I don’t know whether U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s plan to fix the financial system will work. It sounds incredibly complicated, like a Rube Goldberg machine, and I wouldn’t be one of the investors buying into the rescue plan for those toxic securities. But then I wouldn’t have given Bernie Madoff my savings to invest in his Ponzi scheme either. So perhaps investors are a different breed and Geithner knows them better than I do. Perhaps.
I am on more familiar ground when it comes to the industrial economy, having reported on it off and on for half a century.And I am beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of that tunnel. According to Nathanial Gronewold, writing in the Scientific American, there are signs that the federal stimulus might be pumping a little life into the alternative-energy industry.
Gronewold reports that some hedge funds and private equity and venture capital firms are cautiously looking to take advantage of stimulus provisions encouraging investment in renewable energy projects. To me, this is very good news. If anything is going to save the U.S. economy it’s President Obama’s alternative energy program. If it works, the United States could become a net exporter once more, perhaps even becoming a creditor nation instead of the world’s largest debtor nation. Millions of jobs would be created, with a spreading ripple effect. If it works. And for it to work, the banks may have to start lending again.
That’s a big if. But at least there’s hope.