Links, 2/17/10

From Megan McArdle, two links of note:

  • “Did the Stimulus Save Us?” – from the article: There’s really very little question that the main mistake which created the Great Depression was allowing the banking system to collapse.  There were a number of reasons this happened, most notably horrific Federal Reserve policy and our insistence on sticking to the gold standard.  If FDR hadn’t taken us off the gold standard and turned the banking system around, the Great Depression would have been even worse than it was. So the main reason we didn’t have the Great Depression is that the Treasury intervened to prop up financial institutions, while the Federal reserve pumped money into the economy with a firehose.  Special guest star credits go to the FDIC, which prevented the bank runs that crippled so much of our economy in the early 1930s.  If you want to credit a government program, credit TARP, not ARRA.
  • What’s going on in Greece fascinates me, because it is less about economics and more about how populism and entitlements can corrupt institutions so horribly that nothing is to be done until failure. I would not want to be a politician in Greece, and yes, I do worry that our political attitudes in the US are nearly this rotten. See: “Can Greece Pull Out of the Euro?” Also on Greece: Anne Applebaum makes the case that the US had better its spending under control; our deficits are not looking very healthy, not at all.

David has sent me two links that I think are of note:

  • “Man infatuated with VP breaches 2010 [Olympics] security” – combine this with the earlier “we can crash a formal state dinner and get away with it” and it is probably time for a shake-up at the Secret Service, regardless of what Congress or the President think. This is utterly ridiculous, and I don’t want to hear any defense of the Secret Service like they belong to some union. They have a job to do, and it better damn well be done.
  • Oregon assistant attorney general faces domestic violence charges – the more I look into Oregon politics, the weirder it is. I’m just happy I have plenty to distract me from New Jersey politics…

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