First, the role of the Pakistani intelligence service in bringing together Osama bin Laden and the Afghan Taliban, from Ken Silverstein.
Christopher Hitchens: Pakistan is the Problem and Only Barack Obama Seems to be the Only Candidate Willing to Face It
Fred Kaplan: The Long Road to Fixing Afghanistan Winds Through Pakistan
Many reports from the Pakistani Blogosphere are to be found at Bloggers Pakistan
On the US Financial Crisis:
Dr. Robert Reich (University of California at Berkeley and Labor Secretary of President Clinton) thinks that the Bailout of All Bailouts is a Bad Idea and presents what he says is a better alternative:
But there's no reason taxpayers need to be involved in this.Hmmm, can this really work? Dr. Reich concludes with, "I repeat: This isn't a crisis of solvency or liquidity; it's a crisis of trust."
Whether you call it a reorganization under bankruptcy or just a hellova fire sale, the process should resemble chapter 11 under bankruptcy. Any big financial institution that wants to clear its books can opt in. But the price for opting in is this: Investors in these institutions lose the value of their equity. Executives lose the value of their options, and their pay (and the pay of their directors) is sharply limited. All the money from the fire sale goes to making creditors as whole as possible.
On Bloomberg TV, Princeton professor and NYT pundit Paul Krugman says we are witnessing the socialization of the US financial system, "Comrade Paulson has seized the commanding heights in the name of the masses."
WHY AIG was too big to fail, from Barry Ritholz of Fusion IQ. Also from The Big Picture is this enumeration of the high points in the New, New Deal
- Bear Stearns
- Economic Stimulus progam
- Housing Bailout Program
- Fannie & Freddie
- No Short selling rules
- Fed liquidity programs (Term Lending facility, Term Auction facility)
- Money Market fund insurance program
- Special Loans for GM & Ford
- New RTC type program
If Paulson was a real man, he'd nationalize the winners, not the losers. Why not take over the big oil comapnies? That's where the money is. To hell with the dopes who can't win at capitalism like the broker-dealers and mortgage banks. All they'll bring us is losses. The only fair thing for America is to take over the money-makers to pay for the mistakes of the losers. Take over Berkshire to pay for AIG. Paulson is not half the man Hugo Chavez is... you don't see Hugo doing dumb stuff like Hank does.