Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taleb And Krugman

From U.S. must 'save capitalism' from the banks: Nassim Taleb:

And a bit like an Old Testament prophet, Mr. Taleb is angry and wants those he thinks are responsible to suffer.

“I want them poor and they deserve to be poor. You can’t have capitalism without punishment.”

Oh, and another thing, he wants Bob Rubin, who trousered millions while chairman of Citigroup, to cough up.

“I want Bob Rubin to return his $110 million dollars to the American taxpayer.”
What about Sandy Weill? What about Chuck Prince? What about Vikram Pandit?

From Bailouts for Bunglers by Paul Krugman:
Question: what happens if you lose vast amounts of other people’s money? Answer: you get a big gift from the federal government — but the president says some very harsh things about you before forking over the cash.

Am I being unfair? I hope so. But right now that’s what seems to be happening.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the Obama administration’s plan to support jobs and output with a large, temporary rise in federal spending, which is very much the right thing to do. I’m talking, instead, about the administration’s plans for a banking system rescue — plans that are shaping up as a classic exercise in “lemon socialism”: taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right.

When I read recent remarks on financial policy by top Obama administration officials, I feel as if I’ve entered a time warp — as if it’s still 2005, Alan Greenspan is still the Maestro, and bankers are still heroes of capitalism.

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