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It was never supposed to have much of an effect.

Is it too cynical to see this as a final pre-election smash and grab?

With Obama the rules have changed, and there's an uncomfortable hint of possible accountability, combined with threats of a smaller credit card limit.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 04:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think accountability goes to the heart of it. I believe Paulson was genuinely trying to help his caste out of a tight spot - without requiring them to account for their mistakes - and has only recently realized that there may not be that much money in the universe.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 05:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're saying Paulson is incompetent, rather than evil?

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, given that Paulson was trying to help his friends at the expense of the rest of us... I think incompetent AND evil sums it up... ;-)
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 06:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll go with evil, but not necessarily incompetent.

Getting his caste off the hook both financially and in terms of accountability was probably virtually impossible from the get-go. The fact that he tried to do something supremely difficult and failed does not necessarily indicate incompetence.

Of course, the whole thing was attempted with a cavalier disregard for the general welfare.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 06:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been lurching around a triangle of Incompetent, Evil and Evil and Incompetent.  Perhaps I should make it a Square Dance by adding Evil and Befuddled.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 11:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... its not falling in the water that leads to drowning, its staying in the water.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 10:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... which were convenient rationalizations during the bubble years, but when the system is in crisis and an actual understanding of how the system works is required, leaves him ill-equipped to cope with the crisis.

Kind of like Hoover in 29-32.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 10:24:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Failed visualizations-the mistaken and oversimple assumption that social/economic reality is a collection of at least more-or-less linear and quasi-separate processes, which conveniently justify-or define as inevitable- elite plunder.
 The world of human endeavor as machine--again, and again. Like B.F. Skinner's failed models of human psychological functioning.
Models that only seem to work because there is a positive feedback loop in the gears-- the more the elite believe the pronouncements of academia, which become their own bullshit, --the more people tend to play their role in the melodrama. And the more academicians analyze their own waste, and pronounce it human nature.

But when real crisis rolls around, the old narratives get trashed. To be replace by--what?
It's not yet happened. It will.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 10:27:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think (evil apart) that Paulson and his team may have come to the realization that shovelling out the Shitpile™ is beyond their capacities, in volume and in time.

So balance sheets will go on carrying unpriceable assets. How Paulson can tell us the risk of systemic collapse is taken care of, is perhaps a question for lie-detector treatment.

Can.Down.Road

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 07:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... liquidity filling the books of the Federal Reserve Banks with crap was the solution to the problem should have no problem believing that this time prosperity is just around the corner (after a small inventory recession to clean out the pipes, of course).


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 08:10:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He no longer believes. He's crapping his pants. I think his testimony before congress was the reflexive defense of an arrogant and powerful man caught in water too deep for him.
His world is falling apart. But, he deserves to be recognized as at least aware of that. Most of the rest are still looking for a goat in any closet.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 10:32:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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