Thursday, March 27, 2008

WALL ST JOURNAL, page ONE: unregulated capitalism has failed

This was on page one. Isn't this the equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce running up a white flag?

David Wessel

Officials Improvised
To Rescue Markets;
Will It Be Enough?

March 27, 2008; Page A1

The past 10 days will be remembered as the time the U.S. government discarded a half-century of rules to save American financial capitalism from collapse.

On the Richter scale of government activism, the government's recent actions don't (yet) register at FDR levels. They are shrouded in technicalities and buried in a pile of new acronyms.

But something big just happened. It happened without an explicit vote by Congress. And, though the Treasury hasn't cut any checks for housing or Wall Street rescues, billions of dollars of taxpayer money were put at risk. A Republican administration, not eager to be viewed as the second coming of the Hoover administration, showed it no longer believes the market can sort out the mess.

"The Government of Last Resort is working with the Lender of Last Resort to shore up the housing and credit markets to avoid Great Depression II," economist Ed Yardeni wrote to clients.


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