There are plenty of grounds on which to criticize Obama’s economic programs, and I certainly haven’t hesitated to do so, but as far as I can tell, his performance at the G-20 has been flawless. Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are absolutely right in pushing for the other G-20 countries, and particularly Germany and China, to increase their stimulus programs. It’s not a question of rescuing the “assholes” here, but of a global economy that is woefully lacking in the private demand that could spark a recovery. The only way to stimulate the demand at this point is through public expenditures, which means running very large deficits.
I caught most of the President's hour-long press conference this afternoon. I thought he acquitted himself well. I'm still not a fan of bailout in lieu of bankruptcy and elevating speed over value in the design of a stimulus plan, but I thought the President played his hand pretty well in London.