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I think if implemented correctly it could be a big help. I've been in the mortgage business for a long time and remember the S&L bail out well. I guess I'd rather see the government support it in this manner rather than let these companies go under. In the end, the mortgage and securities business will come back and will be very profitable.
I think companies that behaved badly should suffer the consequences and their shareholders should suffer the consequences, but no matter what, we're still left with a bunch of bad debt on the books and foreclosed properties and that all has to be dealt with. That's what the RTC did. If anything it would help with the liquidity crisis.
The problem is that some banks out there did their work and raised capital when it was still available. The ones that didn't are the ones that are hurting and need this. The capital is all dried up. Now with the bailout the gov't is helping those that dragged their feet. Should we be paying for this inaction?
Since we have no idea what the proposal is yet, it's too early to call it a bail out, IMO.
Financial institutions that gambled with their investors money should pay the price for what they did. But at some point the bad debt has to be removed from the books in order to get out of the liquidity crisis. A long term liquidity crisis will be far worse than anything else.
When we did the RTC, weaker institutions were either closed or merged into stronger insitutions. Right now, it doesn't appear there are all that many strong institutions.
I'm interested in seeing what they come up, if they come up with anything. I'm sure there will be arguments on both sides of it.