Moral Hazard

- Cui bono? The banks, of course.


Rolf Englund IntCom internetional

Washington's ultimate solution

How to solve the financial crisis?
Let me tell you a little secret, folks.
Play for time, pray for markets to turn.

Allan Sloan, senior editor CNN, August 18, 2008

Let me tell you a little secret, folks. Even though they're scurrying around like everyone else in this game, I think the crisis managers at the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury have quietly adopted a technique that has helped us deal with previous financial crises - what I call the "play and pray" approach.

They don't teach it in Economics 101, and none of the players dealing with the current meltdown will talk about it on the record. But it's a time-tested strategy - think of the mortgage crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the bank problems in the early 1990s, and the Asian contagion of the late 1990s.

The theory is that if you give stricken financial institutions like Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) enough time, profits from their basic operations can help them dig out of the capital pit into which they've fallen. A few years of nice profits will help offset the big losses from past blunders, provided the company stays alive long enough.

In fact, Fannie Mae's underlying business - using borrowed money to buy mortgages - is showing increasing profitability. That's because while the Fed has cut the short-term Federal funds rate that it controls to 2% from 5.25% since September, rates on long-term mortgages have risen.

HSH Associates says fixed-rate 30-year mortgages cost 6.70% in early August, up from 6.47% when the Fed first cut rates.

Full text

So do not be fooled by anybody who says that the central bank should cut interest rates for the benefit of innocent citizens
The first, second and third beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve’s pending helicopter drop of cash will be banks, not ordinary people or companies.
Wolfgang Munchau, FT January 20 2008

Who gives a damn about inflation?
Now that the age of moderation has ended, we are returning to Phillips curve-type discussion.
rising inflation is the most painless way out of a debt crisis
Wolfgang Münchau blog 31.01.2008

Svaret på galaxens alla frågor är inte 42.
För ekonomi och banker är svaret 20.
Rolf Engluns blog 23 augusti 2013

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