Michael Lewis on the Bailout

I liked this bit in particular:

Think of Wall Street as a poker game and Goldman as the
smartest player. It's sad when you think about it this way that
so much of the dumb money on Wall Street has been forced out of
the game. There's no one left to play with. Just as Goldman was
about to rake in its winnings and head home, the U.S. government
stumbles in, fat and happy and looking for some action. I imagine
the best and the brightest inside Goldman are right this moment
trying to figure out how it uses the Treasury not only to sell
their own crappy assets dear but also to buy other people's
crappy assets cheap

Update:  LOL, via Q&O:

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy. 

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Could these be the dumbest guys in the room?   


  1. ElamBend:

    The statement is perfectly rational, it's nothing but one big signal to the credit markets that everything is "O.K.," Uncle Sam will take care of you. (never mind the hyperinflation that printing so much may cost).

    Anything could happen at this point.

  2. dearieme:

    Quite soon it will look a rally small number.

  3. Bill Lever:

    The dumbest guys in the room? Probably..

    Spengler, writing in the Asia Times about how Russian politicians might think of American responses to their invasion of Georgia:

    "The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them."


    Goldman must also be asking themselves if Americans (politicians and their electorates) are as stupid as they look.