The Housing Chronicles Blog: Columnist Lou Barnes on the proposed fed bailout

Friday, September 19, 2008

Columnist Lou Barnes on the proposed fed bailout

So what does the ever-opinionated, pull-no-punches Lou Barnes have to say about the proposed fed bailout to save Wall & Main Street? From his latest column:

Mark this day: the worst of this crisis has passed. However, not yet the halfway point in time: we are thirteen months into this wreck, and you’ll sure as hell feel credit-market distress thirteen months from now. The greatest risk has passed.
Until yesterday the nation labored under the illusion that this crisis was a financial matter -- banks and markets thrashing around, remote from Main Street, something that would either solve itself or be calmed by usual means. In reality, of course, the financial matter was not remote and had been hopelessly lost by August, 2007.
Now this crisis is officially public property, in the political sphere, put there by final disaster on Wednesday, formally acknowledged today by the Fed, the Treasury, the President, both houses of Congress, both parties, and both Presidential candidates...

The authorities, including White House and Congress, have obviously been working on today’s fix for months. Fed examiners have been inside securities firms since June for the first time ever, “lifting the kimono” to discover the Street’s secret losses. Thus we have an initial funding amount; not enough, but most to be recovered one day.
The authorities could not go public with planning until the market damage was so severe that a majority of both parties in Congress was willing to go along. The most difficult part of the journey ahead: helping the American people to understand, and to stay together despite contrary charlatans by the thousand.
Top honor: to Perfesser Bernanke. Quiet, no grandstand, the technician with the life-study knowledge of 1930 and the determination to prevent 1932.
An Honorable Discharge, no medal, to Hank Paulson. You hire an investment banker to look around corners for you. Relentlessly surprised, annoyed at the waste of his valuable time, Hank has only recently discovered that there are corners.
Medal of Honor: Tim Geithner, NY Fed Prez. If we are very, very lucky, this extraordinary man will stay in public service for a while longer.
The Boobs... oh, my. Start with the CEOs and boards of the failed firms. Name them, publicly humiliate them, and then shun them. Forbid them ever again to participate in a public company. That’s authentic “moral hazard.”

If only.

1 comment:

Scott Gwartney said...

I just listened to Lou Barnes comments on NPR from 2006 where he was sure the housing crisis was just a media created non-issue. Why would anyone listen to this self-serving moron?