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What Don't We Know About the Crisis?   March 9th, 2009
A number of little news tidbits are combining to get me wondering if something is going on       


More observations...

This might just be a total coincidence, but some articles the last few days--combined with older information--is making me wonder: Is there something we don't know?

First we have a push from the Obama administration for a global stimulus:

The U.S. will press world leaders to boost emergency government spending to lift the global economy, risking a rift with European nations more concerned with revamping financial regulation.

We have the G20 meeting next week to potentially discuss major structural changes to the world financial system:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the world's response to the global financial meltdown had to be profound and long-lasting, not just tinkering around the edges.

"Europe wants to see an overhaul of the system. We all agree on that. We're not talking about superficial measures now or transitional measures -- we're talking about structural measure, which need to be taken," he said.

We have reports that global bankers will be meeting later this month, after the G20 meeting:

Chief executives of leading Japanese, European and U.S. banks will meet in London to discuss the future of the financial system, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday, as the global financial crisis prompts a barrage of new regulatory proposals for the sector.

We have the U.S. bracing for the possibility of a big bank failure:

The government is bracing for a big bank failure.

A bill introduced in Congress would give the FDIC, the agency that stands behind Americans' bank deposits, temporary authority to borrow as much as $500 billion from the government to shore up the deposit insurance fund.

We have Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reporting to Congress in a closed-door session tonight:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will brief Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday night on efforts to stabilize the financial sector, party aides said.

The aides said Geithner will confer behind closed doors with House Democrats at their weekly policy meeting on Capitol Hill at 7 p.m. (2300 GMT).

And we have Senator Specter saying:

The Pennsylvania Republican told reporters at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday that the nation faces enormous economic problems that are more serious than the public has been told, although he didn't elaborate.

Again, this may all be coincidental and innocent. Obama obviously wants more spending and getting other countries to do the same boosts his credibility at home and, given his economic view, he probably thinks it will actually help. It's probably not unusual for Geithner to brief the House of Representatives. Given the situation it's not a bad idea for the FDIC to have more solvency. And Specter's vague insinuation that we don't know everything could very possibly just be political cover for his very unpopular support of Obama's spending package.

But all of these items combined with the G20 talking about major structural changes and world bankers meeting soon after the G20 meeting, combined with bracing for big bank failures and Specter suggesting we don't know everything...

Given all these tidbits of information, I'm starting to wonder: Is there really something we don't know?

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