Advice from a 93 year old

July 22, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

No, it’s not me giving the advice. A couple of more years to go before I hit 93 years :)-  I found this article in Time really interesting – it’s an interview with a 93-year old economist, Anna Schwartz. Now, the most amazing part of this interview for me is that it seems Anna Schwartz is STILL working (as an adjunct professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and from what I’ve read, as an economist). This is no old goat speaking about ‘when she was young” because she has some serious chops.

Anna Schwartz lived through the Great Depression that started in 1929; she co-authored with Nobel laureate, Milton Friedman, the highly acclaimed financial bible A Monetary History of the United States (Princeton University Press, 1963); she’s been studying recessionary patterns for decades; and she’s worked as an economist with the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US since 1941. You can read the full interview here but I’ll give you a taste of her words of wisdom when asked about our current global financial woes.

  • the Obama Administration should stop bailing out corporate disasters and abandon plans to move health care onto the backs of taxpayers. Bailing out corrupt corporates just leads to them continuing their dodgy practices and putting out their hands for more Government bailouts if you ask me.
  • Schwartz believes that the bottom of the recession will be hit sometime during the (US) Spring of 2009. But recovery will not be in leaps and bounds because consumers are saving and not spending.
  • she doesn’t think much of Obama’s fiscal stimulus package and thinks the Feds should print more money.
  • if a financial institution or company is having financial woes, it should be encouraged or even compelled to file for bankruptcy. And If GM was on the verge of bankruptcy, it should have been shut down.
  • Obama’s health care reforms – Schwartz believes that the trouble with Obama’s plan is that he has no concept of the cost that will be imposed on the economy if his program is enacted.
  • It was the Government’s program to promote home ownership that permitted all the excesses that occurred over the years. People who should never have been granted a mortgage were given one.
  • there’s been a lot of talk about helping stop foreclosures and Schwartz suggests that if the Government has a program that will help to stabilize the housing industry, then this will improve chances for a revival of the economy.

It’s a very interesting interview. And from the perspective of knowledge management, here’s someone with a wealth of expertise and lessons learnt – Prez Obama should perhaps listen.

Photo: source

Entry filed under: Economics. Tags: , , .

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