Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bailout III -- uh, IV

Six of the major central banks -- those of Canada, the US, the UK, Switzerland, the Eurozone and Japan -- are extending another $180 billion US in cash reserves they've been sitting on to shore up a very shaky credit market. This is the third time facilities for debt swaps have been offered and increase the total credit line available to banks, to $247 billion.

All fair and well for the commercial banks. It is giving the markets a bit of a sigh of relief and gives some troubled institutions such as Wachovia and Washington Mutual some needed breathing space.

But at what point do ordinary people stand up and say, no more bailouts? It's not average investors' faults that their money was put into risky ventures such as subprime mortgages or commercial paper that had no assets to back them. This may calm down markets for a short time but the system needs major structural reforms to ensure risky lending becomes next to impossible for the future.

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