Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What we can learn from Meyer Mishkin...or not

David Leonhardt writing in the Times today:

In 1929, Meyer Mishkin owned a shop in New York that sold silk shirts to workingmen. When the stock market crashed that October, he turned to his son, then a student at City College, and offered a version of this sentiment: It serves those rich scoundrels right.

A year later, as Wall Street’s problems were starting to spill into the broader economy, Mr. Mishkin’s store went out of business. He no longer had enough customers. His son had to go to work to support the family, and Mr. Mishkin never held a steady job again.

Frederic Mishkin — Meyer’s grandson and, until he stepped down a month ago, an ally of Ben Bernanke’s on the Federal Reserve Board — told me this story the other day, and its moral is obvious enough. Many people in Washington fear that the country is starting to spiral into a terrible downturn. And to their horror, they see the public, and many members of Congress, turning into modern-day Meyer Mishkins, more interested in punishing Wall Street than saving the economy.


Jill said...

I don't think it's mutually exclusive to punish Wall Street AND save the economy at the same time. I do two things at once all the time. So can they. Send the fuckers to jail AND find an economic plan that will work to help ME.

Jill said...

Sorry I just re-read that, my English is going down the drain in a funk of poverty. Grammar book please.