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Friday, March 13, 2009

Why it is hard to move forward

White House: Greed will help
“In the past few years, we’ve seen too much greed and too little fear; too much spending and not enough saving; too much borrowing and not enough worrying,” Summers said Friday in a speech to the Brookings Institution. “Today, however, our problem is exactly the opposite.”

In remarks to a private dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Summers was even blunter, according to an attendee: “Before, we had too much greed and too little fear. Now, we have too much fear and too little greed.”

Unfortunately this does not work with regards to conserving oil and getting off the oil spigot. Greed remained the only constant from the first moment we struck oil in the 1800's. It provided a virtually untapped source of stimulus to extract every last bit of oil we could access. Not that I think greed will ever disappear, but I thought perhaps that we can modulate this effect somehow. The fear of increasing scarcity of oil may have that effect due to demand destruction, but due to the engine of the economy and its requirements for energy to propel increasing GDP, we will likely see greed once again drag energy along, one way or another.


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