We Are All Socialists Now
Thank goodness we still have muslims forming a fifth column or the right would have no one left to hate:
Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.
Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.
The Treasury plan was still preliminary and it was unclear how the process would work, but it appeared that it would be voluntary for banks.
The proposal resembles one announced on Wednesday in Britain. Under that plan, the British government would offer banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC Holdings up to $87 billion to shore up their capital in exchange for preference shares. It also would provide a guarantee of about $430 billion to help banks refinance debt.
The American recapitalization plan, officials say, has emerged as one of the most favored new options being discussed in Washington and on Wall Street. The appeal is that it would directly address the worries that banks have about lending to one another and to other customers.
The idea is gaining support even among longtime Republican policy makers who have spent most of their careers defending laissez-faire economic policies.
“The problem is the uncertainty that people have about doing business with banks, and banks have about doing business with each other,” said William Poole, a staunchly free-market Republican who stepped down as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Aug. 31. “We need to eliminate that uncertainty as fast as we can, and one way to do that is by injecting capital directly into banks. I think it could be done very quickly.
Fed officials increasingly talk about the challenge they face with a phrase that President Bush used in another context: “regime change.”
This regime change refers to a change in the economic environment so radical that, at least for a while, economic policy makers will need to suspend what are usually sacred principles: minimal interference in free markets, gradualism and predictability.
I can think of another way to define "regime change" that will probably be more effective in the long run.
And the idea that "minimal interference in free markets" is a sacred principle is just laughable. Only rubes and losers ever have to deal with "free markets." Winners are too big to fail ...