Someone has to be wrong

Paul Krugman thinks Brad DeLong is wrong.  Brad DeLong thinks that Paul Krugman is wrong.  Robert Waldmann thinks that Brad DeLong is wrong.  The topic of course is the Geithner plan.

I'm not so far from Kevin Drum's view, as stated here and here.  It has some chance of succeeding and the relevant alternatives are also bad for the taxpayer.

But can the government itself be trusted?  Here is some of the recent fallout:

…some executives at private equity firms and hedge funds, who
were briefed on the plan Sunday afternoon, are anxious about the recent
uproar over millions of dollars in bonus payments made to executives of
the American International Group.

of these executives have told administration officials that they would
participate only if the government guaranteed that it would not set
compensation limits on the firms, according to people briefed on the

The executives also expressed worries about
whether disclosure and governance rules could be added retroactively to
the program by Congress, these people said.

The bottom line?: Here are what Thugz say about the various bailouts.  Excerpt:

…they laughed when I said the government should prioritize the punishment of senior management. In the words of Shine,
the elder statesman of the group, “You have to be real careful when you
mess with folks at the top, because when the war is over, you’ll need
these guys real quick. Ninety-nine percent of people just doing what
they’re told – you couldn’t find half a brain among all of them. But the ones with the brains – don’t let them go.”

In fact you would expect a successful businessman to understand that.


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