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August 30, 2010

Here's What You Do

-- by Dave Johnson

What Can Obama Really Do? | Ian Welsh

So here'€™s what you do.   As the Federal Reserve you sell $100 billion of the toxic waste on the open market.  Set an actual price for it.  Then you make the banks mark their assets to market value.  They go bankrupt. You nationalize them. (Why not? They are actually bankrupt after all, and they haven't increased lending like they were supposed to;  in fact, they have decreased it.)  You make the stockholders take their losses and the bondholders too, then you reinflate the banks. (If the Fed can print trillions to keep zombie banks '€œalive'€ it can print money to reinflate nationalized banks.)  The banks lend under FDIC and Fed direction, at the interest rates the Fed directs.  The FDIC and Fed eventually break the banks up into a reasonable size.  And while they'€™re at it, they get rid of the entire executive class which caused the financial crisis, and have the DOJ go over all the internal memos and start charging everyone who committed fraud. (Hint: that'€™s virtually every executive at a major bank.)  Again, this is completely up to Obama - €“the DOJ answers to him.

Think Obama can'€™t do this without Bernanke?  Wrong.  Obama can fire any Fed Governor for cause and replace them during a Congressional recess with no oversight.* ('€Cause'€ is never defined, but Obama can note that the Fed's mandate includes maximum employment and not stopping the financial crisis in the first place is certainly plausible as cause as well.)

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 30, 2010 7:20 AM


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