Monday, August 4, 2008

Larry Lindsey: Uninsured Depositers May be "Iceburg" for US Economy

Larry Lindsey, despite being associated with the early years of this White House, is someone I enjoy listening to, since each episode I've read or listened to his commentary it's made pragmatic sense. No wonder he left the administration in 2002 ;) In fact his Wikipedia entry makes a funny comment when you think about the way it is worded...

He left the White House in December 2002 and was replaced by Stephen Friedman after he estimated the cost of the Iraq war could reach $200 billion.

How dare he put a high number on the war! It's off balance sheet anyhow so it doesn't matter.

I digress. He has an excellent interview (again) on CNBC which agree with much of what I think. Our leadership continues to fail us.... but are we every surprised with Fannie and Freddie being 2 of the top political donors? Nah.
  • Uninsured depositors, including company payrolls, are the next "potential iceberg" for the U.S. economy, said Larry Lindsey, CEO and president of The Lindsey Group economic advisory firm. "All you need is one case where the uninusured depositors, the big deposits, don't get covered, and you have the potential that they start to run," he said

  • "To run an economy, to have a function that works, you've got to have a place where people can keep their money safely ... Unfortunately, the way the Congress has structured it now, that's not the case."

  • The futility of Congress' bailout bill for mortgage lenders Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) which includes no reforms to put limits on the companies and prohibits risk-based pricing, also a presents problem for the economy, Lindsey said. It does nothing to protect Fannie and Freddie's securitization function, a "vital" part of the economy. It does, however, continue their role as hedge funds, a benefit only to shareholders, Lindsey said.

  • "You'll notice that since the plan passed, mortgage rates have actually risen in the country," he said. "That's because we have a less competitive market."

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