Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bin Laden wins again

So Fannie and Freddie have been nationalized. Disgraceful. Well what does that, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Countrywide, Indymac, etc., etc. have to do with Osama Bin Laden.

Well quite a bit. And today on the anniversary of 9/11 is a good time to talk about it. After 9/11 the US lead by President Bush panicked. The response to 9/11 was undisciplined. Interest rates were dropped unnecessarily low and kept low for far too long. This was a major cause of the bubble in housing prices which has been unwinding for the last year+ with no end in sight.

The catastrophe in the world financial system today far greater than the actual damage caused on 9/11. Because in truth not that much happened on 9/11. Four planes were lost, 3 buildings in New York destroyed [despite only 2 planes hitting NYC???], the Pentagon in Washington was damaged. Around 3,000 dead. Looking at it objectively and compared to the global size of the population and US economy, the immediate damage from 9/11 was not that great. Obviously there were problems in flight security to fix [locking the cockpit door during flight would be a start]; and they weren't very good at keeping undesirables out of the country, and following the clues they did have in advance of the attack.

It could have been shrugged off and the world went on with its business. There was no need to panic and obsess about it and have a housing bubble since that might make some people feel better if their house increased in value and they could take a HELOC and go on a spending spree. That was wrong. That was the failure in leadership from Bush and Greenspan. Could you imagine Stalin in 1941 acting like that? Or Churchill?

I remember schoolhouse rock growing up in the 70s. One that I liked was about 1776, "The shot heard 'round the world. The start of the revolution." On 9/11/2001, 225 years later, there was another shot heard round the world.

Was it the start of the Islamic revolution. Their declaration of war? Militant Islam has done pretty well the last generation or so.
  • they won in Iran
  • they won in Afghanistan
  • they won in Sudan
  • they may be winning in Iraq
  • they arguably won in Lebanon
  • they arguably won in Gaza
  • they arguably won in the Balkans
  • they seem to have had the best of it in India if you use body bags to keep score
The 20th century was America's century. Is the 21st Islam's? Could sharia really become the law of the land in USA, Canada, France? A lot can happen in a century.

Back to housing for a moment. I've been remiss in my previous housing posts not posting my favorite housing video. Thanks so much Keith for your great HousingPanic site which I'll miss greatly after you shut it down later this year.

No comments: