Yikes

September 17, 2008

Things are unquestionably very bad in the economy right now, but there’s always room to make things worse. Here’s an idea:

But if the government directly controls major financial institutions, that would give the new administration extraordinary leverage over the national economy. Suppose the new CEO of AIG decided he didn’t want to insure assets of companies whose executives make unseemly multiples of the national median income? There are all kinds of crazy things you could do. And of course not all of them woul dbe good ideas. But some of them would! And the smart folks on our side need to be figuring out which ones they are. It seems doubtful to me that a progressive administration would ever be able to get away with this much nationalizing of everything, but what’s done is done and I think it creates a real opportunity for “socially conscious insurance underwriting” or whatever you care to call it.

I care to call it terrifying. Whatever the case for intervention, this is why the government needs to get whatever they can back into private ownership as soon as possible, and the rest under independent control immediately.

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