Guardian UK: (h/t Gregory)
With his low opinion poll ratings, George Bush needs a crash on Wall Street like a hole in the head. The days are ticking away towards the end of his presidency and the Pentagon is warning that unless the "surge" in Iraq works the United States could be heading for another Vietnam.
Little wonder, then, that Washington did its best to rubbish any suggestion that last week's turbulence on the financial markets amounted to anything more than a little temporary difficulty. In this, the Bush administration was ably supported by the great and good of New York - or at least that part of the financial elite that wasn't banged up for alleged insider trading last week by the securities and exchange commission. As ever, the same reassuring story was spun. Like a hypnotist faced with a sceptical member of the audience, the words were repeated over and over again. Listen, this is a correction not a crash. Relax, the fundamentals of the global economy are strong. Are you listening to me? There will be no recession in the US. Did you hear what I said? There will be no recession in the US.
By the end of the week, the trick seemed to have paid off. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, had downplayed the risks of recession brought to the public's attention by his predecessor, Alan Greenspan. And the markets were gagging for reassurance. After all, if you've spent the past couple of years persuading yourself and clients that investing in the current climate is risk-free, the last thing you want to hear is that the glittering edifice of the global economy is a Potemkin village - the fake Crimean settlements set up to impress Catherine II. The dozen charged by the SEC are not the only ones guilty of rigging markets; they were just a bit more self-serving about it, that's all.
Read the full article for some compelling evidence that things might now be as rosy as the Fed would have you believe.