At this very moment, more than 350 biz journalists, members all of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, are on the Hilltop for a star-studded afternoon of speeches and panels set to feature the likes of Elizabeth Warren, tasked by President Obama with creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, now the U.S. Trade Ambassador; and American Airlines bossman Gerard Arpey and his Southwest counterpart Gary Kelley, whose chitchat will be liveblogged here beginning 'round 10:30 this morning.
So far today Securities and Exchange Chairman Mary Schapiro told the huddled masses that she's got a small staff that's "stretched thin" -- which won't matter if there's a government shutdown today, because, whoops, there goes enforcement. And Dallas Fed head Richard Fisher delivered a speech titled "Is America's Decline Exaggerated or Inevitable?" Read the whole thing here; I've said it before, he makes economy talk ... enjoyable? Let's jump to the end, when he references the invaluable 1968 history book Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans:
My German interlocutors asked why I am encouraged that we would now finally get on with the business of cleaning up our fiscal house. Central bankers are, after all, genetically programmed to be sourpusses; we are inherently wary of the capacity of politicians to be serious and discipline themselves.
My answer is admittedly emotional. I am the son of immigrants; my parents came to this country because it is the land of promise. Moreover, I am a naturalized Texan, and Texans are a persistent people who have always pressed on against the odds. The great historian of Texas, T.R. Fehrenbach, wrote that Texans understand that "men who exist get overrun by men who act." I believe deep in my heart that this is not unique to Texans -- it is a quintessential American trait. I believe that the people of this great country will reward those members of Congress who act and will overrun those who exist only to encumber us with unsustainable debt and an imbalance of taxes and spending that threatens our prosperity rather than advances it. So, yes, I am hopeful that our elected leaders will get on the stick.
Besides, I believe Winston Churchill had it right: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing ... after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
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