US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner justifies risking taxpayer money during the financial crisis to revive the markets. "Central fact is that governments have to be prepared to take risks the markets can't take," says Geithner.
This Geithner piece is why I love Fora.tv. The opportunity to listen to real practictioners explain how they see the world without the press filters applied, is simply magnificent. It really opened my eyes as to what this Geithner guy is thinking. I found his pragmatism and nonpartisanship refreshing. He gained new credibility with me, even if his tax dodging illustrates that at a personal level he doesn't believe in the current tax system enough to comply voluntarily.
That the role of the USD ultimately depends market perceptions of US financial strength:
"the future evolution of the dollar's role in the system depends really primarily on how effective we are in the United States in getting not just recovery back on track but getting our financial system repaired and getting our fiscal position back to the point where people will judge it as sustainable over time".
That he (and presumably the Obama adminstration) recognize that current budget deficits have to be reigned in:
"and the present budget...proposes to bring down our deficit to a level that achieves sustainability at the five year horizon. Sustainability being a deficit that is small enough so that our overall debt burden relative to GDP is stable at reasonable levels."
I don't think we'll have a budget that is sustainable in five years, but nonetheless, the clarity of his statement is refreshing.
And his personal hopes for whipping future Obama budgets into shape: "I ...think about how the politics of this stuff has evolved over the last few years, not just because of the leadership of Pete Peterson, I think the politics are in a better place on this. I think they are at a much better place now for the basic proposition that we're going to have to get back to sustainability quickly. We have to commit to do that, just as we're doing the exceptional things we have to do to dig out of the hole we started with."
Thank you, FORA.tv, for bringing this to me.
Minor quibble with 'yoginero' above.
Poetic sentiments, but I fear, but quite open to challenge.
For "without justice there can be no peace" look at Stalin's USSR for a peaceful society full of a phenomenon that would be included in even the loosest definition of "injustice".
Look at the last 50 years in Palestine for a particularly high profile refutation of: "without peace there can be no stability". Not much peace, not much political change. In fact most observors would prefer less stability there.
"Without stability there can be no prosperity" is a fundamentally flawed hypothesis. The prosperity of the past 300 years has driven vast instability - continual change, innovation, improvements in production, great social upheavals, population dislocations, revolutions, changes in mores, etc... and, of course, enormous improvements in the human condition.
The problem may be that if people are pushed too far, people may cause political instability which is not good for the ruling class. More investment in Homeland security may help temporarily, but these are not permanent solutions. Structural adjustments are required, which in Europe, the delay resulted in the French Revolution, and the World War I and II.
Fundamentally, without justice there can be no peace, and without peace there can be no stability and without stability there can be no prosperity. Lack of energy resource has more to do with our lack of brain power. When we raise the standard of life, the people will demand stricter environmental standards, social guarantees, and paradoxically as the quality of education improves, the population will ultimately stabilize and even begin to reduce, and so will their consumption. Social insecurity tends to make people wrap themselves with gold chains and feel the need to show status an wealth. Therefore a change in consciousness will determine the ruler's fate as well as the people's.
This a poor excuse for a CFR video, who usually bring the most dynamic and prolific speakers to the forum. On Geithner's address: Poor salesmanship with a pedantic attitude towards the audience. I suppose the treasury will soon be empty of dollars under his attention, If I am a judge of character.