Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quotes of the day

Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.--E.B. White, Here Is New York

Yes, this grotesque scene, like a claustrophobic circle in Dante's "Inferno," was what the U.S. government has looked like for the past two weeks as it fights on over Barack Obama's stimulus package -- a mammoth, chaotic grab bag of treasures, toys and gimcracks. Could popular opinion of our feckless Congress sink any lower? You betcha!--Camille Paglia

Mr. Obama's economic policy is following not what has been proven to work but liberal ideology.--Peter Ferrara

The first however-many days of Barack Obama's presidency have been a study in amateurism.--Kathleen Parker

Bush's contempt for the media meant he never stayed long enough to bore us.--Kathleen Parker

It's like watching your crazy aunt challenge your boyfriend to prove that fairies aren't real.--Megan McArdle, on watching Maxine Waters at the TARP hearing

Geithner hopes that his structure will encourage the private sector to come up with the Goldilocks price. The problem is that the private sector has valued the assets -- it just came up with the "wrong" price. Geithner's "plan" is a wing and a prayer that the “private sector” will come up with a “better” price. No wonder the market went down.--Larry Ribstein

Yet regulatory forbearance is the most important item in the government toolkit, and the giant raspberry Mr. Geithner received from the market yesterday should be his signal that the market understands this and worries he doesn't.--Holman Jenkins

... while being creative with statistics, the President dismissed Sweden's (successful) approach to restructuring its banking sector on both economic and ideological grounds. His stance that Sweden "only" nationalized five banks, while the US would need to nationalize thousands to achieve the same effect, is both specious and absurd. No discussion of relative GDPs. No comparison of the size of the banks that were nationalized relative to, say, the top 10 banks in the US. It was one of those typical "a politician says it on TV so it must be true" moments, only I'm really disappointed that President Obama is resorting to such tactics to sell the Geithner Plan not a month into his Administration.--Roger Ehrenberg

Odd by the way that Paul [Krugman] thinks Econ 101 is all you need to talk about the stimulus intelligently but far too simplistic when it comes to trade.--Clive Crook

It seems from your writing that I at least had the beneficial effect of neutralizing [Paul] Krugman. ... You don't think it's pretty wild to have a multiplier of 1.5, so that government spending is not only free, it has negative costs?--Robert Barro, to Clive Crook

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