Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Republican plan--what gives?

I can't find all that much about the plan that the House Republicans tossed out yesterday, but, from the New York Times, these seem to be the main provisions:

1. Instead of buying frozen mortgage assets with government money, adopt a mortgage insurance approach to solve the problem. Insure all [emphasis mine] mortgage-backed securities (currently the federal government insures approximately half. Treasure Department can design a system to charge premiums to the holders of these assets to fully finance this insurance, instead of financing it with taxpayer dollars.

2. Draw private capital into the market by removing regulatory and tax barriers that are currently blocking private capital formation., instead of injecting taxpayer capital into the system to create liquidity. Too much private capital is sitting on the sidelines during this crisis.

4. Allow temporary tax relief to help companies free up capital to maintain operations, create jobs and lend to one another.

5. Allow for a temporary suspension of dividend payments by financial institutiona and other regulatory measures to address the problems surrounding private capital liquidity.

6. Increase transparency. Require participating firms to disclose to the Treasury the value of their mortgage assets on their books, the value of any private bids within the last year for such assets and their last audit report.

7. Limit federal exposure for high-risk loans. Require that the government-sponsored enterprices [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] no longer securitize unsound mortgages.

8. Call on the Securities and Exchange Commission to audit reports of failed companies and to review the performance of the credit rating agencies and their ability to accurately reflect the risks of these failed investment securities.

9. Prevent Wall Street executives from benefitting from taxpayer finaicing.

10. Create a blue-ribbon panel with representatives of the Treasury, the S.E.C. and the Federal Reserve to make recommendations to Congress for reforms of the financial sector by Jan. 1 2009.

I have to digest this. But it does not look very palatable.

UPDATE: Commentary on the Republican proposal (it is in no way a plan, by the way; it calls for the Treasury Department to develop a plan):

Justin Fox, at Time
Brad deLong
Paul Krugman

That should be enough to get started.


Post a Comment

<< Home