Ultimate Question: Why do we need to BUY them? (Part 1 of a Series)

Almost a week ago—a few decades of Internet time, when people could still believe House Republicans might be sane—Brad DeLong quoted the summary:

To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, and for other purposes…

As noted, this was back before “other purposes” included cutting down more trees in Oregon or providing mental health benefits as part of insurance. So let’s just focus on the word that makes this facility different: purchase.

And let’s put that $700,000,000,000 in a context (figures in $Billions):

So we could buy four of the largest banks and the three somewhat-remaining large Investment Banks with change left over.

But that wouldn’t get market lending started again.

Will buying securities?

More on Next* Rock…

*A following, not to be taken literally as “next.”