Bail Out Football - Past the Political Pre-Game

It's Friday and now we're all going to watch debates supposedly on foreign policy. The posturing, political football season is upon us.    Democrats are now claiming:

Without Republican cooperation, we cannot pass this bill

Chickens playing Political FootballI guess this latest sound byte is working on the assumption that Americans cannot add up the number of Democrats in the House and Senate.

Like a bad High School fumbling, the Political Football is bouncing around the field. Few are bothering to analyze what will work and what will not. Real solutions seem to be off the table.


Cantor's Plan, (Rep. Eric Cantor), first reviews, appears to be even worse than the Paulson plan. Time quotes Lou Pizante:

The only way for the Cantor plan to work actuarily was for every last one of those $6 trillion in mortgage securities to be insured. Otherwise you'd just get the financial institutions with the crappiest loans on their books choosing to participate--which would amount to a giant bailout of the bad guys by taxpayers

Political Fumble


It appears issuing insurance directly from the government turns the United States as sucker holding the bag on bad debt. Economists View has some more analysis on this approach (skip the politickin'). Even worse, some economists are now saying the crisis is pure hype.

It's more hype than real risk," said James K. Galbraith, a University of Texas economist and son of the late economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith. "A nasty recession is possible, but the bailout will not cure that. So it's mainly relevant to the financial industry

it wouldn't reduce the crush of homes in or near foreclosure, said Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That's a problem that will surely grow worse if the U.S. economy enters recession, leading to greater job losses, which feed a vicious downward spiral of even more foreclosures and defaults on car loans and credit-card debt.

In addition, more Economists are again saying the solution is some sort of bottom up approach to stem foreclosures:

"The plan is a trickle-down approach from banks to Main Street," said Alan S. Blinder, a professor at Princeton University. "But if you reduce the flood of foreclosures and defaults" -- which he would have the government do by buying loans directly and then renegotiating the terms -- "it will make mortgage-backed securities worth more

There is a kind of suggestion in the Paulson proposal that if only we provide enough money to financial markets, this problem will disappear," said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist. "But that does nothing to address the fundamental problem of bleeding foreclosures and the holes in the balance sheets of banks.

The Financial Times has an interactive graph comparing financial rescue models. They do not have a HOLC unfortunately, which is the one being so recommended. An interesting criticism of HOLC as not modified, if applied to the current situation.


The Democratic plan is attached. Note section 3, clause c. Anyone wondering why we are taking taxpayer money and funneling it to special interest groups instead of back to the deficit?



Paulson plan "the only thing to get through" - Barney Frank

Nancy Pelosi is now claiming the above draft is what will be the deal and Barney Frank is now claiming that their modifications of the Paulson plan is the only thing to get through.

Add to that clause 3.c, which is directly funneling money to some highly questionable and under current investigation 3rd party advocacy groups.....

well, well, well.

and now he's once again trying to blame McCain Presidential candidates for getting in their way. hmmmm, they are Senators.

Even worse, he is saying this insurance idea from an option. Why is that an option when it will not work?

Now futher....we have claims of a stimulus package with zero details on what that means. If it's more of clause 3.c.....that's not to main street.

I'm sorry but these people are completely doing a massive political game and not listening at all to the many experts who have studied this for years and what they are recommending!


minuteman justice


Adam Putnam doesn't understand the issue even

I just watched on CNBC where the traders were talking about the prices mechanism, transparency and open markets of these troubled assets being the real problem with the Paulson plan.

Who are they talking to up there?

The traders started to describe it but their very own CBO just testified about it!

Where are they listening even to their own Congressional Budget director?

new alternative bail out plan

Bebchuk of Harvard has a very detailed paper proposing an alternative. What I like about this (which many others have mentioned) is the problem in the pricing of toxic assets and when those assets are exposed for their worthlessness, will that cause the institution to be exposed as insolvent?

The Economists View has more but they also mention plain Nationalization of the financial system as a possible solution. That's the first I've heard of that. If anyone knows what Sweden did in 1992 that would be a great discussion.

I listed Roubini's 10 point plan earlier, which also looked promising.

cool site public mark up

Public Markup.
Someone is putting up draft legislation where people can comment. Now this is very cool because it's only when one gets down to bill language can one find the devil.

By allowing people to comment on bills that gives a much better feedback path!