Dallas Fed head and longtime Robert Earl Keen fan Richard Fisher spoke last night to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, and he served as a sort of economic weatherman. And, like David Finfrock during a spring sprinkle, he managed to scare the hell out of those listening. Though, of course, with good reason. As in: economic turmoil brought about by "complacency and recklessness." The entirety of his speech is available on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas's Web site. But, a ... highlight?
I have been scanning the horizon for danger signals even as we continue working to recover from the recent turmoil. In the distance, I see a frightful storm brewing in the form of untethered government debt. I choose the words -- “frightful storm” -- deliberately to avoid hyperbole. Unless we take steps to deal with it, the long-term fiscal situation of the federal government will be unimaginably more devastating to our economic prosperity than the subprime debacle and the recent debauching of credit markets that we are now working so hard to correct.
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Imagine if he hadn't avoided hyperbole. Can't, can you? --Robert Wilonsky