The Coming Foreclosure Tsunami
I’ve got a dispatch up over at The Nation’s website. It’s a new form I’m working with and working through, trying to hone a genre for my coverage of DC. Anyway, you can read it here. Here’s the first part:
Unlike most hearings on the Hill, last week's meeting of the Joint Economic Committee actually got more interesting the longer it went on. While the first half-hour featured Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke offering his modest, softly downbeat but not panicked predictions about how the unfolding subprime mess would affect the broader economy, the last hour provided an opportunity to hear committee members give their own often eccentric diagnoses and predictions.
Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback opined that tax cuts, shockingly, were probably the best way to deal with the current crisis. New Hampshire Republican Senator John Sununu spent much of his allotted time pointing out that he’d done a better job of predicting future trends of housing inventories in March than the chairman. “I was right,” he told Bernanke with a smirk, “and you were wrong.” (“Well, Senator, you were right and I was wrong,” Bernanke intoned back into the mic with a deadpan expression that basically said, “Satisfied, dick?”) And Senator Robert Bennett, a Republican from Utah, offered a refreshingly honest articulation of the conservative view of the unfolding debacle: “Markets make better decisions than governments do, and the market will punish, the market will reward and the market will ultimately stabilize. For the market is a just and wrathful God!” (OK, I made up that last sentence.)
Also: if you have any good ideas for a name for my new DC-based blog and recurring dispatches in the magazine, I’m all ears.