Common sense saw the financial crisis coming

Jim Grant of Grant's Interest Rate Observer had a good article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend “The Confidence Game.”:
“In disclosing plans to buy a quarter-trillion dollars of bank stock in the name of the American taxpayer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson harped on confidence. “Today, there is a lack of confidence in our financial system, a lack of confidence that must be conquered,” he said on Tuesday.
What Mr. Paulson did not get around to mentioning was the excess of confidence that preceded the shortfall. Under the spell of soaring house prices (and before that, of stock prices), Americans trusted the things they ought to have doubted. But markets are cyclical, and there is always a new day. In compensating fashion, people will eventually doubt the things they ought to have trusted. Investment opportunity follows disillusionment. It's complacency that precedes bear markets.
If the confidence deficit seems so high, it's because the preceding confidence surplus was full to overflowing. People suspended critical judgment. They accepted at face value the pretensions of central bankers and the competence of investment bankers…”
In a world full of politicians, bankers, investment advisors and commentators who did not see this crisis looming and take no responsibility for losses suffered, its nice to read an article that admits it was forseeable and could have been avoided with even a little bit of hisorical study, discipline and common sense. The whole article is worth the read: “The Confidence Game.”

This entry was posted in Main Page. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.