Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Vote

I'll admit I was a bit surprised that the "bailout" bill failed, but not shocked. I've felt that the chances that something would be done this time were slimmer than the conventional wisdom suggested. Not based on any analysis, of course, just on a gut feeling that they were going to the well one too many times.

The entire unfolding of this crisis has caught most of the mainstream figures by surprise, although there have been no shortage of voices in the wilderness warming that trouble was ahead. Checkout http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/ for example.

While the exact course of things has been hard to predict, there has been one constant, and that is whatever the government says and does will be too little and too late. This "bailout" seems to be just another chapter in that story.

I don't have the expertise to judge the plan on its details, but if past performance is any guide, time will prove that this plan will be inadequate.

It's certainly possible that there is nothing the government can do that would actually stop the meltdown, of course. It may be that some future Bernanke-like scholar will determine that the last chance for effective intervention passed many years ago.

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