Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Markos, Meet TED

Markos, here's the TED Spread. It measures how hard it is for banks to get loans from other banks. This is what had Krugman and all the economists flipping out about a gigantic credit freeze that would make it impossible for people to get paid. They thought money might get so tight that banks wouldn't even loan money to banks, let alone ordinary businesses. Without businesses getting credit, people don't get their paychecks.

The TED Spread, historically below 0.5%, hit 4.5%. Then we bailed out the banks, and it went straight down. Now it's below 2%. In one notable case, it took Barack Obama shaking his jaw at Bank of America and an idiot door and window company, but in general people got their money. Without any government intervention, goodness knows where we end up. Maybe Harry and Nancy didn't get the best imaginable deal on the bailout, but they averted disaster and people got paid.


corvus said...

That was some pretty firm pwnage right there, Neil. Good job.

corvus said...

Spinning off of this, I am increasingly uneasily coming to the conclusion that the overlords of the left blogosphere don't really know what they are talking about, and are thus becoming a impediment.

I mean, here we have lofty Markos, master of the universe (or whatever sarcastic term it is), attacking Reid and Pelosi for a bill that averted an almost ridiculous amount of catastrophe, that almost didn't pass, and he is complaining that they didn't get a better deal? The bill failed in the House the first time. How were they supposed to get a much better deal when they only barely got that one through? It's not like they had time to dick around finding the bill that was just right. Yeah, it sucks that Paulson is a dishonest cretin, but I am still getting my paycheck, so it's hard to get to angry. It's like Markos doesn't actually understand what was going on.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Thanks, Corvus.

I sort of see correcting people like Markos as a big part of what I need to be doing. If my readers were mostly Republicans, I'd spend all my time saying things that would lead Republicans closer to the right answers (eventuating in their ceasing to be Republicans). But my readers are mostly netroots progressives who move in the same intellectual circles as Daily Kos. So that's the set of positions I feel a special need to discuss.

TigerHawk said...

Good job, Neil. What corvus said.

corvus said...

I agree, Neil. That sounds like a pretty important role to assume. It used to be that the left blogosphere spent all it's time attacking the right. That feels less important now. Not because the right is no longer dangerous, it still is, but it is very important now for progressives/Liberals to figure out what to support and how to support it. Because messing this up would be way worse for leftist politics than anything the right can do. So internal debate now seems to me to be more important than external attack.