In an election where "jobs and the economy" are indisputably the biggest issues on the table, it is incomprehensible that, after three debates, with the domestic policy discussion now effectively closed, several crucial issues have been totally ignored.
As my co-host Jeff Macke and I discuss, how is it even possible that this political punching match can move on to matters of foreign policy yet never even mention the word housing? After all, wasn't the burst of the housing bubble at the center of the financial crisis, and therefore directly tied to several key issues, most of which remain unresolved five years after home prices peaked?
"I don't know anything more about housing than I did before, and that's a problem," Macke points out, adding that an omission of this size "illustrates the problem with these debates; the fact that both these guys got a pass on laying out even a general idea of how we're going to fix this housing thing." (See Related: Jim Rogers: Neither Obama nor Romney Are Worth My Vote)
It's not like there's isn't enough good and bad statistical cover for either candidate to hide behind. It simply wasn't discussed. Add in this morning's news that housing starts and building permits touched a four-year high and the oversight becomes even more glaring.
Same for Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. How is it that the unprecedented policies that have dominated the economic landscape before, during and after the crisis, could slip through the cracks without so much as even a hat tip? While Romney has previously said from the stump that he would not renominate Bernanke for a third term, the ramifications and rationale behind this is, in and of itself, more than enough fodder for one discussion. Bernanke is, after all, often referred to as the most powerful man in the world, yet is accountable to no one.
The truth is, if you take the Fed chief's stimulus efforts, easing and rate-crushing monetary moves off the table, it would leave only fiscal policy to discuss and the shameful predicament the looming fiscal cliff has presented us with.
And finally, neither candidate was asked about or made any reference to the stock market -- a barometer that's not only at a five-year high but is also in a league of its own when it comes to interpreting the mood, confidence and condition of the American consumer and economy. To leave this out, as Macke says, is "just weird." But it is also understandable, since most or all of the market's 3-1/2 year rally has been made possible by the efforts and objectives of the previously mentioned and unelected Fed chairman. (See Related: Bernanke Hasn't Done Anything Right as Fed Chief Says Rogers)
I am sure there are more issues that coulda/woulda/shoulda been debated, but I can't think of any more important ones that were entirely overlooked.
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