Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jeffrey Miron: The Bailout Is Crony Capitalism

Miron writes:
Government purchase of bank stock...is a transfer from taxpayers to people who took huge risks and lost. The United States, and the world, got into the current mess by trying to insure away risk, which everyone should have known was a fool's errand. Thus bailing out risk-taking -- or providing new guarantees for loans and deposits -- will generate even greater problems down the line.

It is time for the government to do the one thing it does well: nothing at all. This might mean serious economic pain in the short term, as more banks fail and the economy suffers through a recession. As for a cancer patient who has a tumor removed, however, the long-term benefit will more than compensate.

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