28 September, 2008


The vocabulary of the bailout is interesting and sad. I'd like to have a list of the words used to describe the supposed consequences of "doing nothing" (for only government action counts). Just tonight on ABC News I heard "abyss," "collapse," "catastrophe," and "we don't even want to think about it." (There's an intellectual approach.) Their reporters go on to say that a) we don't know whether the bailout will work and, strangely, b) there is a consensus that not passing a plan would be "far worse." Than what? Burning $700,000,000,000 in future taxes for nothing? I'm also curious to know how a consensus can exist when 160 or so economists, including three nobel-prize-winning ones signed a letter urging caution--at least with regard to Paulson's original proposal. Excerpt:
If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.
Some even question whether it's true that credit is frozen. (Listen to the news and you'll hear that claim repeated unquestioningly and frequently.)

VOCABULARY UPDATE: "...we do not want to live in a world that will exist without this rescue plan." -Art Hogan , Chief Investment Officer, Jefferies & Co., interviewed on ABC World News With Charles Gibson, 9/29/08

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