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exchange with Martin Wolf RE Wall Street Bail out

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joe emersberger

Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: exchange with Martin Wolf RE Wall Street Bail out Reply with quote

Mr. Wolf:
I read the exchange (below) which you had with Medialens.
Why do you write columns that "shore up the edifice"?
Were you being serious?
More specifically, in arguing for a bail out of Wall Street, why do you avoid dealing with this argument put forward by US economist dean Baker,

"...We are going to be in a serious recession because of the collapse of the housing bubble. We will need effective stimulus measures to boost the economy and keep the recession from getting worse.
However, the $700 billion outlay on the bailout is likely to be used as an argument against effective stimulus. We have already seen voices like the Washington Post and the Wall Street funded Peterson Foundation arguing that the government will have to make serious cutbacks because of the bailout.

While their argument is wrong, these are powerful voices in national debates. If the bailout proves to be an obstacle to effective stimulus in future months and years, then the bailout could lead to exactly the sort of prolonged economic downturn that its proponents claim it is intended to prevent.

In short, the bailout rewards some of the richest people in the country for their incompetence. It provides little obvious economic benefit and could lead to long-term harm. That looks like a pretty bad deal."[1]

Are you seriously saying to Medialens that you deliberately promote such injustice? I hope I misunderstood.

Joe Emersberger


In your most recent FT column ('Congress decides it is worth risking depression', October 1) you wrote:

"When confidence collapses, a market economy cannot function. It must now be restored."

There is no "market economy". Certainly not one that would be recognised by Adam Smith.

You concluded:

"Government must start to show it is in control of events."

The trouble is, the government is not in control of events. Nobody is. No more than anyone can be in control of an unstable house of cards.

You quoted Roosevelt and Churchill. Try Martin Luther King.

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it comes to see an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring."

Your columns are shoring up the edifice.



Yes, you are right. They are.



Thank you Martin.

At least you are honest in admitting your role in perpetuating a system "that produces beggars."



Are people now incapable of understanding irony?

Martin Wolf

I had no exchange with medialiens, by the way. I responded to an individuall"s email on my columns, as I normally do. I wouldn't post private exchanges without the permission of my interlocutor. Medialens evidently feels no such compunction. I am not surprised, given its ideological orientation.



Thanks for clarifying that you weren't being serious. Why not address the arguments that Dean Baker and others are making about the bailout of Wall Street? To the extent that credibility with the press bears any correlation to being right, economists like Baker should now be widely sought after.

Mr. Wolf;
The corporate press has a significant (unfortunately destructive) impact on the lives of people around the world. Hence, I see no need for Medialens or anyone to hesitate about making the replies of journalists about their work (hardly personal matters) available to the public.
Joe Emersberger


Of course you don't. It's just what I would expect of a sanctimonious nitwit.

Martin Wolf
Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:20 am
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