The Clarion-Ledger, 7/16/8

While assessments for the national economy remain gloomy, at least one expert sees positive signs in Mississippi.

Addressing Congress on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talked about weakening housing prices and slow growth contributing to a sluggish market.

“Certainly national economic events have a fairly significant economic impact on every state, including Mississippi,” said William Shughart, an economics professor at the University of Mississippi.

“The freedom to fail is just as important to a market economy as the the freedom to succeed,” Shughart said. Up until the collapse of IndyMac, a large California mortgage lender, it seemed the federal policy was to “bail those institutions out,” he said. “I’d rather see them collapse. … The pain will be deep, “but it won’t be as long-lasting as when we continue to prop up institutions that have made very bad decisions.”