No Fix for Investing Unwisely

Treasury, Urged to Act, Finds Few Tools

By Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 22, 2007; D01

As financial markets went haywire this month, Wall Street looked to one of its own, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., for help.

He hasn’t given them much in return, partly because there is not much he can do.

Paulson, who was chairman of the investment bank Goldman Sachs before joining the Bush administration, has acknowledged that the downturn in the markets could damage the U.S. economy. But the Treasury Department under Paulson has taken no dramatic public moves to shore up frozen markets for home mortgages and other debt.


No quick fix, nor should there be. We are not a managed market, with government applied five-year plans. We are a free investment market, subject to all the good and bad strategies and paying for those judgments accordingly.

Which is the way it must be.

Bad judgment and greed gets punished in a free market. This market has (thus far) paid a surprisingly small price for amazingly greedy activity.

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