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Think again.

Obama mentioned “universal accounts” in his coverage of social security last night and I am surprised the blogosphere has not picked up on this more. This is probably Gene Sperling’s idea and the key question is how much is “carve out” from existing benefits and how much is “add on.” In any case doing this reform at Dow = 7,000 makes more sense than doing it at Dow = 11,000. It’s even a way to boost stock prices (and possibly confidence?) though presumably it involves borrowing yet more money.When you consider the speech as a whole, Obama is promising the largest attempt and most ambitious at rate of return arbitrage in the history of the human race.

Obama’s speech was very effective but it is mostly about borrowing more money. It is odd that in a time when capital markets and attempted arbitrage have so failed us the solution is to resort to…capital markets and attempted arbitrage.

The more events progress (what’s the implicit A.I.G. liability for the government these days? near one trillion?), the more I believe that the tax cuts in Obama’s stimulus plan were a mistake.

If I were Taiwan I’d feel a wee bit more worried these days.

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