Story by Marquis Newman
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Floyd Norris, the chief financial correspondent for The New York Times, discussed that concessions, such as another stimulus and extending low interest rates on mortgages, need to be done to help the U.S. economy. These concessions could help get the U.S. economy out of flux.
In the midst of a presidential election, Republicans and Democrats are debating and arguing about the economy, whose fault it is that the U.S. economy is bad and what can be done to fix the economy. Norris has many valid points on the subject and joked that maybe President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor should read one or two of his columns.
Many Republicans believe that a stimulus does not work. “There are a lot of references to Obama’s failed stimulus plan,” said Norris. He joked that the national government not trying another round of stimulus is similar to a student who studies for a test, but does poorly and says “Well there is obviously no point in studying.” Norris said the government should try another stimulus and maybe it could be a short term alternative, until politicians can figure out a long term solution.
Extending the benefits of low interest rates on mortgages is something that Norris said he believes will benefit the economy and will help people who really need the low interest rates.
“Many people can’t refinance,” according to Norris, who argued that letting somebody re-borrow money at a lower interest rate does not increase the credit risk, but might actually let people pay the debts they owe when they wouldn’t have been able to before.
“Credit gets you places,” said Laurie Carlson, a student at the University of Utah who attended the event. If decreasing the requirements to get a lower interest rate on a mortgage doesn’t increase risk and helps out the homeowner’s credit, then banks should look to initiate this.
There are many people to blame for America’s financial crisis.
“We used to take for granted that the government should try to improve the economy and that there were things it could do,” said Norris. The Great Depression, which the recent recession has often been compared to, is used as the model for how to get out of a depression. Economists learned a great deal about how to get out of a recession during that time, but according to Norris, “I think the fact that we never reached a consensus on that [how the Great Depression started], is what went wrong recently.”
Many of the guests who attended the talk believed that Norris’s ideas were excellent and wondered why some of them haven’t already been implemented.
“I wish he could make a bigger difference” said Lauron Bailey, a guest of the event. Another student who was at the event, Sean Gustafson said “He got me to think….this was definitely something that could spark.”
The event ended with Norris answering questions from curious attendees and giving advice to struggling homeowners and job seekers. As some of Norris’s views gain popularity around the financial community, maybe eyes at the nation’s capital will begin to take notice of some of the ideas that Norris has.