On a related note, I’m almost done with Too Big to Fail — Andrew Sorkin’s insanely investigative bailout book. The stuff on AIG is fascinating. Apparently when the 100% payout was finalized, some pissed-off AIG guys saw some Goldman guys high-fiving each other, ecstatic about the deal.
I”ll have a full review of TBTF shortly. It’s the first book I’m reading on my Kindle, which is awesome. I’m taking notes and making bookmarks at key places, so I can find everything quickly for the review.
Military should be the first in line for budget slashing, but the opposite is taking place. While “defense” spending does boost GDP, and preserve (politically important) jobs, it’s still a huge drag on the real economy.
America’s military is bloated, and much like the FIRE sector, it needs shrinking. Both are incredibly inefficient ways to grow/stimulate an economy. In their current state, both are a drain on American resources. And with their armies of lobbyists, this isn’t likely to change soon.
America faces a funding crisis like we have never seen. The U.S. remains the world’s lone superpower. That would still be the case if we cut military spending 30%. Reducing the budget and shifting those jobs to more productive areas, like energy and manufacturing, would have immensely positive effects on the economy.
The question is – do our political leaders have the courage to cut spending before things get out of control? Based on what we’ve seen so far – the answer is clearly no.