There is a fantastic documentary out there called Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis that is a must watch in my opinion. It’s under an hour long and is quite entertaining (or would be if its main points weren’t so sobering).
In response to 9/11, the US federal government launched an assault on the financial system to re-inflate an economic bubble, any bubble! After the dot-com crash and 9/11, the US was reeling, so of course the government had to do something, anything! Two bailouts later, and a continued lowering of the interest rate to virtually 0% and the economy is still in the tank.
Some highlights of the film (and lowlights economically):
Remember cash for clunkers? What a great plan that was! Let’s incentivise people going further into debt by buying a brand new car!
Do you know Rodeo Drive, in LA? This rich area of the country received $1 million of bailout money to repave its road. What a good idea!
Some small airport in PA got $600,000 in bailout money, even though they literally have 3 flights a day. Bargain!
Bush racked up more debt than all presidents from Washington through Clinton, combined! Obama is on his way to racking up more debt than all presidents from Washington through Bush combined! Bipartisanship at its best.
Now that the federal government has used its two arrows (in the form of bailouts and lower interest rates) they are hoping and praying the economy recovers. Unless the very laws of nature are overturned, this is a pipe dream.
With so much information out there pointing to further turmoil, no one can be surprised when the next crisis comes.