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公司破产比政府救市更好  

2008-10-01 11:10:13|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

昨天,我预测道琼斯股票要回升,果然如此,道指数涨485点,回升5%左右。

 

那么,是不是美国并不需要7000亿美元救市?

 

哈佛大学经济学家认为该破产的就应该破产,破产比救市更有效,破产才是应对当前危机的正确方案。

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/29/miron.bailout/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

 

Commentary: Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客
公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客
公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客
By Jeffrey A. Miron
Special to CNN
公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客
公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客 公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客
公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客 公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客

Editor's note: Jeffrey A. Miron is seniorlecturer in economics at Harvard University. A Libertarian, he wasone of 166 academic economists who signed a letter to congressionalleaders last week opposing the government bailout plan.

公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客

Economist Jeffrey Miron saysthe bailout plan presented to Congress was the wrong solution tothe crisis

公司破产比政府救市更好 - yuanxiaomingblog - 袁晓明的博客

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Congress has balked atthe Bush administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of WallStreet. Under this plan, the Treasury would have bought the"troubled assets" of financial institutions in an attempt to avoideconomic meltdown.

This bailout was a terrible idea. Here's why.

The current mess would never have occurred in the absence ofill-conceived federal policies. The federal government charteredFannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgagelending institutions are at the center of the crisis. Thegovernment implicitly promised these institutions that it wouldmake good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on hugeamounts of excessive risk.

Worse, beginning in 1977 and even more in the 1990s and theearly part of this century, Congress pushed mortgage lenders andFannie/Freddie to expand subprime lending. The industry was happyto oblige, given the implicit promise of federal backing, andsubprime lending soared.

This subprime lending was more than a minor relaxation ofexisting credit guidelines. This lending was a wholesaleabandonment of reasonable lending practices in which borrowers withpoor credit characteristics got mortgages they were ill-equipped tohandle.

Once housing prices declined and economic conditions worsened,defaults and delinquencies soared, leaving the industry holdinglarge amounts of severely depreciated mortgage assets.

 

The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility forthe current mess means any response should eliminate the conditionsthat created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fixbad government with more government.

The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubledfinancial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means thatshareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own thecompany.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is justowned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines).Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preservingthose aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayersto those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, thebailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks andcount on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard"generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of itsfinancial resources.

Thoughtful advocates of the bailout might concede thisperspective, but they argue that a bailout is necessary to preventeconomic collapse. According to this view, lenders are not makingloans, even for worthy projects, because they cannot get capital.This view has a grain of truth; if the bailout does not occur, morebankruptcies are possible and credit conditions may worsen for atime.

Talk of Armageddon, however, is ridiculous scare-mongering. Iffinancial institutions cannot make productive loans, a profitopportunity exists for someone else. This might not happeninstantly, but it will happen.

Further, the current credit freeze is likely due to WallStreet's hope of a bailout; bankers will not sell their lousyassets for 20 cents on the dollar if the government might pay 30,50, or 80 cents.

The costs of the bailout, moreover, are almost certainly beingunderstated. The administration's claim is that many mortgageassets are merely illiquid, not truly worthless, implying taxpayerswill recoup much of their $700 billion.

If these assets are worth something, however, private partiesshould want to buy them, and they would do so if the owners wouldaccept fair market value. Far more likely is that current ownershave brushed under the rug how little their assets are worth.

The bailout has more problems. The final legislation willprobably include numerous side conditions and special dealings thatreward Washington lobbyists and their clients.

Anticipation of the bailout will engender strategic behavior byWall Street institutions as they shuffle their assets and positiontheir balance sheets to maximize their take. The bailout will openthe door to further federal meddling in financial markets.

So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies thatgenerated the current mess. This means, at a general level,abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability topay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac, along with policies like the Community ReinvestmentAct that pressure banks into subprime lending.

The right view of the financial mess is that an enormousfraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in thefirst place. Someone has to pay for that. That someone should notbe, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer.

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