The Fed has been wrong about growth lately in their forecasts, and wrong in a very bad way. The Fed forecasts have not yet taken into account fundamental changes in individual behavior. It would not be a surprise that such forecasts were wrong during or in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, but to still be so wrong at this point is worrisome. What is the problem? People are scared.
The last several months saw a great deal of public outcry about the housing situation in Grand Forks. This was something of a spaghetti argument: Let’s throw a whole host of issues against the wall and something will stick. Topics included the affordability of housing, the availability of housing, the quality of housing, and so on.
The financial crisis still dominates the mindset of many callers when I go on the radio. It is also interesting teaching a new crop of students this year. Many of them are at that age where they were just starting to pay attention to business, the economy, and public affairs when the crisis hit. That is to say, it is really all they know that is not from a history book. As a result the start of the banking class this year has discussed the crisis quite a bit. One of the discussions we had recently was about banks attempting to cash in on the increased value of homes.
The title pretty much sums up my thoughts about the approaches in Washington to the fiscal morass Congress and the Presidents created for us over the last several years. Neither political party exhibits anything close to leadership, neither displays any willingness to have meaningful debates on the issues. Instead we get bombarded by poorly crafted messages about the ineptitude of the other side while both groups wait for electoral alchemy to take place and give them the ability to govern without a check on their power.