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Sep 19 / Jonathan

Barry Ritholtz: We’re all (Groucho) Marxists now

The “New” New Deal

I am having a hard time keeping up with all of the bailouts and special facilities created for dealing with this crisis.  Am I missing any?

  • Bear Stearns
  • Economic Stimulus progam
  • Housing Bailout Program
  • Fannie & Freddie
  • AIG
  • No Short selling rules
  • Fed liquidity programs (Term Lending facility, Term Auction facility)
  • Money Market fund insurance program
  • New RTC type program

If you are a fan of irony, consider this: The conservative movement has utterly hated FDR, and his New Deal programs like Medicaid, Social Security, FDIC, Fannie Mae (1938), and the SEC for nearly 80 years. And for the past 8 years, a conservative was in the White House, with a very conservative agenda. For something like 16 of the past 18 years, the conservative dominated GOP has controlled Congress.

Those are the facts.

We now see that the grand experiment of deregulation has ended, and ended badly. The deregulation movement is now an historical footnote, just another interest group, and once in power they turned into socialists. Indeed, judging by the actions of the conservatives in power, and not the empty rhetoric that comes out of think tanks, the conservative movement has effectively turned the United States into a massive Socialist state, an appendage of Communist Russia, China and Venezuela.

To paraphrase Floyd Norris, we have become Marxists, but of the Groucho, not Karl, variety…

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