Poster-child Moron Alan Greenspan and poster-child crook Hank Paulson were recently on Meet the Press:
MR. GREGORY: We're back and joined now by Henry Paulson, the former Treasury secretary, and Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Welcome, both of you, back to MEET THE PRESS.
Dr. Greenspan, here was the headline in The New York Times yesterday after that Friday jobs report, and it was this: "Jobless rate falls to 9.7 percent, giving hope that the worst is over." Does this jobs report signal a turnaround?
MR. ALAN GREENSPAN: It doesn't signal a turnaround, but what it does say is that the turnaround which has already occurred is moving but not in any aggressive manner.
MR. GREGORY: And Secretary Paulson, if you look at the jobs loss since the recession began, 8.4 million jobs over that time horizon, the question is, what's going to cause a turnaround? When do you see this, this jobless rate actually stay in the single digits?
MR. HENRY PAULSON: Well, the economy is clearly recovering,...
MR. PAULSON: But it always does come. And it will come. We have stable financial markets and a recovering economy. It's going to take some time, though.
MR. GREGORY: When is the recession over then?
MR. GREENSPAN: The recession is over. It bottomed back in the middle of last year...
MR. PAULSON: Well, what I, what, what I say is this. The--I take a real comfort in the fact that the programs that were put in place to stabilize the economy were continued and much of, of what has been done has been a continuation or a logical extension of those programs. I believe the, the financial markets are stable. I believe the programs have worked. They prevented the collapse of a--the financial markets, prevented a real catastrophe. I think we could have had 25 percent unemployment if, if, if, if the system had collapsed. And I believe that we're going to see that every penny that's been put in the banks is going to come back with interest. So I think the money's coming back. So--and that was what I was, what was talking about on election eve, because both presidential candidates had supported the TARP legislation, and I think that was critical. If they hadn't, we would have been defenseless.
MR. GREGORY: Dr. Greenspan, one more question about jobs. So you think that unemployment rate goes up again before it comes down?
MR. GREENSPAN: I'm not sure.
MR. GREENSPAN: And that's [hiring Census workers!] going to have some positive effect. But it's very difficult to make the case that unemployment is coming down anytime soon.
MR. GREGORY: Secretary Paulson, what happens if housing prices go down again when you've already got this kind of precarious situation?
MR. PAULSON: It clearly wouldn't be good. I'm not predicting that. But what I, I, I think this issue is, is a, a critically important one because it's very difficult for governments to design a program that is going to be effective and going to be fair to taxpayers, a program to keep people in their homes if they don't want to stay in their homes. And so a, a big part of what we focused on was bringing the private sector together to keep those into their homes that could afford to stay in the homes and wanted to stay there. Now, when you look at the crisis, I think part of the reason that so many experts and so many people didn't foresee housing as being the cause--and, and, and count me among those--was that if you look at our country since World War II, residential housing prices have generally gone up.
MR. GREENSPAN: Well, I am very much concerned if home prices decline from here. I don't think they're going to. In other words, they seem to be bottoming out.
MR. GREGORY: In our remaining moment here, Secretary Paulson, I have to ask you about financial regulation, about bonuses on Wall Street. Do you see real changes happening on Wall Street? Are you frustrated by the level of bonuses we're seeing?
MR. PAULSON: Well, you, you ask two questions, and so firstly, there's no doubt that, that compensation on Wall Street, I think, is out of whack and has been out of whack for some time. And I understand why the American people are unhappy because, you know, in our system we, we expect those that take risk to, to, to, to really bear their own losses. But I would like to see that, that frustration, that anger channeled toward regulatory reform. And I just think that's very, very critical. And to me, one thing that is absolutely essential is that we, we, we get strong resolution authority so that, in the future, any type of financial institution, when it faces failure, that, that, that it is liquidated and liquidated in a way in which the taxpayer is not going to have to come up in again and prop up or bail out a financial institution.
There you have it. Both clowns assert the (mere) *recession* is over!
Though Greenspan is a little more explicit. "The recession is over IF the stock market and housing don't fall." Gee, thanks, Yoda.
And Hank admits he didn't see the housing bubble - the Treasury Secretary did not see the LARGEST financial bubble in world history as it blew up in his face. So consider that track record alongside his current *recession is over* proclamation.
More erroneous forecasts from these buffoons:
MR. PAULSON: Well, I'm going to go with the Indiana and Peyton Manning.
MR. GREGORY: OK.
MR. GREENSPAN: It's very difficult to go against Peyton Manning.
MR. GREGORY: My view as well. We'll make that the last word. Thank you both very much.