Charlie Rose had a great show on last night on FMN/FRE bailout with Noriel Roubini of NYU, Mohamed El-Erian of Pimco, Floyd Norris and Gretchen Morgenson of the NY Times. The show went into a discussion of the dire state of the US and world economy, a white knuckle session for me.
Not unexpectedly, Roubini has a harsh assessment of the severity of the economic problems. "Things are getting worse." Large deficits are what brought Britain down, noted the US deficit could bring "the decline of the American Empire...We are relying on the kindness of strangers...the balance of economic terror can be used against us by Russia, China or unfriendly petro-states." Notes that houses are down 25%, expects another 15% fall, as bad as the Great Depression.
El-Erian -- "much bigger than a credit crunch...action was necessary but it is not likely to be sufficient...the unthinkable has become thinkable, the public balance sheet has been brought into the equation..."
Morgenson -- "Its denial after denial of the existence of problems by the political system." El-Erian disagrees - "They know the problem, they have no solution."
The full show is well worth 56 minutes of your time. http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2008/9/8/1/a-discussion-about-the-acquisition-of-fanny-mae-and-freddie-mac