Trichet should be fired. Bernanke should be fired. Lethargic politicians should be fired.
That's the collective wail of consternation we keep hearing from financial markets around the globe these days.
Ah, yes. How droll Isn't that a bit like a bunch of arsonists were complaining about the fire brigade being too lax and incompetent in fighting the fires they themselves have ignited?
But, more seriously. What CAN politicians, central banks really do?
Let's start with the central banks.
We tried both tactics, didn't we?
The Fed's emergency rate cuts, prompted and wanted by hysterical bankers AND the ECB's, with the stubborn "no cuts, if inflation doesn't come down" approach. Guess what. One worked as little as the other.
And then the markets were screaming for a concerted rate efforts. They got it (granted, FAR TOO LATE!). But did it work? Nope.
So what now?
What about politics and politicians?
The $700 billion U.S. bailout package was what was needed. NOTHING else would save the markets. Ok, there it is now. Saved the markets? Nope.
Bailout packages for Europe were needed. OK, the Europeans could sadly not come up with a COMMON PLAN, but hell's bells, why does anybody seriously expect a COMMON EU-WIDE bailout plan, when we have such different countries with different situations of their respective economies and banking industries to deal with?