Politics of the recession

More

Conditions are less than ideal, let us say, for President
George W. Bush’s last state of the union speech, to be delivered today. This
is an administration that had precious little to boast about even before the
economy began to nose-dive – a calamity that may not yet be plain in the figures
but was certified by the Federal Reserve’s dramatic interest
rate cut last week. One wonders, how much worse can things get for this
White House?


For months, the need to address economic anxiety has been a well-established
theme in the campaigns of all the presidential candidates but until recently it
was possible for Republicans to talk as though the ongoing expansion were a
flawed success. When Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, took the economy’s
temperature a week ago and recoiled like the figure in Edvard Munch’s “The
Scream”, that calm posture was no longer available. Alarm on Wall Street is
business as usual; alarm verging on panic at the Federal Reserve is more
difficult to shrug off.


The president’s haste to design a fiscal-stimulus plan in co-operation with
Congressional Democrats was almost as disconcerting. The deal, still tentative
until the Senate has had its say, underscores the pessimism. In its own right
(even assuming that it moves briskly and intact back to the president for his
signature) the proposal is a puny initiative. Its mere existence, though, is a
weighty political fact.

You can read the rest of this FT column here.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In