Ross Mackenzie

Recent quotations on the economy that may not put you to sleep....

President Obama: "All of us should be worried about the fact that we have been running the credit card in the name of future generations. We've got to get our debt and our deficits under control. That's going to be our project for the next couple of years."

Carnegie Mellon University economics Professor Allan Meltzer: "The administration's stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible. But they want new stimulus measures -- which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting...,continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance."

Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson: "What we're seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state....Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven't fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies."

Nobel economist Gary Becker, a founder (with Milton Friedman) of the Chicago school of economics: "This belief in individual responsibility -- the belief that people ought to be free to make their own decisions, but should then bear the consequences of those decisions -- this remains very powerful. The American people don't want an expansion of government. They want more of what (Ronald) Reagan provided. They want limited government and economic growth. I expect them to say so in the elections this November."

Mark Dowding, head of institutional fixed income in Europe for DB advisors: "You have a number of countries in Europe who have sovereign debt situations where the debt burden is barely sustainable....The thinking is that (if the situation in Greece doesn't resolve well,)what you effectively could be looking at unfolding is the European sovereign version of the Lehman crisis."

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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