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Mike Bernstein [[log in to unmask]] writes:

>>Wall Street isn't the engine of the economy, it's not even the 
>>bearings- it's the grease.  Grit in the grease may take down some of 
>>the bearings, but the economy is ultimately rebuildable.  Best to
start 
>>with fresh grease when we do.
>
>I think you'll find that Wall St is a whole lot more fundamental to the
proper 
>functioning of the economy that you give it credit for.  Let's see what

>happens when companies can't issue debt or get a working capital loan.
those 
>aren't important, right?  

I never said grease wasn't important- it's CRITICAL even, but it's still
not the engine.  The meltdown will be tough- the rebuild won't be easy,
but the world will survive (even if leveraged businesses don't.)  And
not all credit runs through Wall Street, even if it's the main artery.
I'm glad enough to have Teflon bearings though...

I'll be thrilled if Paulson's plan as-appended (if the thing even
passes!) actually works, but I'm not planning on it. YMMD.  This is
terra incognita, but vaguely hopeful that the recovery won't take as
long as it did in the 1930s.

I heard a rumor that Bain is wants to bet $25BUSD at the poison-paper
tables at government-auction prices if Paulson's plan doesn't die on the
vine.  I'm sure there'll be money to be made on this by some, but I
won't count on the banks being as flush as the distressed-goods dealers
even after the paper is purged- many won't survive. (It seems my
personal account at ABN Amro ended up at Fortis in a recent takeover.
Fortis crashed on Friday and has been taken over by the Benelux
gummints.  I wasn't plannin' on spendin' those Euros any time soon, and
I don't have any critical eggs in that basket, but they're safe for
now.)  

Strange times- stranger than fiction, and nobody knows the ending...

dana
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