Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tulkinghorn Breaks a Rule

"No politics" is not really a rule: just recognition that my political views are right wing enough by the standards of my community to screw up any number of virtual relationships (as they have more than one non-virtual relationship) .

I did enjoy this expression of common sense from Megan McArdle, an economics blogger for The Atlantic. Think of it as radical moderation. She's discussing a number of income flattening tax proposals put forth by an admittedly 'angry and bitter' writer for the New York Times:

I'm not angry and bitter; I'm about as mad as I am at the prospect of people who bought homes they can't really afford getting a bailout while I continue renting--which is to say, not very. Life is rather too short to spend it getting angry at remote strangers.

I also liked this:

Seizing back the AIG bonuses has interesting implications for the banks that have already taken government funds, and certainly, any banks that might be considering doing so in the future. I suspect it would be hard to write a specific tax that applied only to AIG and not, say, to Citibank--and that's assuming that the Democrats in Congress would want to. I think it's safe to assume that if this passes, any banks that possibly can will rush to return bailout funds to the Treasury. And perhaps this is a good thing. But the attempt to shield shaky banks behind a general distribution of funds will be over.

I suspect that it would also not do any good things for whatever future plans Treasury has. All of the plans I'm currently aware of involve substantial voluntary participation from sound financial institutions. I don't think you'll get much voluntary cooperation from banks if you declare that any acceptance of government funds will involve substantial risk that they will appropriate your paycheck.


Anonymous said...

Aren't there some strict laissez faire types who would say that the companies refusing to take funds and letting the chips fall would be for the best anyway? (DC)

Tulkinghorn said...

Strict laissez faire types who enjoy breadlines and 20% unemployment, perhaps