Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

What’s going on with da money

Posted by Ron Coleman on August 21, 2007

Chicago Boyz (who else?) brings us “Brian Wesbury’s Definitive Take on the Subprime Crisis”:

The interaction of an uncertain regulatory and tax environment with a highly leveraged, illiquid market for risky mortgage debt creates conditions that look just like an economy-wide liquidity crisis. But it’s not. A few rate cuts will not help.What can help is more certainty. Tax cuts, or at least a promise not to raise taxes, and immunity — or at least a safe harbor from criminal prosecution for above-board institutions in the mortgage business — could help loosen up a rigid market in a more permanent way than sending out the helicopters to dump cash in the marketplace.

The best the Fed can do is to stand at the ready to contain the damage. In this vein, their decision to cut the discount rate and allow a broad list of assets to be used as collateral for loans to banks, was a brilliant maneuver. It increases confidence that the Fed has liquidity at the ready, but does not create more inflationary pressures. It was a helping hand, not a bailout.

Yeah. Like I said!


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