On an ABC interview aired February 10th, President Obama acknowledges that America has a thing or two to learn from two previous sufferers of financial crisis brought on by housing bubbles.
TERRY MORAN: There are a lot of economists who look at these banks and they say all that garbage that’s in them renders them essentially insolvent. Why not just nationalize the banks?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you know, it’s interesting. There are two countries who have gone through some big financial crises over the last decade or two. One was Japan, which never really acknowledged the scale and magnitude of the problems in their banking system and that resulted in what’s called “The Lost Decade.” They kept on trying to paper over the problems. The markets sort of stayed up because the Japanese government kept on pumping money in. But, eventually, nothing happened and they didn’t see any growth whatsoever.
Sweden, on the other hand, had a problem like this. They took over the banks, nationalized them, got rid of the bad assets, resold the banks and, a couple years later, they were going again. So you’d think looking at it, Sweden looks like a good model. Here’s the problem; Sweden had like five banks. [LAUGHS] We’ve got thousands of banks. You know, the scale of the U.S. economy and the capital markets are so vast and the problems in terms of managing and overseeing anything of that scale, I think, would — our assessment was that it wouldn’t make sense. And we also have different traditions in this country.
Obviously, Sweden has a different set of cultures in terms of how the government relates to markets and America’s different. And we want to retain a strong sense of that private capital fulfilling the core — core investment needs of this country.
And so, what we’ve tried to do is to apply some of the tough love that’s going to be necessary, but do it in a way that’s also recognizing we’ve got big private capital markets and ultimately that’s going to be the key to getting credit flowing again.
Oh, Mr. President, it’s comforting to know that even in times of economic crisis, you find time to piss on miniature economies over in Europe that tried to upstage us in creating economic upheavals. That strategically placed laugh in there? Amazingness.
I mean, Sweden had, like, five banks? That’s, like, so inconsequential, that’s like, child play. And America has, like, thousands? You wanna see a crisis driven by speculation and greed, you want to see real suffering, you want to see the real economic apocalypse? This is how it’s done! Five-banks Sweden? Get off the friggin podium.
Your wicked sense of humour did not stop there. You really put those European socialists in their place by rejecting the semantics of nationalization. Those guys other side of the Atlantic all but gave it up on the idea of the open market hundreds of years ago, but over here, we are the last defenders of capitalism.
That means, sink or swim, you’re on your own. Well, except for the auto bailout. Market economy driven by trade and globalization? Except for the “buy American” rhetorics.
So instead of succumbing to pressures from the so-called experts to adopt this nationalization model, there is no letting go of principles here.
Because what are we if we cannot believe in the power of the “big private capital markets” that got us into this shit in the first place? What are we if we do not do everything in our power to “ensure credit flows again”, even if the bank rescue plan makes grown economists cry and the stock market go sideways?
Secondly, even though it should come as no surprise from a brilliant mind like yours, I was taken aback by the shrewed deployment of logic here. You have clearly demonstrated an astute understanding of cultures and how they influence the macro management of our economies.
Obviously, Sweden has a different set of cultures in terms of how the government relates to markets and America’s different.
I’m no cultural anthropologist like you, sir. So in order to understand the obviousness of your statement above, I humbly went off to google the Swedish culture and any potential relations to the way they govern.
And what an education that was! Just look at this “You know you are Swedish when” list!
You end your phone calls with ‘pusspuss’ and then don’t understand at all why the English-speaking people around you looks at you like you’re a retard or a pervert.
You eat minimum ten buns with almond paste and whipped cream on “Fettisdagen” and claim that it just doesn’t taste right if the lid isn’t triangular.
You celebrate Easter and Christmas one day before most other countries do and have at more than one occasion utterly failed in explaining to Non-Swedes why this is the case.
You dress up like a “stjärngosse” and don’t get why Non-Swedes think you are from the KKK and a black guy gets mad.
Living with your partner and having kids together without even planning on getting married is perfectly normal.
So there you have it, ladies and gents, as a dignified, health-conscious, God-fearing black man, it’s no wonder that the Prez shut the Swedes down. They are a bunch of racist perverts that suffer alternately from schizophrenia and OCD. Their glutinous and God-defying lifestyle has (obviously!) successfully destroyed institution of marriage in their corner of the woods.
So thank you, Mr President, for preventing the Swedes from encroaching on our sacred ways of lives in America .