CNN Correspondent Greg Hunter doesn’t like to follow the crowd, or in this case listen to experts. On the May 18 edition of “Your $$$$$,”Hunter ignored recent reports that the economy is doing better than expected. Instead, he put his faith in former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker “who just last month called the current economic situation the ‘mother of all crises’” Hunter added, “the mother of all. I think that would include the Great Depression.”
Hunter’s argument that this is the worst economic time ever came on the heels of positive economic news from many experts. Notable economists, such as Alan Greenspan and Warren Buffet, said last week that the “credit crisis” may be over. Ali Velshi, the “Your $$$$$” host, introduced the segment saying, “Well our bigwig Greg Hunter thinks they’re wrong.”
He then detailed several problems facing the economy that he said could cost “in excess of a half trillion dollars.” “Why should you care? Because that means the fed is likely to pump out even more money to bail out struggling banks which is leads to raising inflation and that means people like you and me and Ali end up paying more for everything from food to gasoline,” he explained.
Hunter conceded an up tick in GDP numbers, better than expected job losses and positive sentiments from numerous noted economists, but all that couldn’t lift his economic spirits in the least. He asked, “So when it comes to your money, is the worst really over? Or still yet to come?” Hunter’s opinion was clearly the latter.
A front-page article in the May
But Velshi praised his research and didn’t question Hunter’s pessimism. Velshi did ask Hunter to keep viewers posted. “All right, well we continue to keep an eye on the economy every week and when you see some silver lining on the cloud, you'll be sure to come and tell us.” For starters, both the unemployment rate and claims for unemployment benefits have recently fallen.
Hunter did offer a solution to our perceived predicament – just one. “Volcker basically says you can't have the fed bailing out and backstopping the banks on one side without any regulation on the other….And according to Volcker, part of the fix is more regulation to keep the banks and brokerages from needing the kind of big bailouts that we're seeing right now.”
Regulation isn’t the only answer. A May 14 Reuters article quoted chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Edward Lazear on the inability of regulations to remove all risk. “I put the most faith in the market and market discipline,” he said.