Did Hedge Funds Help Stabilize the Mortgage Market? II
links for 2008-04-29

Methinks Fareed Zakaria Will Vote for Barack Obama

He writes:

Mccain Vs. Mccain | Print Article | Newsweek.com: On March 26, McCain gave a speech on foreign policy... the most radical idea put forward by a major candidate for the presidency in 25 years. Yet almost no one noticed... McCain proposed that the United States expel Russia from the G8.... McCain also proposed that the United States should expand the G8 by taking in India and Brazil--but pointedly excluded China from the councils of power.

We have spent months debating Barack Obama's suggestion that he might, under some circumstances, meet with Iranians and Venezuelans. It is a sign of what is wrong with the foreign-policy debate that this idea is treated as a revolution in U.S. policy while McCain's proposal has barely registered. What McCain has announced is momentous--that the United States should adopt a policy of active exclusion and hostility toward two major global powers. It would reverse a decades-old bipartisan American policy of integrating these two countries into the global order... would alienate many countries in Europe and Asia who would see it as an attempt by Washington to begin a new cold war.

I write this with sadness because I greatly admire John McCain, a man of intelligence, honor and enormous personal and political courage.... McCain has turned into a foreign-policy schizophrenic.... His speech reads like it was written by two very different people, each one given an allotment of a few paragraphs on every topic. The neoconservative vision within the speech is essentially an affirmation of ideology. Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in active opposition to all nondemocracies.... What would be the gain from so alienating two great powers? How would the League of Democracies fight terrorism while excluding countries like Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Singapore? What would be the gain to the average American to lessen our influence with Saudi Arabia...?

The single most important security problem that the United States faces is securing loose nuclear materials. A terrorist group can pose an existential threat to the global order only by getting hold of such material. We also have an interest in stopping proliferation, particularly by rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea. To achieve both of these core objectives--which would make American safe and the world more secure—--need Russian cooperation. How fulsome is that likely to be if we gratuitously initiate hostilities with Moscow? Dissing dictators might make for a stirring speech, but ordinary Americans will have to live with the complications after the applause dies down.

To reorder the G8 without China would be particularly bizarre. The G8 was created to help coordinate problems of the emerging global economy....

McCain appears to think that he can magically unite the two main strands in the Republican foreign-policy establishment. But he can't.... We have watched an American president unable to choose between his ideologically driven vice president and his pragmatic secretary of State--and the result was the catastrophe of George W. Bush's first term...