Credit Crunch Reigns Supreme

, Jesse Masai, Leave a comment

Do you want to know when you have arrived in Washington, DC? Look to see if the credit crunch and the future of America are still the topical issues around you.

At several events held in the nation’s capitol last week, the country’s economic situation and implications for its future continued to dominate reflections.

At a forum convened at the National Press Club by Judicial Watch last Thursday, panelists suggested the effects of the crunch will not go away any time soon.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s John Berlau likened the crisis to a medical situation. “In the year since the credit crunch began, reading the financial pages has become a bit like perusing a medical journal. Market epidemiologists speculate where the financial contagion will strike next,” he said (emphasis original).

He called DC the “District of Corruption,” even as he suggested Republicans are taking all the blame for the crisis and the Democrats all the credit for the good sides of the story.

The Cato Institute’s Alan Reynold said the credit crunch story was still suffering from a crisis of definition.

“We have on our hands a problem that has not been defined well enough. Is it a case of too much debt and insufficient credit? Is it a case of our financial system freezing or melting down?” he asked.

Public sympathy for banks in view of the recent Congressional bailout can go only so far.

“I should know, I was once a banker,” he said.

Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics Sheila Krumholz said voters need to assess the role that political corruption, special interest groups and government regulation have had in creating today’s financial crisis.

“There is need to frame issues in terms of the money, take a closer look at key votes, and look at the context and concerns about all of this money,” she said, as she revealed that both Senator Barack Obama and John McCain were heavily tied to the financial sector, and that Obama had benefited the most from its contributions.

Jesse Masai is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.