Our government's reaction, especially as of late, to the credit crisis leaves much to be desired. It reminds me of John McCain's failed presidential campaign: a whole lot of tactic, but no clear strategy. First we were going to just buy up bad debt, then we were going to take equity ownership of banks to inject cash, now we are ditching the bad debt buy-up and we are talking about bailing out GM and Chrysler, and now we are talking about government-backed restructuring of mortgages....
From a heterodox econ perspective, this surely doesn't help ease market volatility and uncertainty. Consumers value direction - and fear breeds off of confusion, and our government is not providing direction, but they are definitely adding confusion.
We need to pick a strategy and stick to it at this point, or risk an even worse outcome.
Further, as an aside, I do not support the bailing out of GM and Chrysler. Stabilizing the financial markets was one thing, but once you start bailing out specific manufacturing sectors, where does the slippery slope flatten out? Detroit screwed up in terms of having bad business plans for decades, and letting Union power tilt the balance too far from cost-effectiveness. We owe Detroit no further favors from what we've given them for years. One can make an argument that Chrysler for example is 'too big to fail' especially in light of the supply chain and the negative ripple effect that could ensue. I don't buy that. I envision Toyota, Nissan, Honda etc. picking up the slack with a limited time lag. I think it's worth the risk to let some in Detroit fail. It's not like bankrupt companies just disappear, their assets will still exist to be bought out, or restructured under new or even the same (potentially) ownership, etc.