How many times have we heard President Barack Obama or high-ranking members of his administration lament the fact that the president “inherited” a recession?
Quite a few, if anyone is keeping track. Now the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has broken through the 10,000-point barrier. But that begs the question given the inevitable credit Obama will get from the media and other supporters for this rally, should former President George W. Bush get some of the credit if Obama is so willing to blame him for the collapse?
It’s a question Neil Cavuto put to the test on his Oct. 14 Fox News “Your World” program speaking to Macro Portfolio Advisors Vice President Jim Lacamp.
“So Jim, the former president saying those are tough choices back then,” Cavuto said. “Critics of these rescues, myself included, didn’t realize how close we were to the edge. He took the bold moves and look where we are a year later. What do you think?”
According to Lacamp, if you’re going to blame Bush for the banking problems, you should give him at least some credit.
“Look Neil, it defies logic that you could blame Bush for the banking problems, the banking system and criticize the bailouts and not give him a little bit of credit right now,” Lacamp said. “Remember, a year ago we had banks that were failing. We had money markets that were on the verge of breaking the $1 barrier, so you had a lot of panicky investors and a lot of people were wiring money out of banks.”
And as Lacamp also explained, it was the Bush administration with a Democratic-controlled Congress that authorized the financial system rescue under TARP.
“You had a stealth run going on – on the banks,” Lacamp continued. “So they had to take very aggressive action very quickly. Now, between TARP and his appointment of Ben Bernanke – and he has dropped interest rates to zero, which has really helped these banks heal, he has helped on the recovery side of the banks.”
But Lacamp explained his disagreement with knee-jerk reactions to blame or credit political figures, particularly Bush.
“Now, I don’t blame him for the banking problem,” Lacamp continued. “I don’t give him all the credit for the recovery. But you can't blame him for the problem if you're not going to give him some credit for those moves that were made that are helping these banks start to recover.”
And Cavuto added, if they’re going to blame Bush for everything, he should get credit as then as well.
“You're either a goat and will always stay that way or suddenly become a llama,” Cavuto said