Sunday, September 21, 2008

Poker player Paulson changes the rules

Forbes is featuring "What We Need to Know About the Bailout Plan," but too many of the answers end in question marks. No one, not even Treasury Secretary Paulson, the chief author of the bailout, can hazard a good guess about the outcome, because the "assets" can't be calculated with any certainty. Paulson says he's playing the hand he was dealt. But he's not, according to poker rules. Called by the dealer (the market), he's clinging to his cards but insisting, "I don't like this hand, so I'm changing the rules." The change of rules is the bailout.

Capitalism has many faults, but it's the best system we have. The bailout is an end run around capitalism. But to where?

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