Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Let's see how Megan McArdle handles the entirely predictable failure of the bailout to get the credit markets moving.

People tend to get fixated on things like major bank sales and the level of the various stock indices.

Well, that was random. Who are these people? "Fixated" is an emotion word, and tells us nothing about who is saying what, and where.

These are important, but they are symptoms, not the main show, which is in the credit markets. Those remain frozen up.Was I wrong to support the bailout?

Wait a second. If Megan supported the bailout to unfreeze the credit markets, of course she was wrong to support the bailout, which was too small.

Was I wrong to support the bailout? Hard to say.

No, it's not. Additionally, quite a few people said it was wrong to support the bailout, because giving more money to the people who lost it in the first place was always a very stupid idea. At the very least someone else could have been brought in to try to clean up the disaster a little. But in Bush's (remember him?) CEO presidency, Wall Street gets the golden parachute and the taxpayer gets a helium balloon.

For one thing, it matters whether the alternative was doing nothing, or doing something better; for sure, it was not a very good design, and the bill that actually passed was worse than the one the House voted down.

That is an excuse; any bailout bill is a bad bailout bill. Why used a strategy that failed in Japan when you can uses a strategy that worked in Sweden?

For another, I was not positive that the bailout would solve things; it's just that it seemed like the best shot.

That's quite true. You said, over and over and over and over, that it was the best shot.

Since I can't compare the current world with some alternative in which it failed again, I need to think about what my metrics for assessing the decision should be.

How about reason and facts instead of emotion and expediency?


Anonymous said...

"I need to think about what my metrics for assessing the decision should be."

What in the hell does that even mean?

Susan of Texas said...

"I need to think about how I'll worm my way out of this."