people arguing the opposite of Geithner. Let’s start with Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Just yesterday, he warned of the danger of high oil price’s impact on the economy:

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Faltering Fourth Estate

| February 23, 2011 | Reply
Faltering Fourth Estate

Glenn Greenwald has once again gathered evidence that American citizens are intentionally being kept in the dark, even by our “news” media:

Yesterday, as I noted earlier, The Guardian reported that Davis — despite Obama’s description of him as “our diplomat in Pakistan” — actually works for the CIA, and further noted that Pakistani officials believe he worked with Blackwater. When reporting that, The Guardian noted that many American media outlets had learned of this fact but deliberately concealed it — because the U.S. Government told them to: “A number of US media outlets learned about Davis’s CIA role but have kept it under wraps at the request of the Obama administration.”

. . .

In other words, the NYT knew about Davis’ work for the CIA (and Blackwater) but concealed it because the U.S. Government told it to. Now that The Guardian and other foreign papers reported it, the U.S. Government gave permission to the NYT to report this, so now that they have government license, they do so — only after it’s already been reported by other newspapers which don’t take orders from the U.S. Government.

. . .

[T]here is simply no justification — none — for a newspaper to allow government officials to run around misleading the public, and to print those misleading statements, all while concealing information (at the Government’s request) which reveal those claims to be factually dubious.

The question that has echoed in my ear for the past 10 years (or more) is, “What else don’t we know?”

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