Asked and Answered

I noticed this recent article by Daniel Gross at Slate. The title is "Man Up, Capitalists!"; it discusses the Geithner plan for rescuing financial institutions from their bad bets. Key paragraph:

The plan raises the disturbing question: Where the hell are the capitalists? Where are all the people who are willing to put their own money, and that of people willing to lend them cash, at risk in pursuit of profit? Why are Wall Street's tough guys such a bunch of girly men? The Geithner plan assumes that Wall Street's bravest investors won't spend a penny or borrow unless the government is willing to cover losses, make loans, and give away extra profits. It assumes, in short, that these great businesspeople are afraid to do business.
It's interesting that Gross adopts a tone of sarcastic/petulant manhood-questioning here. A sudden testosterone shortage—there's your problem, right there.

George Will's column today, I think, has a better answer, and it doesn't involve making sexist insults.

With the braying of 328 yahoos -- members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate the legal earnings of a small, unpopular group -- still reverberating, the Obama administration yesterday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government. This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Assets Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.
Will goes on to describe how the US is (in some respects) being tutored in the fundamentals of free-market rule-of-law capitalism by such unlikely teachers as Sweden, China, and Mexico. Plenty of examples, and depressing reading, but I'd nonetheless suggest it to clueless pundits, like Daniel Gross.

Last Modified 2012-10-08 8:19 AM EDT