Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The say that truth is stranger than fiction. Here's the latest example. All those Republicans who for years have been saying that government can't be trusted, that America is the home of free and unfettered capitalism, that the markets are best left free and unrestricted, . . . these very same people now are crying for government intervention in the credit and equity markets.

Take Larry Kudlow, the host of CNBC's Kudlow and Company. This guy has been a Republican and neo-con shill for the last 30 years. He calls himself a true believer in American capitalism and free markets. He says he is a "great American patriot." He decries government intervention in, say, rescuing those people who face imminent foreclosures on the basis that the marketplace punishes those who overreach or misuse credit. He believes in deregulation and cutting of taxes.

Yet this same Larry Kudlow has been in the forefront of those who say that the Fed and the Treasury need to help out the big banks and brokerages. What then do we see here? Kudlow is all for government regulation and intervention when his livelihood is at stake, but against it when the little guy but not himself is at risk.

You couldn't make his stuff up. One of the most vociferous mouths against government intervention in the "free markets" suddenly has a conversion and becomes a most vocal proponent of using taxpayer funds to take a stake in the biggest banks and brokers. Kudlow, the great American patriot in favor of unrestricted capitalism, now supports Bush's socialistic move to have the U.S. government own a piece of private businesses.

And Kudlow is not the only one. How about Joe Kernen, one of the hosts of Squawk on the Street on CNBC? Kernen was always against government regulation of any kind. I assume he meant he was against stuff like SEC regulation of the markets. Well Kernen got his wish. The SEC decided not to regulate collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and other made-up securities. Because of this deregulation, we are now in the mess we find ourselves. Yet Kernen, like Kudlow, now calls for government intervention.

You think these guys would recognize the illogical and contradictory positions they now take, vis-a-vis their former government-keep-away meme. Sorry to say, they don't and they refuse to concede the ridiculousness of their positions.

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