A random sampling of the stupid.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Market manipulation shouldn't be government policy

The weekends over, and that means the latest in the wave of world government clusterfucks rescue plans is being announced. The UK is partially nationalizing the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS. I can understand why that might be necessary (too big to fail, systemic risk, yada yada) but the justification given is the dumbest thing I've ever heard:

The Government was forced to take bigger stakes in the banks than it originally intended because of a dramatic slump in banks’ share prices last week. It also increased the amount of money it demanded the banks raise in an attempt to rebuild shattered confidence in the financial system.

That's stupid. Their share price is irrelevant. Look at their damn books, and see how solvent the bank is. Remember when people cared about assets and liabilities? A run on a banks deposits is reason for a bailout; a run on their stock most certainly is not. It gets better:
Mervyn King, the Bank of England Governor, has reportedly told the banks to ask for more than they need, meaning their capital position would be strengthened sufficiently to absorb shocks and a long recession
Take the money now, and because somebody might ask questions later. If we don't give "emergency" loans, disbursed over a period of days, people might actually be able to consider the consequences of our actions. Oy.

Error rating: 7. MARKETS FLUCTUATE


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