The Dow Jones Industrials soared nearly 500 points today (about 6%) on news of the Geithner plan to buy up toxic bank assets. The stocks of troubled banks did particularly well, Citibank up 17%, Bank of America 18%, JPMorgan Chase up 18%, and Wells Fargo up 17%.
As usual, if Wall Street is happy about a bailout plan, taxpayers should be worried.
Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy – specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.
After all, we’ve just been through the firestorm over the A.I.G. bonuses, during which administration officials claimed that they knew nothing, couldn’t do anything, and anyway it was someone else’s fault. Meanwhile, the administration has failed to quell the public’s doubts about what banks are doing with taxpayer money.
And now Mr. Obama has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing.
Read the rest of the column here.
In short, it won’t work, it will enrich private investors at public expense, and it will close the door to other solutions that could work.