By Ben Cohen
Tom Friedman thinks Obama is replicating FDR’s approach to the economic crisis – the implementation of several different strategies and a willingness to try different things:
When you total up all the emergency economic policies that Mr. Obama
has now put in place — a nearly $800 billion stimulus, mortgage relief,
a private-public program for buying up toxic assets and a huge capital
injection into the banking system by the Federal Reserve to lower
interest rates and expand credit — they constitute one big experiment. Together,
these policies — call them Obama Rescue Phase I — represent a huge bet
that the administration can confine this economic crisis to a really
nasty recession, the sort of thing that might constitute a long chapter
in an economic history and not a 21st-century Depression that would
trigger a whole bookshelf on the theme of: “How Barack Obama Won an
Election and Lost an Economy.”
My sense is that Obama is being far too cautious with his treatment of Wall St, and has wasted political capital he could have used to nationalize the banks and take the country in a truly different direction. While he is adopting an FDR approach, he shouldn’t expect FDR results if the experiments aren’t bold enough.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.