3/20/2009

Not Exactly the Second Coming of FDR

Obama has frequently compared our current economic situation to the Great Depression. And he has been compared by many commentators to FDR who is often (wrongly) credited with responding quickly to end the Great Depression. (Hitler deserves much more of the credit for starting the big war that really ended it.) But comparing Obama to FDR is fatuous. Here's just one quick example.

When FDR took office with a banking crisis ongoing, he acted immediately. He declared a "bank holiday" closing all the banks in the country for a few days until emergency measures could be put in place. But look at Obama. On February 9th, he promised his Treasury Secretary would have the details of his plan to save the banks "tomorrow." On the 10th Geithner went before Congress and said instead the specifics would be coming "soon." Now Time Magazine says maybe by April 10.

Oh and while we wait for action, tonight the FDIC took over the two largest credit unions in the nation due to their massive losses in real estate. In all of 2008, 25 banks went under...today's closings bring this year's total to 19...and it's still March.

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