“Protectionist” is an attack usually thrown at those who advocate tariffs or import restrictions. I use it more broadly to refer to those who call for government interference in order to preserve a current or recent economic arrangement.
For instance, President Bush’s 2008 bailouts were protectionism — pinstripe protectionism, to be precise.
This week, at President Obama’s housing summit, we saw some more pinstripe protection — this time from Bill Gross, head of PIMCO, the nation’s largest bond company.
In the Bloomberg interview below, Gross states that we need to make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government agencies because now Americans know that home value can go down, and if folks don’t forget that, “the private market will not function the same way as it has over the past 10 or 20 years.”
Imagine that — a market functioning differently in one decade than in another! Call in the government!