Atlantic Monthly Death Spiral Watch
A Very Large Invisible College Indeed: Analogies to teh Great Depression

Hold Your Nose and Vote for the Paulson Plan

Paul Krugman has smart things to say, as usual:

The good, the bad, and the ugly\: Brad DeLong says that Swedish-style temporary nationalization is the right answer to a financial crisis; he’s right. I haven’t been clear enough about this, it seems, but it’s where my basic diagnosis leads: the problem is insufficient capital, you want to inject capital, but you don’t want it to be a windfall to existing stockholders — hence, take over and recapitalize the failing firms. By the way, that’s what we did with AIG 10 years days ago.

So that’s the good solution. The Paulson plan, which is some combination of sheer giveaway and mystic faith that a slap in the market’s face will make everything OK, is a bad solution (and probably no solution at all.)

But nationalization doesn’t seem like a politically realistic answer now. This leaves the rough question of whether to hold out for a good solution, which won’t be possible until Jan. 21st, or accept the ugly compromise that the WH and the Congressional Dems, once again, say they’ve reached. It’s a tough call, but as I’ve written, I’ll probably hold my nose and say OK — as long as it has broad Republican support.

If not, go back to the good plan.