Business, Finance & Economics

Bail-out debate continues

JA says there was an eerie calm on Wall Street today: things are in a state of suspended animation waiting for what kind of agreement is achieved. Stock markets are lower but not dramatically. (The Fed Reserve and Treasury have been adding pressure on lawmakers to agree to reach a deal. Some say legislation this crucial to global economics should not be rushed through though.) This is the nature of modern capitalism, a deal does have to happen quickly if it's to have a maximum effect. It's not a surprise that most of the big news in this crisis has been heard on Sundays because there's a brief window between the close of Wall Street on Friday afternoons and Asian markets opening on Sundays. (What are the options being discussed for how to finance the bail out? Is it possible to have Wall Street pay for the bail-out with private money?) It's hard to make it work in the short term, but it's a reasonable point of view and that's a big problem that the politicians face. (Aren't the U.S. taxpayers going to have to foot the bill one way or another?) Yes. It depends whether we do that through higher taxes or just because there would be far less credit to go around. Politicians are responsible for their taxpayers but the rest of the world has been an innocent bystander in this, and the U.S. market has fallen less than other international markets, so there's a lot of anxiety globally.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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