Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailing on the bailout

If like me you are feeling a bit rushed by the bailout bandwagon, check this out:

Another doubter of the Great Depression theme is Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor, who thinks the intervention may prevent or delay the necessary failure of weak financial institutions.

"It is time to take stock of the crisis and recognize that the financial industry is undergoing fundamental shifts, and is not simply the victim of speculative panic against housing loans," he wrote in a syndicated column. "Certainly better regulation is part of the answer over the longer run, but it is no panacea. Today's financial firm equity and bond holders must bear the main cost, or there is little hope they will behave more responsibly in the future."

Some analysts think the most important steps to avoid another depression may have already occurred without the $700 billion bailout.

"Last week we came real close to a financial economic meltdown because of the run on money market funds, resulting from the bankruptcy of (investment bank) Lehman Brothers, and I think insuring the money-market funds was enough," said Ed Yardeni, a veteran Wall Street analyst.

[snip]

"There are quite a few of us who think that could have stabilized the situation quite effectively," he said, adding, "I think it (the bailout) was rushed, and certainly we didn't give other reasonable, cheaper alternatives a chance. But at this point it is what it is, and we all have to pray that it works."


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posted at 10:10:00 AM by Neil

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