Make it Conrad Black’s The Path to Economic Disaster. One of my new favorite columnists, he does not disappoint. The column is on Bernanke’s flawed approach to restimulate the economy by having the Fed buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds. Black eviscerates it:
what is in contemplation is an immediate 30 percent increase in the money supply (as more conventionally defined), thrust in cash into the hands of largely foreign bondholders, designed to incite spending by those whose bonds are redeemed and to reduce the value of the U.S. dollar (despite official disclaimers), facilitating U.S. exports and discouraging imports. No international reserve currency has survived such a harum-scarum move intact.
In two paragraphs, he summarizes the policy reaction to the Great Depression more clearly than any book on the subject, including this snippet:
Roosevelt got most of the equation right, as he guaranteed bank deposits and reorganized the banking system, which quickly reopened; put many millions of people to work in workfare infrastructure and conservation programs; brought in Social Security and unemployment insurance; partly abandoned the gold standard; devalued the dollar; refinanced home mortgages; and had farmers vote by category to limit production, raising prices.
On to our fearless leader:
President Obama had a good trip to India and Indonesia, and is moving steadily to strengthen relations with those powers and Russia and Japan, which will be the real bulwark against the increasingly irritating shenanigans of the Chinese and their naughty North Korean puppet. If he could steel himself to take out the incubating Iranian nuclear military capacity, and not waste more time on sanctions, he might still rank as a force for stability in the world, and not just as he has been, an agent for disintegration of the Western Alliance, and the facilitator of an immense rush for deterrent nuclear weapons, while he mouths delusional exhortations to disarmament, as if in a Monty Python farce.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.