Thursday, April 7, 2011

'Privatize Profit, Socialize Risk'

Jeffrey Lacker (left), the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, buried his lead this morning. He spoke for about 40 minutes during breakfast (DURING BREAKFAST!) at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center as part of the Ferrum College Forum on Critical Thinking, Innovation & Leadership, and the talk was about monetary policy.

I understood just about every fourth word of his talk and one or two of the concepts, but when he said, that one of the primary causes of the financial disgrace of the last few years came about because bankers wanted to "privatize profit and socialize risk" it all became clear to me.That is all of that complex mess in five words, a nice bumper sticker that anybody--even me--can understand.

We'll have a little deeper understanding of the talk and what Lacker thinks about other things later today over on the Valley Business FRONT blog, Susan Ayers, one of our front-rank writers and a former mortgage banker (who sat at our table nodding approvingly throughout) will write it and you'll understand what she's saying.

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