Sunday, September 28, 2008

"15 Minutes Away from the End of the World"

The Wall Street Journal ("Lawmakers Reach Tentative Bailout Deal"), The New York Times ("Breakthrough Reached in Negotiations on Bailout"), and The Financial Times ("US Congress close to approving bail-out") all report that Congress has reached a tentative deal on the bailout. Hopefully, the proposals to earmark 20% of any potential proceeds from the government's eventual sale of distressed assets to advocacy organizations, and to allow bankruptcy judges to re-write the terms of mortgage loans won't make it into the final legislation. My sense is that they won't.

The Financial Times report included this paragraph, which gives a sense of the urgency of the situation:

Global markets have been holding their breath at the outcome of the talks, and bankers warned of a catastrophic response if the talks did collapse. “It feels as if we are 15 minutes away from the end of the world,” the head of equities at a big UK bank told the Financial Times.

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