19 September 2008

Did Bernanke Panic? And Where Are We Going?

"We have lost control," said Hale, quoting Bernanke. "We cannot stabilize the dollar. We cannot control commodity prices."

Chicago Tribune September 17, 2008

When there is panic amongst the thinkers and planners like Bernanke, men of quick action and of less thoughtful inclination start promoting 'strong measures.' All too many in the Congress will sign anything in their panic and confusion, as long as they see some advantage either personal or for their backers, or an absolution from personal accountability in the deal.

And when those measures do not succeed, there is the temptation to take even stronger measures, even more radical action. Men sneer that outmoded laws and useless principles must fall to vital expediency so that we might be saved. The will to power begins to erode and overthrow justice and the rule of law.

And at certain times in history, in their fears and insensible numbness, people concede first the discretionary choices, then their moral outrage, then the weak, then their wealth, their freedom, and finally comes madness, and then the deluge.

"The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal
freedom had been taken away.... a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised
to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being
cowed.... On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it
imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the
future of their country."

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer