Tuesday, March 24, 2009

treasury's new plan

Tim Geithner has a new plan to use $100 billion to help take some bad assets off of the banks' hands so they can start lending again.

It's all complicated. I admit to worrying that the fact that would-be buyers don't think those toxic assets are worth near as much as the would-be sellers think is a fundamental problem. As the Washington Post editors said, "If all goes according to plan, the market know-how of the private firms will lead to maximally efficient deployment of government resources, and taxpayer losses will be relatively modest."

Umm, isn't the so-called LACK of market know-how, aka judgment, the reason we are in this mess in the first place? Not confidence-inspiring.

And I know Paul Krugman, who knows a thing or two, is despairing of the whole thing - which is in essence a nice big fat subsidy, with the taxpayer sharing in the potential upside, but owning 100% of the downside.

But what worries me most about it is that Wall Street LIKES it, and the Dow Jones went way up. We need to get out of the mindset that what is good for Wall Street is necessarily good for America, and away from the misconception that a day or even a week or a month of a rising stockmarket means ANYTHING.

I still think we should wrap up some of these banks like the FDIC does routinely. We don't want to let zombies roam the financial landscape, as was the case for Japan through-out their stagnant 1990s.



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