Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is this the end of Capitalism?

Daniel Henninger takes a pair of pliers and a blowtorch to the anti-globalization crowd

An Excerpt:

China wants a new global currency to replace the inflatable dollar. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has said the world financial system needs an "early warning system," which one guesses the rocket scientists at the IMF would provide. France's Nicolas Sarkozy wants a global "financial regulator." On Sunday the New York Times raised its hand to announce the crisis "has led to a fundamental rethinking of the American way as a model for the rest of the world."

Here's my two cents worth: Beware of real-estate salesmen.

The housing bubble that floated into view in 2007 is turning into the blob that ate the world. Real-estate mortgages and their derivative securities are a significant problem. That discrete problem, however, has been pumped up to an historic "crisis of capitalism."

Capitalism didn't tank the U.S. economy. Overbuilt housing did. Overbuilt housing tanked the economies of the U.K. and Ireland and Spain. If little else, we've learned that artificially cheap housing sets loose limitless moral hazard.

Read the whole thing.

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