Paul Krugman writes:
The mortgage mess is making nonsense of claims that we have effective contract enforcement — in fact, the question is whether our economy is governed by any kind of rule of law.
True to form, the Obama administration’s response has been to oppose any action that might upset the banks, like a temporary moratorium on foreclosures while some of the issues are resolved. Instead, it is asking the banks, very nicely, to behave better and clean up their act. I mean, that’s worked so well in the past, right?
The response from the right is, however, even worse …. conservative commentators like those at The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page have come out dismissing the lack of proper documents as a triviality. In effect, they’re saying that if a bank says it owns your house, we should just take its word. To me, this evokes the days when noblemen felt free to take whatever they wanted, knowing that peasants had no standing in the courts. But then, I suspect that some people regard those as the good old days.
I’m happy that someone as prominent as Krugman is weighing in on the side of the rule of law.
I’ve been hammering on that topic for years:
- Economist James Galbraith: Economists Should Move into the Background, and “Criminologists to the Forefront”
- Senior S&L Regulator Says Government Engaging in Massive Cover-Up of Economic Crisis: “The Entire Strategy Is to Keep People from Getting the Facts”