Monday, July 14, 2008
The WSJ over the years has covered it.
The bailout was inevitable. But there ain't no such thing as a free spending orgy.
HERE is a good post from an economist at UCSD abut the Fred and Fan mess. A commentator noted that I spoke as if subprime loans were underwritten by them, which is of course not true. In the heat of the moment, I was lumping the mortgage mess together. The worst subprime loans were issued by private banks and not bought by GSEs such as Fred and Fan. But clearly there has been a big moral hazard at work in the government sponsored mortgage market, but what form did the excessive risk taking take? Too much leverage in the GSE portfolios? Underwriting too risky loans? Why too risky? Nothing like a complete disaster to arouse one's curiosity.
THIS is also good.
Perhaps I should say more about this, but the role the Fed is taking on in the financial industry now is starting to get worrying. Peter W. seems to get this. A must read. There is a real danger of a Fed dominated national investment policy coming out of this. If the Fed regulates investment banks, it will be hard for them to resist really managing their investment policy. Which would be very bad.