Interest Rate Roundup

Monday, June 15, 2009

They're from the government and they're here to help

I'm back from my trip, but still getting caught up on a lot of stuff. So I'm not up to 100% posting speed just yet. Still, I couldn't miss the chance to comment on this Wall Street Journal story. It really does a good job of summing up how the government's "Bailout Nation" approach is impacting various companies and sectors of the economy. And despite all the protesting from policymakers, the reality is that the government IS creating winners and losers through its actions. That will have profound long-term implications for the U.S. economy. More below ...

"Government spending as a share of the economy has climbed to levels not seen since World War II. The geyser of money has turned Washington into an essential destination for more and more businesses. Spending on lobbying is up, as are luxury hotel bookings in the capital.

"President Barack Obama has vowed to reduce the government's role in the private sector as soon as possible. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says most of the central bank's emergency programs will be unwound within a few years. But a recent Wall Street Journal poll of economists found that only 16% believed the federal government would be able to meet its goal of ending rescue programs soon without fundamentally altering the competitive landscape of the private sector.

"The intervention helped stabilize the economy, but could slow growth in the long-run. Some economists and business leaders worry the intervention will result in rules that hamstring the way some businesses operate, and that it will sustain unproductive zombie firms and burden the next generation with debt or inflation."


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