Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Financial Stability Plan

Today Tim Geithner accounced the Administration's plan to.........well, I have no idea what exactly the plan is. From what I can tell, they are getting organized to "fix" the financial system by "dealing" with the toxic assets (the mortgage backed securities that no one knows the value of).

There were no details, and absolutely no commitments to any specific policy or action. I think this is why the stock market was dropping.  It's not down because the plan sucks, its down because in the time between Election Day and now, the Treasury has come up with nothing specific. 

Just pull the trigger.  Take the remaining TARP funds and buy up the toxic assets.  Pick a freaking price out a hat if you have to, but buy them up and get them off the banks balance sheets.  If the price the Treasury pays is too high, then the taxpayers take the loss.  If the price that Treasury pays is really low, then the shareholders of the banks get shafted.  Honestly, I don't care, because the lack of a coherent plan is causing this recession to be so severe.  Banks won't lend so long as they have these toxic assets on their books, so get them off.

[Note that this presumes you care about banks not lending at all.  It's perfectly defensible to say "screw the banks" and let them figure it out for themselves. This just means a distinct lack of bank activity and that will likely cause further contractions in businesses while they try to find new sources of funds.  But if you're okay with that cost so that we don't bail out the jack-offs that caused this, fine by me.]

Without certainty, the recession will continue for longer than necessary. Make a decision and go with it.

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