Offer "Happy New Year!" to a friend, and you'll get, "Same to you," followed by an unprintable reference to 2008. Inquire about plans for 2009 -- corporate or personal -- and replies go like this: "Ummm ... I was thinking about adding another layer of sandbags to the bunker, maybe some wire, and ... Hey, have you seen my helmet around here, anywhere?" 2009 will not be a matter of civilians regaining confidence, as so many hope. Our national paralysis is beyond self-restoration. We need -- and will get -- truly extraordinary intervention by government. Yes, I know that I'm the guy who insisted since the Lehman disaster that cavalry was on the way. Apologies. It did not occur to me that Henry Paulson, ex-chair of Goldman, would do for finance what Micha...
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