Tuesday, October 14, 2008

rei argentarii de extrahendo

Concerning the bailout of the financial system.

Brad DeLong is jubilant at the latest news.

From Tyler Cowen:

Marginal Revolution: The Deal:

Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were told they would each get $25 billion; Bank of America and Wells Fargo, $20 billion; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, $10 billion each, with Bank of New York and State Street each receiving $2 to 3 billion. Wells Fargo will get an additional $5 billion, reflecting its acquisition of Wachovia, and Bank of America receives the same for amount for its purchase of Merrill Lynch.... The government will purchase perpetual preferred shares in all the largest U.S. banking companies. The shares will not be dilutive to current shareholders, a concern to banking...executives, because perpetual preferred stock holders are paid a dividend, not a portion of earnings. The capital injections are not voluntary, with Mr. Paulson making it clear this was a one-time offer that everyone at the meeting should accept.

Here is the story. No matter what your point of view, you ought to be stunned by this development.

I am not stunned. I w[a]nt to sing!

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

If this doesn't revive the interbank market, nothing will. If this doesn't, I'm going to start training in flint-knapping to get ready to fight for cans of salmon in the aisles of Trader Joe's...

The text is the beginning of the Song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32. I much prefer the Greek, as usual; the syntactical function of secundum is strange, and salutare as an abstract noun is decidedly non-Classical usage. Thus:
Νυν απολύεις τον δούλον σου, Δέσποτα, κατά το ρήμα σου εν ειρήνη,
ότι είδον οι οφθαλμοί μου το σωτήριόν σου,
ο ητοίμασας κατά πρόσωπον πάντων των λαών,
φως εις αποκάλυψιν εθνών και δόξαν λαού σου Ισραήλ.
And translation from the New Revised Standard Edition of the Bible:
Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.
Fitting words today. This is exactly the kind of decisive action the financial system requires to restore confidence. Furthermore, within this consensus view, the vast majority believe that this sort of move could have and should have come sooner.

It will be a fine day in January when the responsiveness of the government is no longer oppressed by the heavy burdens of a failed ideology.

No comments: