The Locker Room

‘Despite’ is not the word to use

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:52 AM

The following passage from the latest Business Week caught my eye:
It’s like one of those nightmares when no matter where you run, the monsters keep coming. Despite Washington’s frantic efforts, the financial crisis and resulting recession look more scary by the day.

Despite? Actually, substituting the words “because of” for “despite” would yield a more accurate statement. Maria Bartiromo’s “Facetime” column suggests as much, as she highlights an interview with global investor Jim Rogers:

What do you think of the government's response to the economic crisis?

Terrible. They're making it worse. It's pretty embarrassing for President Obama, who doesn't seem to have a clue what's going on—which would make sense from his background. And he has hired people who are part of the problem. [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner was head of the New York Fed, which was supposedly in charge of Wall Street and the banks more than anybody else. And as you remember, [Obama's chief economic adviser, Larry] Summers helped bail out Long-Term Capital Management years ago. These are people who think the only solution is to save their friends on Wall Street rather than to save 300 million Americans.

So what should they be doing?

What would I like to see happen? I'd like to see them let these people go bankrupt, let the bankrupt go bankrupt, stop bailing them out. There are plenty of banks in America that saw this coming, that kept their powder dry and have been waiting for the opportunity to go in and take over the assets of the incompetent. Likewise, many, many homeowners didn't go out and buy five homes with no income. Many homeowners have been waiting for this, and now all of a sudden the government is saying: "Well, too bad for you. We don't care if you did it right or not, we're going to bail out the 100,000 or 200,000 who did it wrong." I mean, this is outrageous economics, and it's terrible morality.

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