October 23rd, 2008at 10:33pm Posted by Eli
Surprise… and fear!
Greenspan claimed he was “shocked” because his model “was working exceptionally well” for 40 years, adding that the crisis is “broader than anything I could have imagined”:
GREENSPAN: I also want to discuss how my thinking has evolved and what I have learned this past year. In 2005, I raised concerns that the protracted period of the underpricing of risk if history was any guide would have dire consequences. The crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined.
Bush administration officials seem to have a systemic lack of imagination, often claiming major — and predictable — crises simply caught them off guard:
–9/11: “And I said, ‘No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon’ — I’m paraphrasing now — ‘into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile.’” – Condoleezza Rice, to 9/11 Commission
– Hurricane Katrina: “The destruction left by Katrina reaches beyond anything we could have imagined.” — Bush, 5/11/06
And Think Progress doesn’t even mention, say, the fact that Iraq was not a cakewalk… or a flowers-and-candy-walk. Or that deregulating the food supply would result in a frightening spate of toxic food scares.
Of course, they weren’t really failures of imagination. They were failures of interest, failures of integrity, failures of compassion. The Republicans simply didn’t care what the outcomes were, so long as they got money and power. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a man to imagine something when his salary depends upon his not imagining it.