Friday, September 26, 2008

Dizzy from so much to think about

So many things to comment on, so this will probably be lots of short comments, and even more disjointed that usual.

-- The collapse of the bailout package. That doesn't strike me as so bad, as it's not clear that what is being proposed is so good, but the politics around it, and the idea of folks screaming at each other at the White House, is pretty amazing. I loved Paul Krugman's op-ed today in the New York Times with the unbelievably accurate title "Where Are the Grown-Ups? I liked Jamie Galbraith's "A Bailout We Don't Need" in yesterday's Post makes some good suggestions, although I disagree with him on his point that regular banks' loans are illiquid but not worthless. Yes, loans on the books used to be illiquid but not worthless, but the problem here is that we know that the assets are certainly worth less than their book value. More frighteningly, we don't have a clue about all the risk out there, and what the assets are worth, except that we know (1) the assets and all the derivatives derived from them are worth less than book value now and for the foreseeable future, and (2) individuals who are in pain as a result of the burden in terms of their mortgages seem to be ignored, and banks don't seem to be writing down those assets. Okay, so maybe that is similar to past payment problems as Jamie argues. Another good piece is Steven Pearlstein's "Gut Check" which argues that we either can teach Wall street a lesson or try to prevent a financial meltdown, but not both at the same time. Washington Mutual's failure is another domino, although not totally surprising. It really does make me dizzy.

-- But then we have the circus about whether there will really be a presidential debate or not. Can this really be happening? Maybe if McCain were showing true leadership, but yesterday it seemed like things just got worse and worse. I can't see how McCain can't show up though.

-- On a dramatically lighter note (at least to me, if not to J.K. Rowling), the Delhi High Court ruled that the "Hari Puttar" does not infringe on the rights of "Harry Potter". International IPR fights seem light now given the financial crisis all around us.

-- The International Herald Tribune has an interesting article today by Anand Giridharadas entitled "A feminist Revolution without the liberation"

More articles to point to on views of the financial crisis and the US election from here in India, hopefully later or tomorrow.

1 comment:

Feminist said...

See this response to Anand Giridharadas's stupid piece, A feminist liberation skips the revolution: