Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super-Bailout Shell Game

Nouriel Roubini looks at recent actions to prop up the various mortgage-related assets market. Let me try to do a summary of his take:

  • By itself, the creation of this self-bailout fund isn't really a federal bailout
  • But the feds were involved by seriously loosening certain lending regulations, which while not exactly a financial bailout still creates a moral hazard issue.
  • While such a fund may marginally help with liquidity issues, the problems aren't simply about liquidity. The problem is that that they bought a bunch of shitty assets.
  • None of this is likely to work anyway, so attention should be paid to subsequent action by the feds.
  • Rather than providing the needed transparency, this is just adding to the opacity which led to the problems in the first place.