Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2:30 pm, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will be speaking to the Real Estate Roundtable’s State of the Industry Meeting. According to a press release, he will discuss the state of the U.S. economy and the fiscal growth package.
I highly recommend that people watch the first five minutes (and more if you can handle the sound problems — as the entire panel was stunningly good) of the New America Foundation event video above. During his comments, economist David Hale said that during the early stages of the subprime loan crisis, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called Hank Paulson 85 times (at 4:05 in the video). Hale said that Bernanke was calling to understand the crisis unfolding because Paulson had helped create the crisis.
Hale’s other commentary about the Fed being late to action, not seeing this coming, of sending mixed signals about whether it would raise or lower rates — is also fascinating to be reminded of. This event took place on November 30, 2007 — and the fact that Hale, James K. Galbraith, and Zachary Karabell got so much right then in their criticism of the Fed and the Bush administration’s policies deserves note.
BUT TOMORROW, someone at the event really should ask Paulson what some of the bullet points were that he shared with Bernanke in those 85 phone calls.
— Steve Clemons