Mike Milken and Nouriel Roubini took a crack at where things stand and where things are headed in a fascinating session at the Milken Global Conference. Here's the link. With Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Matt Winkler as moderator, Milken and Roubini talk about everything from sovereign debt to "super-McMansions."
Apropos of my earlier post, here's what Roubini said about making government as efficient as the private sector:
If you are a private sector company you live and work in a market, and unless you become more efficient you don't survive, while in the case of government that never happens. If government becomes effectively insolvent, they default on the debt and that may be what will happen soon in Greece and the rest of the Eurozone and eventually will happen in other advanced economies. So there's not really a market or competition to force governments the make the tough choices.
Milken wondered about the takeaway of the economic troubles:
The number one concern I have is that we'll come out of this financial crisis and once again not be truthful with one another as to what the causes were. The fact is that the securities that were encouraged were not productive in our society, and today are all ending upon the balance sheet, directly or indirectly, of government.
Milken worries that "we will not have learned from this experience." The session runs more than 80 minutes, but it's really good stuff.