Mike Whitney: Still on the Edge of the Abyss
Now we're in a terrible fix. People are scared and removing their money from the banks and money markets. This is intensifying the freeze in the credit markets and driving stocks into the ground like a tent stake. Meanwhile, our leaders are caught in the headlights, still believing they can finesse their way through the biggest economic cataclysm since the Great Depression.Paul Craig Roberts: A Futile Bailout as Darkness Falls on America
If something is not done to increase the flow of credit immediately, the stock market will tumble, unemployment will spike, and many businesses will grind to a standstill. We could be just days away from a severe shock to the system. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout does not focus on the fundamental problems and is likely to fail. At best, it puts off the day of reckoning for a few weeks or months. Contingency plans should be put in place so the country does not have to undergo post-Katrina bedlam.
The deregulation of the financial sector was achieved by the Democratic Clinton Administration and by the current Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, with the acquiescence of the Securities and Exchange Commission.Nouriel Roubini: The Fed keeps on wasting time while the mother of all bank runs is underway
The Paulson bailout saves his firm, Goldman Sachs. The Paulson bailout transfers the troubled financial instruments that the financial sector created from the books of the financial sector to the books of the taxpayers at the US Treasury.
This is all the bailout does. It rescues the guilty.
The Paulson bailout does not address the problem, which is the defaulting home mortgages.
The defaults will continue, because the economy is sinking into recession. Homeowners are losing their jobs, and homeowners are being hit with rising mortgage payments resulting from adjustable rate mortgages and escalator interest rate clauses in their mortgages that make homeowners unable to service their debt.
Shifting the troubled assets from the financial sectors’ books to the taxpayers’ books absolves the people who caused the problem from responsibility. As the economy declines and mortgage default rates rise, the US Treasury and the American taxpayers could end up with a $700 billion loss.
The only way to stop this liquidity panic is a blanket guarantee of financial sector liabilities and direct public provision of liquidity to the parts of the financial system and the corporate system that are now at risk of a meltdown driven by a liquidity run on their short term liabilities. So it is time for the Fed to stop wasting time and start the actions that will make a difference. We are now at risk of a systemic financial meltdown of the financial system and the corporate sector too.Finally, I called Wu and told him I was very unhappy about him changing his vote. Here is his explanation for why he voted for the "new" bill on Friday. I requested a reply from Wu to my call. I will post what he says when I get it.
[ On this note, here is Barbra Boxer's justification for changing her vote. ]