Thursday, September 25, 2008

Washington Post: Damn the merits of the bailout, just do something!

The editorial board of the Washington Post apparently engages in a group pants-wetting:
Alternatives are imaginable, but this is the one on the table, and it is conceptually credible. Treasury could recoup much of the cost as the market recovers; indeed, by jump-starting a market, the plan could draw private capital into distressed securities. ...

These are the essentials. On other matters -- relief for mortgage holders, regulatory and bankruptcy reform -- there will be plenty of time later for debate, and, if necessary, additional legislation. But for now, the president, Congress and the candidates need to stay focused on what's really important: preventing financial Armageddon.
Is it a good idea? Is it a bad idea? Who the fuck knows. But it's all we have so let's go for it before the world ends! Save us, Henry Paulson. Save us now!

Now for something completely different. In this video from Fox News, Rep. Ron Paul conducts an economics lesson and once again says the bailout is a really, really stupid idea.

On the same note, in an article distributed by ... ahem ... the Washington Post, prominent economists point out that there are alternatives to the bailout scam, and that a rush to ram the bailout through Congress could do much more harm than good.
[L]eading economists and financial thinkers argue that there are a host of alternatives that would reduce taxpayers' liabilities and perhaps more effectively address the urgent crisis in financial markets. Although these experts concede that the clock is ticking, they say different approaches have been dismissed too quickly. ...

The cost of a mistake could be huge. It could result in a catastrophic collapse of the U.S. financial system that could ripple across the world or in a staggering clean-up bill for taxpayers. At the core of the debate is whether Paulson, the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs now charged with rescuing Wall Street as Treasury secretary, and Ber­nanke, the Federal Reserve chairman and one of the lead­ing academics on financial cri­ses, are serving up the best possible recipe for purging the U.S. financial system of bil­lions of dollars worth of dis­tressed mortgage-related debt.
Hmmm ...



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