This week, Holman Jenkins wrote an Wall Street Journal op-ed asking, "What Caused the Bubble?"
Warren Brookes Fellow Kathryn Ciano says that the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission's recently-released report is quite telling, despite Jenkins' claims that it was non-explanatory.
"Investors anticipated that the report would indicate how the government is approaching finance and regulation in this recession era. The Federal Reserve exists for the sole purpose of preventing bubbles. Businessmen want to know: Will leadership confess that the Fed failed utterly to perform its only job, and will the government finally stop subsidizing the boom/bust cycle surrounding that failure? Bubbles are caused when investors hoard assets in response to government subsidies and bailouts obscuring risk. In times when government action is frequent, costly, and uncertain, investors cannot possibly predict what will come next, which will result in more bubbles."
Some smart-growth groups are campaigning against the "domination" of roads by cars.
"Oh, if only angry mobs of New Urbanists had been around to correct the behavior (if you know what I mean) of car-owning deviants. We could have been spared the inhumanity of those who desire to go farther in less time, for less money, in order to improve their standard of living and increase their social opportunities. The best part is when the Streetsblog author laments that roads are no longer used in the same way as they had been 'for thousands of years.' Curse you, technology, wealth, and progress!"
The Nanny State in Long Island
Suffolk County, NY is holding hearings on a bill offered by legislator Lynn Nowick which would regulate energy drinks.
"Nowick wins the award for county 'Nanny-in-Chief.' In 2008, she offered the bill that banned verbally communicated 'blue-plate specials.' Now restaurants can only offer specials in print with prices included — or pay steep fines. The law addresses what amounts to a 'pet peeve' of Nowick’s. Apparently, she doesn’t it like when waitstaff communicate specials without mentioning the price because some customers might be afraid to ask a simple question: How much? Why didn’t she consider the possibility that wasting paper, ink, and valuable time would be a 'pet peeve' of the thousands of struggling small businesses forced to comply? To avoid the hassle, some over-worked mom-and-pop restaurateurs might simply do away with blue-plate specials — depriving customers who once enjoyed them."