Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Our MBA President

You remember him, right? The President of the United States?

I know it is out of fashion to praise George Bush in any way, but being out of fashion is something with which we conservatives have always been comfortable. Come to think of it, we should really begin to get comfortable with it again after this election.

I'm here to praise George Bush for his understanding of the current credit crisis. Yes indeed. While a good many others dithered and asked "what crisis", Bush and his man at Treasury were working like one-armed paper hangers to shore up the credit market. Why though? Why was it that George Bush seemed to "get" that this was a doozy, requiring quick and substantial action. Two things I think.

First, he went to Harvard Business School, where he received a first-rate education in the importance of credit to business, an understanding far beyond that of the average citizen, or even the average President, I would submit. Secondly, he has actually run businesses, one of which (Arbusto Oil) was the kind of capital intensive business that must have relied heavily on the availability of credit. When confronted with this crisis, George Bush did not have to wonder about what the impact would be....he had lived it. He knew what it would have been like to run Arbusto without access to capital, and he knew that there would be millions of businesses at risk if the credit markets weren't sustained.


Anonymous said...

Good points, but as someone who would enjoy the opportunity to pull the trigger on Hugo Chavez, I find myself tortured by the fact that both Chavez and George W. Bush nationalized significant portions of their industries this year. Different motivations to be certain, but similar outcomes. It would be like my preacher telling me we evolved from apes. He might be correct, but dammit, he's not supposed to do that! :-)

The Conservative Wahoo said...

I think there is a difference between the emergency (and temporary) purchase of stock in vital businesses (non-voting stock, to boot), and wholesale takeover of industries. But that's just me.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

CW - I realize this is an older post, but I'm having trouble working through your logic.

I get it - Bush is a well educated man who is much smarter than his detractors give him credit for. I agree with this basic premise.

But where I'm having trouble with your argument is that for a guy as business savvy as you claim Bush is, he either fails to grasp fundamental principles of economics as they apply to finance and home ownership, or he simply chose to ignore them when useful (ownership society), acting only when total global meltdown was weeks away. As I recall, the real estate bubble burst over a year ago. Surely, someone with his years of schooling, business acumen and access to some of the brightest financial minds would have understood the ramifications of the real estate bust and implications on the greater economy.

So he’s either inept or morally bankrupt – which is it?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

I don't accept your choice. My premise is that his training gave him the ability to recognize a TRUE crisis, rather than "the real estate bubble" bursting. One is not necessarily bad, the other is.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

Correct, one is not necessarily bad, but this one is. And, unfortunately, he recognized we were heading over the falls in a barrel and started paddling only after he looked down into the plunge pool below.

There were plenty of signs that the housing bubble was built on an unstable financial foundation and fundamentally different from past busts. Members of his own party were pointing this out over 18 months ago. He was either distracted with other things, or hoped to escape culpability by leaving the mess to his successor to clean.

So I'll revise my choices: he's either inept, morally bankrupt or lacks a politcal backbone.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Sorry, not biting. Lots of folks (openly revered here) said, "do nothing". Bush is doing something. Late, yes. But I'm not sure there was the political will to do anything may wish to call that lack of backbone, I see such an assessment as that of someone who lives 150 miles from the most political place on earth...

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