Thursday, September 25, 2008

Porking up the bailout bill

From corporate welfare to mortgage welfare:
The cost of the $700 billion bailout bill . . . is rising. . . . Now, there will be foreclosure "relief" at taxpayer expense. The government is going to use its role "as the biggest mortgage holder in town" to give special breaks to borrowers who are behind on their mortgage payments, rather than to stem the financial crisis.
(Via Michelle Malkin.) John Berlau describes a free-market alternative to the Paulson plan:
The RSC plan is chock-full of measures to remove barriers to economic growth and market-distorting subsidies. It would suspend capital gains taxes to put trillions of dollars of capital in the economy, and set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which as CEI has documented were at the root of this crisis, on the road to full privatization.
Most importantly for the crisis at hand, the RSC plan would make regulatory agencies suspend the mark-to-market accounting rules that a range of experts agree are spreading the contagion by forcing solvent banks’ to "write down" their assets, based on the last fire sale of a highly leveraged bank. As Gary Gorton, finance professor at Yale and member of the National Bureau of Economic Research has written, "With no liquidity and no market prices, the accounting practice of 'marking-to-market' became highly problematic and resulted in massive write-downs based on fire-sale prices and estimates."
Liberals would scream about cutting capital-gains taxes to free up private capital to ease the crisis, and yet don't hesitate to stick taxpayers with a $700 billion tab for a bailout that may not even work.

1 comment:

  1. Eliminating "mark to market" is a good idea.

    So is going back to 20% down to buy a home, thus re-writing all the CRA/Fred/Fan rules.

    And we'll get that into law by....when?

    It will be easier, and a lot more effective, to simply hang all the Members of Congress. And quicker.

    THEN we can have our Republic back.