Well, Larry Kudlow over at CNBC is already having fits about Obama’s first statement since his arrival in Asia. You can see Kudlow flip out in this video.
On the Friday night Kudlow Report (11/13/2009), Larry bellowed that Obama was “not his President.”
I had to laugh. I’ve never called Obama “President” either, in real life or on this blog. Which just continues my tradition, since I never attached the word “President” to George W. Bush, either. However, arch-conservative Kudlow apparently thought Bush was peachy keen at the time having no problem refrerring to Bush as President.
Kudlow ranted about how Obama does not do “optimism” and, in fact, preaches “declinism.” And he cheerleaded about U.S. exceptionalism and our huge economy then railed about how Obama doesn’t understand how oversimplified it is to say that “the American consumer won’t bail out” the world economy.
Here’s the article from the Wall Street Journal that flipped out Kudlow:
Trade-Talk Revival a Goal, but World Economy Can’t Rely Solely on U.S. Consumers
Mr. Obama’s emphasis on pursuing new pacts comes as he makes his way through an export-dependent region that has grown nervous about his trade policy, and skeptical about his willingness to use political capital at home to support free trade. He has yet to achieve tangible advances on the trade front, nor did he offer specific proposals Saturday beyond a promise to complete the next global round of free talks — dubbed Doha — “in a timely fashion.” So far, his most dramatic moves on trade have involved slapping tariffs on Chinese tire imports and, just last week, steel pipes. In his speech, he said his administration will “pursue pragmatic cooperation with China on issues of mutual concern.”
The speech in the vast Suntory Hall here Saturday morning had a somewhat different tone than many of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy addresses. He has spent much of his first year in office working toward burnishing what he has called his nation’s diminished stature in the globe. While he also talked of multilateral cooperation and human rights, he came to Asia to deliver the message that the rapidly growing export-driven economies can no longer count on the U.S. consumer to keep them afloat.
Doesn’t this sound sort of arrogant? I have to wonder what “consumer” Obama’s talking about. They seem to be half-dead here. I’m sure the Chinese know that, too. They are not dumb, Barack.
Panel member Zachary Karabell of Rivertwice Research, who has written a book on something related to all this, played both sides of the fence…he sort of believes that we’re not the biggie we used to be (which is the sort of thing that pushes Kudlow’s buttons) but he says there’s a moment at hand now where we have to continue to make sure that we remain a hub of innovation. He made sure he agreed with Kudlow that a “dual hub” situation is occurring–U.S. & China–which is OK with both of the because they see this as being “very beneficial.” But Kudlow is totally pissed about how we’re wrecking other economies because of the weak dollar, which is creating an inflationary bubble in Asia region. Basically, he says Obama is ignoring all this because he’s too preoccupied with “bashing” the American consumer.
Andrew Busch of BMO Capital Markets said he thinks the Administration’s strategy, which he doesn’t like, is to go “hat in hand” to China to try convince China to help us by letting the yuan appreciate…That is where the INSISTING part I discussed in my previous post is supposed to come in, I guess.
Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal editorial board sees this weak dollar situation is what set up the Bush Administration to go down as a failure in terms of economic policy and that’s what we’ve got now. How encouraging!
Ah, but Kudlow and Karabell think that American companies like Nike and Walmart making stuff in China and selling it here is great (but I’m asking, what about American jobs HERE, Larry!).
Kudlow made some dreamy comments about “stabilization” and “currency cooperation” and “coordination” with Asia. And then, Karabell dropped the bomb about an Asian ‘unified currency bloc to facilitate strength.” And he said that if we want China to continue to “hitch” themselves to us more, we’re not supposed to freak out if China wants to buy businesses HERE and not have a “knee-jerk xenophobic response.” Kudlow even decided there should be FUSION. Later, he also espoused an Asian currency zone a la the Euro. Kudlow also opined that Karabell should get a Nobel Prize for his book.
Karabell and Busch both think that China WILL revalue the yuan by 5% with other countries in the region to follow. Busch pointed out that China could face World Trade Organization actions for protectionism if they don’t. As for Obama, during the presidential campaign Obama promised to “crack down on China” but during the primaries there was chatter: “But his commitment to that point of view was thrown into doubt during the primaries when a Canadian official said an Obama adviser had privately characterized his tough stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement as political posturing.” (As an example, see: U.S. to Impose Tariff on Tires From China, Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2009. Detractors figure that “the tariff won’t result in more jobs. Tires will simply come in from other low-cost countries, they say, and U.S. manufacturers, keep making their cheaper tires in China.”) Of course, this is classic Obama…all that “get-tough” talk and “insisting” while we have to go “hat in hand” to China…more blowing smoke.
I have no idea what a 5% revaluation really means in the long run but I doubt it will miraculously revive our exports and restore many American jobs that have left the country.
All I know is that Kudlow finished the segment by again repeating that he likes his Presidents to be “optimists” and not “declinists” and that he was furious about Obama’s first utterances in Asia. It’s worth checking out the video because I can’t due full justice to everthing that was discussed.
But what’s all this about “FUSION”? Well, it’s that “free-trade” stuff again. Kudlow seems to talk about U.S. economic leadership but embraces all this business leading to globalization.
Kudlow and Obama both can give you whiplash…
But at least I hear Michelle and the girls are having a good time…
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: American consumer, Andrew Busch of BMO Capital Markets, Asian economies, Asian unified currency bloc, Barack Obama, China, CNBC, free trade, George W. Bush, globalization, Japan, Kudlow Report, Larry Kudlow, MIchelle Obama, Nike, North American Free Terade Agreement (NAFTA), Rivertwice Research, Stephen Moore, tariffs on Chinese tire imports and steel pipes, Wall Street Journal, Walmart, world economy, World Trade Organization (WTO), yuan, Zachary Karabell | 3 Comments »