Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yes, I read this op-ed correctly.

The theory?

Although it is will be painful, the only long-term solution to the credit crisis at hand and the America's economy in general is to allow much higher interest rates, which will begin to redirect capital away from leveraged speculation and consumer borrowing and toward more productive activities such as saving to invest in manufacturing, infrastructure and research and development of new technologies. There will surely be short-term pain during this transition to higher interest rates, but the long-term result will be a healthier economy with a more sustainable growth potential that will ultimately benefit the real estate industry more than the current policies of trying to delay this inherently unstable and unsound house of cards built on leveraged speculation from its inevitable collapse.
Currency is also the problem. The dollar is down some 40%, which is why foreign travel is so tough. And the scary thing is that the dollar could get replaced eventually by the euro or the yuan as the de facto world currency, which would be major-league bad for us. Does the problem really go so far as questioning the fundamentals of securitization, in which case no interest rate can change the market? You tell me.

But raise interest rates now? Boy, that's a leap of faith I can't take. And I am not sure we can either. But this was a very thought-provoking piece that I have to consider going forward.